Instant Replay: Sharks burned by Flames, keep on falling

Instant Replay: Sharks burned by Flames, keep on falling


CALGARY – A pair of games in Alberta presented the Sharks with a chance to solidify their grasp on one of the top two spots in the Pacific Division. Instead, they continued their limp towards the regular season finish line.
Calgary scored three goals in the second period on Friday night at Saddledome, opening up a commanding lead and cruising to a 5-2 win over the Sharks. The Flames (43-30-4, 92 points) are now within one point of the Sharks (43-28-7, 93 points) for third place in the division, with four games remaining for each.
The Sharks have lost eight of their last nine games, all in regulation, and continue to look more and more like first round fodder for whichever team they meet in the postseason. 

They lost to the Oilers on Friday in the first game of a three-game road trip that concludes on Sunday in Vancouver.
Calgary clinched a playoff spot after missing out on the postseason in six of the last seven. The Flames have won 10 of their last 12 at home.
The Sharks trailed 2-0 in the second period when Marc-Edouard Vlasic got one back for San Jose. He finished off a rush with Marcus Sorensen and Micheal Haley at 8:25, cutting the lead in half.
Calgary responded. After the Sharks just couldn’t move the puck up through the neutral zone, Matt Stajan slipped in his sixth goal against some tired skaters at 12:38. Later, Vlasic was caught flat-footed in front of the net as Alex Chiasson cut towards the crease and lifted a backhand over Martin Jones with 2:51 left before the second intermission, giving the Flames a commanding 4-1 lead.
Melker Karlsson redirected a Joe Pavelski offering at 13:06 of the third period to cut the lead to 4-2, but seconds later Brian Elliott made a flashy glove save on Kevin Labanc to preserve the 4-2 edge.
The Sharks fell to 2-10-0 in their last 12 games against Western Conference opponents. In their last eight road games the Sharks are 1-7-0, including six straight losses, and have been outscored 30-13.
The Flames jumped in front on a Johnny Gaudreau goal, as the forward slipped behind Brent Burns and easily directed home a pass from Sam Bennett at 2:26 of the first period as the Sharks got confused in their own end. It was the only goal before the break.
Sean Monahan’s power play goal at 3:39 of the second period made it 2-0, as he stayed with the rebound of a Kris Versteeg blast with Haley in the box.
Bennett added a late empty net goal.
Joonas Donskoi and Joel Ward did not dress for the Sharks, presumably as healthy scratches. Donskoi is scoreless in his last 15 games and without a goal in his last 18, while Ward has gone eight in a row without a point.
Calgary has taken three of the four games of the season series. The teams meet again in the regular season finale for both at SAP Center on April 8.
Special teams 
It was another unproductive night on the power play for the Sharks, who went 0-for-4 with seven shots on goal.
Calgary was 1-for-2. The Sharks have allowed six power play goals-against over the last six games (11-for-17, 64.7 percent).
In goal
Playing on back-to-back nights for the first time since mid-December, Jones was pulled after two periods, allowing four goals on 22 shots. Aaron Dell stopped all 12 shots he faced.
Elliott improved to 15-1-1 in his last 17 starts, making 36 saves.
Labanc and Sorensen returned to the Sharks lineup in place of Ward and Donskoi.
Gaudreau increased his point streak to seven games (3g, 8a). 
Up next
The Sharks play their final road game of the regular season on Sunday in Vancouver, in the first of a home-and-home. They return to San Jose for a three-game homestand to close out the regular season next week against the Canucks, Oilers and Flames.

Sharks overcome early deficit, injuries to finish road trip with third straight win


Sharks overcome early deficit, injuries to finish road trip with third straight win

VANCOUVER --Timo Meier's second goal of the game snapped a third-period tie and the San Jose Sharks beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-3 on Saturday night for their fourth consecutive victory.

Logan Couture and Kevin Labanc each had a goal and an assist, and Tomas Hertl scored into an empty net with 25 seconds remaining for the Sharks, who are 7-2-0 in their last nine games.

Nikolay Goldobin, Alex Edler and Bo Horvat scored power-play goals and Sam Gagner had two assists for the Canucks, who lost their sixth consecutive game - their longest losing streak of the season.

Goldobin's goal at 10:48 of the first period snapped a scoreless streak of 222 minutes, 57 minutes for the Canucks, who had been shut out in three consecutive losses.

The Sharks had allowed just two power-play goals in their previous 17 games, but gave up three against Vancouver. The only other time San Jose allowed three power-play goals in a game was in an opening-night loss to Philadelphia.

Aaron Dell, making his first start since Feb. 22, made 28 saves for the Sharks. Vancouver's Jacob Markstrom stopped 25 shots.

Meier put the Sharks ahead at 6:07 of the third with a shot from the faceoff circle that went under Markstrom's blocker. The Canucks came close with just over six minutes left, but Hertl scooped a loose puck off the goal line.

Vancouver scored twice with the man-advantage in the second period to tie the game at 3.

The Sharks took a 3-1 lead just 1:47 into the period when Meier tipped in Brenden Dillion's shot from the point.

Horvat started Vancouver's comeback, scoring just 6 seconds into a power play. Dell stopped Gagner's slap shot but Horvat jammed home the rebound. Edler tied it with a blast from the point at 11:48. It was his first power-play goal in 88 games dating to Feb. 17, 2017.

The Sharks scored 1:10 apart in the first period to erase a 1-0 deficit.

