Sharks

Goals at a premium away from The Tank

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Goals at a premium away from The Tank

SAN JOSE The San Jose Sharks have won just once in their last 10 tries on the road, including a current four-game losing streak that featured a pair of ugly losses in Anaheim and Phoenix just last week, in which they scored one goal total.

The reason? Air Shark might be leaving certain players games back in the Bay Area at take off. San Jose is in eighth place in the Western Conference, one point ahead of the Stars headed into Tuesday night's game in Dallas.

When I look back at some of the most recent road games, we've been missing two or three guys, Todd McLellan said on Monday. All of a sudden you become a three line team or a two-and-a-half line team, and you can't get it done at this time of year with the energy level and that type of stuff. We need everybody involved.

KURZ: Sharks need to reverse road trends

Among some of the Sharks main point producers that have struggled away from HP Pavilion in the last 10 games are Ryane Clowe (1g), Brent Burns (1g, 3a), Dan Boyle (1g, 2a) and Logan Couture (3g, 2a). Even Joe Pavelski, who has come alive recently and now leads the Sharks in goals with 31, has just two goals and two assists in the last 10 road games.

Its hard to pinpoint one thing, we've been getting a lot of shots, said Joe Thornton, who has 11 points in that same road stretch and has been anything but the problem, as the most consistent offensive threat in the past two months. Maybe getting in the goalies eyes will help. But, hopefully we'll get on this road trip and we'll throw some in the net.

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Boyle said: We just haven't won games, I dont know that it's a lack of confidence. Its execution, probably.

The Sharks are primed to get a better effort from the Stars than was put forth in Saturday nights 3-0 San Jose win at The Tank. Dallas got behind early and its energy level seemed to erode from there, after having played in Vancouver the previous night.

Still, the Sharks have accumulated nine of a possible 10 points against Dallas this season (4-0-1). Whatever theyre doing right, theyd like to repeat it.

They're going to be ready for us, Thornton said. They know how important the next game is. Tuesday night should be great; they'll probably play physical and you know it's going to be a must win for both teams.

McLellan said: They'll be a different team, playing at home and playing in front of their fans. They were playing back to back here, and won't have that problem. Im sure they'll get some healthy bodies back, and Im sure we'll get a stiffer game than we got here.

Clowe attributes the success against Dallas at least partially to special teams play, and hes right. The Sharks have had 10 more power play opportunities than Dallas in the five-game season series, and scored five man-advantage goals (5-for-22) as opposed to just a pair for the Stars (2-for-12).

That's one thing against Dallas that's been pretty good this year, Clowe said. We've come out, they've taken some penalties, we've capitalized on the power play and spotted ourselves a couple good leads early.

The Sharks have scored first in four of the five games. They didnt do it in their last visit to Dallas, and ended up losing 4-3 in a shootout on March 8.

Sharks come up short in New York despite Couture's hat trick

Sharks come up short in New York despite Couture's hat trick

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK — Anders Lee had two goals and an assist to lead the New York Islanders to a 5-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.

John Tavares had a goal and two assists, Josh Bailey added a goal and an assist, and Andrew Ladd also scored to help the Islanders win for the third time in four games. Thomas Greiss stopped 28 shots.

Logan Couture scored all three goals for the Sharks, completing the hat trick with 1:52 remaining to pull them within one. Aaron Dell finished with 18 saves.

Ladd's goal at 3:12 of the third period broke a 2-2 tie. Rookie Mathew Barzal created the scoring chance by taking the puck around the net and then setting up Ladd in the high slot for his second of the season.

Lee's second of the game and fifth of the season gave the Islanders a two-goal cushion with 8:13 remaining as he converted an odd-man rush.

Tavares sealed the win with an empty-netter with 55.4 seconds remaining and helped improve to 22-4-4 in their two-plus seasons at Barclays Center. Tavares points were his first since he had two goals and an assist Oct. 7 against Buffalo, ending a five-game drought.

The Sharks scored the game's opening goal at 6:26 of the second period on the power play. San Jose came away with the offensive draw and Couture scored from the slot, redirected Brent Burns' point shot past Greiss.

The lead lasted just over a minute as Nick Leddy worked his way to the back of the net and then quickly fed Lee for the tying goal.

The Islanders went ahead 58 seconds later after Joe Thornton made a costly turnover in his own end to give Bailey a point-blank chance. Bailey was able to sneak the puck with a backhander between his skates and past Dell to put New York ahead 2-1.

However, an impressive effort by Jannik Hansen to spin past Brock Nelson in the neutral zone led to a quick feed to Couture, who took a few strides and then fired a shot past Greiss to even the score once again.

NOTES: The Islanders held a special pregame ceremony to honor alumni of the organization who were in town for an Islanders Alumni Weekend. Among the players on the ice were Bobby Nystrom, Clark Gillies, Bryan Trottier and Ed Westfall. ... The Islanders scratched D Scott Mayfield, F Josh Ho-Sang and F Nikulay Kulemin. ... San Jose scratched F Joel Ward, F Barclay Goodrow and D Dylan Demelo. ... The Islanders honored Tragically Hip front man Gord Downie by playing music from the band during warmups. Downie passed away on Oct. 17 after succumbing to brain cancer.

UP NEXT

Sharks: At the New York Rangers on Monday night.

Islanders: Host Arizona on Tuesday night.

Recovered from injuries, Joonas Donskoi returning to form just in time for Sharks

Recovered from injuries, Joonas Donskoi returning to form just in time for Sharks

Joonas Donskoi’s first goal of the season all but sealed the Sharks’ 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

It was also a long time coming, too. The Finnish forward finished a chance for the first time in 28 regular season games, 33 if you include his goal-less postseason. He last scored on January 7, when Patrick Marleau was a Shark and San Jose still held a share of the Pacific Division lead.

He struggled mightily after that, largely due to injury. Donskoi separated his shoulder not once, but twice last season, and revealed to The Athletic this week that he also dealt with “foot issues.” He spent over a month on injured reserve and managed just three assists in his final 22 games as a result.

With health on his side, Donskoi’s returned to his rookie year form. Through six games, he's registered three points, all at even strength. That’s tied with Joe Pavelski for the team lead, despite the fact he’s played nearly four minutes less per game at even strength than the captain.

He’s done a lot in less ice time, scoring five-on-five points at a higher rate per 60 minutes than any player on the team, according to Natural Stat Trick. He’s done a lot against lesser competition, too, taking advantage of his assignments in Peter DeBoer’s bottom six forward group.

That’s an important development, given the disappearance of San Jose’s depth scoring last season. Only four Sharks forwards cracked 40 points last season, and one of them is in Toronto. Most damning, though, is that the same number managed to score 30 or more points last year. The Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, by contrast, had eight forwards score 30 points in the regular season.

It’s still early in the season, but Donskoi’s underlying numbers indicate this level of play is built to last. His personal shooting percentage is below his career-high, and the Sharks are scoring on a reasonable 6.52% of their shots with Donskoi on the ice in five-on-five situations. That’s only half-a-percentage point higher than San Jose’s rate during Donskoi’s injury-riddled 2016-17.

Donskoi will undoubtedly hit some bumps in the road, but after struggling so much last season, it appears the 25-year-old is back on track. If the Sharks are to improve on last season, they desperately need depth scorers.

Thanks to Donskoi’s resurgence, they just might have found one.