Havlat's OT goal lifts Sharks past Red Wings


Havlat's OT goal lifts Sharks past Red Wings

SAN JOSE Marty Havlat scored twice, including the game-winner in overtime, and the Sharks beat the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night at HP Pavilion, 3-2.

On the winning goal, Havlat took the original shot from the circle. Justin Braun poked for the rebound, which popped out to the side of the net, where Havlat gathered it and lifted it in with 1:37 to go.

The Sharks, who beat Nashville in a shootout on Thursday, won back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 31 Feb. 2. They moved into eighth place in the Western Conference with the win, surpassing Phoenix.

Five of last seven Sharks games have gone past regulation (2-0-3).

Detroit tied the game in the third period. Valtteri Filppula broke in after what looked to be interference by Henrik Zetterberg on Marc-Edouard Vlasic at the blue line. Filppulas wrist shot beat Antti Niemi at 8:12, though, and the game was knotted at 2-2.

The Sharks jumped out to a 1-0 lead after a long shift to start the game by their top line.

Standing behind the net, Joe Thornton passed in front to Joe Pavelski at the bottom of the circle. Pavelskis initial shot through traffic, including Logan Couture standing in front of the crease, bounced right back to the winger and he deposited his 25th goal at the 48-second mark, tying his career high with 25 on the season.

Havlat gave the Sharks their first two-goal lead in nearly three weeks at 18:23. His 40-foot wrist shot may have deflected off of defenseman Brad Stuarts stick on its way toward the net, and Jimmy Howard was unable to stop it. It was Havlats third goal in his second game back after missing three months with a hamstring injury.

The Sharks previous two-goal advantage came on Feb. 26 in Minnesota when they scored the first two goals of the game in a 4-3 loss.

It didnt last long. Pavel Datsyuk, playing in his first game after missing the last 11 with a knee injury, found the near-side corner from a terrible angle just 23 seconds after Havlats goal. Antti Niemi, who was crouched over trying to eye the puck, would have stopped it had he been standing upright.

The great pace of the first period carried over into the second despite neither team finding the scoreboard.

Howard made a nice stop on Dominic Moores backhand attempt from the slot early on, while Tomas Holmstroms deflection on a Red Wings power play rang squarely off of the post.

Havlat nearly got his second goal of the game on a two-on-one rush with Patrick Marleau late in the second, while Daniel Winnik missed an open net on a loose puck after he set up Moore for a chance seconds earlier.

Detroits Drew Miller had a shorthanded breakaway as time expired in the second, but Niemi turned it aside as the horn sounded.

Odds and ends: The Sharks host the Anaheim Ducks on Monday. ... TJ Galiardi, Michal Handzus, Colin White and Jim Vandermeer were scratched. The Sharks won the first two games of the season series, but Detroit claimed a 3-2 win at Joe Louis Arena on Feb. 19.

Sharks win second straight, beat Devils to start road trip

Sharks win second straight, beat Devils to start road trip


NEWARK, N.J. — Martin Jones made 28 saves for his first shutout of the season and 16th overall in the San Jose Sharks' 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Melker Karlsson, Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi scored and Justin Braun had two assists to help the Sharks open a five-game East Coast trip.

Keith Kinkaid, the top goalie for New Jersey with Cory Schneider on injured reserve, stopped 30 shots as the Devils' three-game winning streak came to an end.

The Devils couldn't muster a strong push in the later stages against the rested Sharks. It was New Jersey's second game two nights following a 5-4 overtime victory in Ottawa. And it showed against the Sharks, who played a solid road game, pressed their advantage and solidly supported Jones.

Karlsson scored the lone goal of the opening period at 14:11 on a close-in shot following a slick behind-the-net setup pass from Tomas Hertl.

The shots were 13 for each team in the evenly played period. The Devils came close on several occasions as former Shark Mirco Mueller and Blake Coleman both hit the crossbar and Jones robbed Drew Stafford on a dead-on drive from the slot.

Pavelski and Donskoi got second-period goals as the Sharks steadily tightened their grip on the game.

Pavelski tipped in Braun's point shot at 5:49. Joe Thornton got the second assist, his 1,395th point, to pass Luc Robitaille for 21st on the career list.

Donskoi backhanded a rebound shot with 1:10 left in the period in which the Sharks outshot the Devils 11-6.

The remaining drama centered on Jones' shutout bid.

NOTES: The Devils placed Schneider on injured reserve Friday with a lower-body injury and recalled Scott Wedgewood from Binghamton of the American Hockey League to serve as Kinkaid's backup. ... Mueller, a healthy scratch in three of the previous four games, returned for the Devils to face the Sharks, the team that drafted him in the first round, for the first time. He was dealt to New Jersey over the summer.


Sharks: At the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

Devils: Host Ottawa on Friday night.

As Joakim Ryan returns home, Sharks reunite with a former top prospect


As Joakim Ryan returns home, Sharks reunite with a former top prospect

When Joakim Ryan suits up in his first NHL road game against the New Jersey Devils Friday night, he’ll do so in a familiar place.

Ryan, a New Jersey-born Swede, played for the Devils’ youth program and nearby Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) in high school. In fact, he’s already played at the Prudential Center, skating in the state championship game with CBA in 2009.

He’s not the only one due for something of a homecoming, as the Sharks may see a familiar face line up on the opposing blueline.

This is the Sharks’ first matchup against New Jersey since trading 2013 first round pick Mirco Mueller ahead of June’s Expansion Draft. Mueller was once considered the future on the San Jose blueline, a smooth-skating defenseman with size to boot.

The Swiss defender never fulfilled his potential, in part because his development was rushed from the start. He made the NHL roster as a rookie in 2014-15, almost by default. Other than Marc-Edouard Vlasic, the only defensemen ahead of him on left side of the depth chart were a far past-his-prime Scott Hannan and regular scratch Matt Irwin. Such was the nature of the Sharks’ “step back” that year.

Mueller finally got regular playing time, albeit in the minors, during his second professional season. By then, he was pushed down the organizational depth chart by the team’s acquisitions of Brenden Dillon and Roman Polak, and the development of Dylan DeMelo. David Schlemko’s signing last summer kept Mueller there for most of 2016-17, but it was Ryan and Tim Heed that ensured Mueller’s NHL future would lie elsewhere. The Swedes surpassed him, and emerged as perhaps the AHL’s best defensive pair in the process.

It’s fitting, then, that Ryan and Heed will be in the lineup tonight, and Mueller may not, as the fresh start he needed hasn’t quite panned out. He’s averaging a career-high 18:44 in ice time, but has been scratched in three of New Jersey’s seven games, including Thursday night’s overtime win in Ottawa.

So Ryan comes home to New Jersey under much happier circumstances than Mueller will reunite with the Sharks. One prodigal son returns, and the other is simply trying to save face.

It’s still early in his Devils tenure, of course, and Mueller may yet emerge as a regular on the New Jersey blueline. His Sharks reunion, though, will serve as a reminder of what once was, what could have been, and what is now San Jose’s future on defense.