Instant Replay: Jones pulled early, Sharks bounced by Bruins in Boston

Instant Replay: Jones pulled early, Sharks bounced by Bruins in Boston


BOSTON – David Pastrnak scored two power play goals, Patrice Bergeron notched four points, and the Bruins chased Sharks goalie Martin Jones after the first period in a 6-3 Bruins win at TD Garden on Thursday night.
San Jose lost its third straight (0-1-2), matching is longest stretch of the season without a win.
After the teams traded early scores, Bergeron gave Boston the lead for good at 15:52 of the opening frame. The perennial Selke Trophy candidate got to the front of the net where he was left alone by Patrick Marleau, and slipped in a redirected Brandon Carlo shot over the line for his 14th score. Seconds earlier, Marleau lost the puck while cutting to the net on a two-on-one.
Pastrnak’s first goal at 15:52 made it a 3-1 lead after the first period, as the rookie rocketed in a one-timer set up by Bergeron.
The Sharks responded quickly to the goalie change to start the second, after Aaron Dell entered the game. A shot by Justin Braun appeared to deflect off of Carlo at 1:08.
Dell made some nice stops, including gloving a Matt Beleskey wrist shot from the circle, but the Bruins eventually got to him. Tim Schaller found the rebound of a Riley Nash shot at 13:04 after Boston’s fourth line got the cycle going in San Jose’s end, and Pasternak scored his second of the night in the final minute of the middle frame on another slick feed from Bergeron.
Timo Meier’s third goal with 2:37 to go brought the Sharks back to within 5-3, but Brad Marchand’s empty netter with 29 seconds left sealed the Boston triumph. 
Boston, which was playing its first game since firing coach Claude Julien on Tuesday, made a winner out of interim coach Bruce Cassidy. The Sharks and Bruins meet for the second and final time at SAP Center on Feb. 19.
David Backes put the Bruins up early. Just 52 seconds into the game, his one-timer from the high slot opened the scoring on the first shot.
Joe Thornton’s wrist shot from the circle at 7:51 tied it on what was his fourth goal of the season, but his first in a manned net.
The crowd was sparse, as the Boston area dealt with significant snowfall. The Bruins wanted to postpone the game, but the NHL denied the request due to the difficulty of finding a makeup date.
Special teams 
Boston’s power play remained red hot, going 2-for-3 on Pastrnak’s two scores. The Bruins are 9-for-21 over their last six games, getting at least one in each.
San Jose’s penalty kill has hit the skids during its losing streak, allowing five goals in 10 chances over the last three games.
The Sharks didn’t get a power play until the third period. They finished 0-for-2, generating just one shot over four minutes.
In goal
Jones, making his 47th start, was pulled for just the second time this season (Nov. 5 vs. Pittsburgh). He allowed three goals on 12 shots.
Dell allowed two goals on 20 shots in what was his first action since Jan. 24 in Winnipeg.
Rask got the win with 23 saves, improving to 4-3-0 in his career against San Jose.
Brent Burns’ 14-game road point streak, the third longest in NHL history for a defenseman (according to Elias), came to an end.
Ryan Carpenter returned after a two-game absence in favor of rookie Marcus Sorensen, who made his NHL debut on Tuesday.
The Bruins were without defenseman Zdeno Chara due to illness.
Up next
The Sharks visit Philadelphia on Saturday. They beat the Flyers on Dec. 30 at home, 2-0, as Dell recorded his first career NHL shutout with 21 saves.
A visit to New Jersey on Sunday is the Sharks’ final road game against an Eastern Conference team. They return to host the Panthers on Wednesday, Feb. 15.

Paul Martin rewarding Peter DeBoer's faith in NHL return


Paul Martin rewarding Peter DeBoer's faith in NHL return

When Sharks defenseman Paul Martin confirmed reports in January that he was willing to go elsewhere for more playing time, his head coach was insistent that the team would need the veteran blueliner. 

"I really believe we need eight NHL defenseman here," DeBoer told reporters in January (via The Mercury News). "If it happens that he isn't here, then that'll be disappointing for us. I'm not hoping that's where this goes. I'm hoping this goes to a place where he can maybe go down, play some games and keep himself ready, because I know we're going to need eight defensemen."

That's pretty much exactly what's happened.

After clearing waivers in January and playing with the AHL's San Jose Barracuda, Martin was called up ahead of the Sharks' four-game road trip at the end of February. He did not play until last Saturday in Vancouver, when an upper-body injury to rookie defenseman Joakim Ryan, whose play pushed Martin down the depth chart in the first place, created an opening alongside Brent Burns. 