Goldobin opened the scoring when he took a pass from defenseman Derrick Pouilot and snapped a shot from the face-off circle that sailed over Dell's shoulder. The San Jose goalie was screened by Jake Virtanen.

Labanc tied it on a power play at 14:48. Joe Pavelski's shot was stopped by Markstrom, but he managed to get his own rebound and passed it to Labanc at the side of the net.

The Sharks went ahead on Couture's 29th of the season at 16:08. He took a feed from Hertl, fought off a check by Virtanen and chipped the puck past Markstrom.

NOTES: Defenseman Chris Tanev returned to Vancouver lineup for his first game since breaking his leg Feb. 8 against Tampa Bay ... San Jose center Melker Karlsson went to the dressing favoring his right leg early in the first period after blocking a shot. ... San Jose's Marc-Edouard Vlasic left in the second period after being hit in the chest by a puck. ... The Canucks' franchise record for a scoring drought is 234 minutes, 52 seconds, set March 16-24, 2016. ... The longest goal drought by a team in the expansion era is 262 minutes, 3 seconds, set by the Minnesota North Stars from Jan. 28-Feb. 6, 1988.


Sharks: vs. New Jersey on Tuesday night.

Canucks: at Vegas on Tuesday night.

Where does Evander Kane's four-goal game rank in Sharks history?

Where does Evander Kane's four-goal game rank in Sharks history?

Sharks winger Evander Kane returns to his hometown of Vancouver on Saturday, fresh off of doing something a Vancouver-born player had not done in nearly 30 years. 

On Friday, Kane became the first such player to score four goals in an NHL game since Hockey Hall of Famer Glenn Anderson, who scored four goals with the Edmonton Oilers against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 19, 1988. It was also the first hat-trick of Kane's career, and just the fourth four-goal game in Sharks history. 

The latter point got us thinking, where does Kane's four-goal effort rank among those games? Using a rigorous, highly scientific process (read: the thoughts of this writer), we've come up with the definitive ranking. 

Without further adieu, we start with another power forward acquired in a midseason trade. 

4. Owen Nolan (Dec. 19, 1995 at Anaheim)

The Final Line: Four goals (Three power play goals), One assist, Six shots on goal

You never forget your first, so we begin with Owen Nolan, the first player to accomplish the feat in franchise history. If not for Kane and another entrant on this list (no spoilers), Nolan would still be the fastest to do it, scoring four goals in just his 27th game and just under two months after the Sharks acquired him from the Colorado Avalanche.

Nolan struck quickly throughout. He opened the scoring just 1:22 into the game against the then-Mighty Ducks, then scored his second only 57 seconds into the second period. His third and fourth, both on the power play, came 34 seconds apart in that same period. 

Just as Kane did on Friday, Nolan scored as many goals as the opposing team in a 7-4 win. It didn't quite have the same impact on the playoff race, however, as San Jose picked up its seventh win....of the entire season (in its 34th game) thanks to Nolan.

3. Patrick Marleau (Jan. 23, 2017 at Colorado)

The Final Line: Four goals (including the game-winner), Six shots on goal

The 1,459th time was the charm for the longest-tenured player in Sharks history, and the then-37-year-old Marleau became the second-oldest since 1987 to score four in a game. The oldest, Martin St. Louis, actually reached the feat against the Sharks as a 38-year-old in 2014. 

Marleau scored all four goals in a span of 13-and-a-half minutes in the third period, which began with the game tied at one. Three of those goals constituted a natural hat trick, in just a 7:42 stretch.

This game also jumpstarted Marleau's pursuit of a major milestone, as the goals were No. 494, 495, 496, and 497 of his career. He scored No. 500 a week-and-a-half later, but the four-goal game gave Marleau yet another signature moment in teal. 

2. Evander Kane (Mar. 16, 2018 at Calgary)

The Final Line: Four goals, Seven shots on goal 

Of all the players to score four goals in Sharks history, Kane certainly had the best timing. With San Jose in the thick of a playoff race and in need of a win, the newly-acquired forward delivered. 

He only needed eight games to score four goals for the first time in teal, but needed 565 for the first hat-trick of his career. The exuberance (and relief) was palpable after Kane scored his third, and that goal put the Sharks up by two. 

The desperate Flames, now four points out of the playoffs, would never get closer than that again, and Kane essentially put the game out of reach with his fourth goal 62 seconds into the third period. No Sharks player has scored four goals in a playoff game, but this one comes the closest. 

1. Tomas Hertl (Oct. 9, 2013 vs New York Rangers)

The Final Line: Four goals (One power play goal), Seven shots on goal

In just his third NHL game, and in front of his griflriend and mother visiting from the native Czech Republic, Tomas Hertl became then the fourth-youngest player in NHL history (now the sixth-youngest) to score a hat-trick-plus-one. If not for Auston Matthews scoring four in his debutHertl has arguably the most memorable four-goal game by a young player to his name. 

Of all the Sharks to score four in a game, Hertl did it the most efficiently. He only played 11:12 in that game against the Rangers, and still scored four goals on seven shots. 

Yes, it was in an October blowout, but no other four-goal game has had the same impact on the rest of the hockey world. From a fourth goal tailor-made to go viral, to the ensuing Hot Takes ("Hertl's disrespecting the game!") and subsequent jokes (Joe Thornton's still looking for four goals) it spawned, Hertl captivated the hockey world in a way no other Shark that's scored four has, and all by living his "dream, no reality."