Martin's now played three straight games with Burns, his defensive partner for the vast majority of the previous two seasons. It's the first time Martin's played in three consecutive NHL games all season, and although he hasn't played much (11:53 in average time-on-ice), he's acquitted himself nicely in a sheltered role.

His five-on-five possession numbers (52.78 percent corsi-for; 53.33 percent fenwick-for) are the second-best marks among Sharks defensemen over the last three games. Burns, too, has posted better possession numbers with Martin (47.62 percent corsi-for; 50 percent fenwick-for) during the last three contests than without his longtime partner (43.40 percent corsi-for; 41.67 percent fenwick-for). 

The Sharks have also outscored (3-0) and outchanced (17-16) opponents with Martin on the ice, neither of which was the case in Martin's first three appearances earlier this season. The former is owed to a decent amount of puck luck, as the Sharks have converted on 17.65 percent of their shots with him on the ice, but the latter is an extension of his solid underlying numbers. 

Martin's played the least amount of total minutes among Sharks defensemen since coming back, even as Marc-Edouard Vlasic missed time in two of the last three games, and has barely been used in special teams. His days of averaging 20-or-more minutes a night are likely behind him, but the 37-year-old has played well in a limited role. 

Considering Martin's NHL days appeared to be behind him as recently as last month, his play has been a pleasant surprise. With the exception of his head coach, that is. 

Couture scores in OT, helps Sharks make up ground on Golden Knights

Couture scores in OT, helps Sharks make up ground on Golden Knights


SAN JOSE -- Seconds after almost costing the San Jose Sharks a game with a turnover, Logan Couture ended it with his backhand.

Couture scored 39 seconds into overtime after getting bailed out by goalie Martin Jones and the San Jose Sharks won their season-high sixth straight game, 2-1 over the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night.

"I was able to make a move on their guy," Couture said. "(Marc-Edouard Vlasic) did a good job of driving their backchecker back and I was able to go far side."

Couture's goal came at the end of an opening shift of the overtime that started with him losing the puck in his own zone, giving Jonathan Marchessault a chance alone in front. Jones got enough of the shot to stop it, and then Vlasic sent the puck ahead to Couture for the winning goal that moved San Jose within seven points of first-place Vegas with eight games remaining in the regular season.

Brent Burns also scored and Jones made 24 saves to help the Sharks open a four-point lead over third-place Los Angeles in the Pacific Division with a game in hand as the Sharks close in on home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

"For us to get a win tonight was important," captain Joe Pavelski said. "Plus, just plant that seed. If we stay hot, you never know, we might be able to catch them and get home ice. We took care of business tonight and we'll try to keep playing well."

Tomas Tatar scored the lone goal for the Golden Knights, who were kept in the game by a sterling performance by goalie Malcolm Subban. He stopped 42 shots but it wasn't enough for Vegas to come up with the win, although he helped earn a point that gave the expansion team 100 this season.

"It's impressive," forward James Neal said. "It's a great season for our guys. Guys came together real quick. A great job so far but we're not done yet."

The Golden Knights struck first on a pretty passing play early in the first period that ended when Marchessault found Tatar cutting through the slot ahead of Justin Braun. Tatar skated past Jones and backhanded the puck into the open net.

Vegas has been dominant when getting off to a lead, posting an NHL-best 31-5-1 record when scoring first heading into this game. But the Sharks carried the play in the second period, outshooting the Golden Knights 18-4 and getting the equalizer on a blast by Burns from the point after another strong shift by San Jose's fourth line.

"We want to be playing really good hockey this time of year and heading into the playoffs. I think that's the goal," coach Peter DeBoer said. "Whether we would have won tonight or lost, I like how we played for most of the game, so that's what I'm concentrating on."

Vegas managed to keep it tied despite the lopsided shot totals, killing off a four-minute penalty to Colin Miller and another late power play that started late in the second.

That penalty carried over until the third period and the Sharks got 25 seconds of a two-man advantage after Brayden McNabb was called for throwing his stick but still couldn't get anything past Subban.

The Golden Knights squandered a power-play chance later in the period when Miller was called for cross checking with the man advantage. That nearly led to a power-play goal for San Jose but Subban appeared to get a piece of a shot from in close to Joe Pavelski to keep the game tied at 1.

"He's the main reason we got the point," coach Gerard Gallant said. "He looked comfortable."

NOTES: Vegas G Marc-Andre Fleury didn't make the trip to San Jose with an undisclosed injury but is expected to join the team for Saturday's game in Colorado. ... Burns became the 15th player to play 500 career games with the Sharks.

Golden Knights: Visit Colorado on Saturday.

Sharks: Host Calgary on Saturday.