Instant Replay: Sharks can't tame the Wild, losing streak now at four

Instant Replay: Sharks can't tame the Wild, losing streak now at four


ST. PAUL – The Sharks have picked a bad time to go through their worst stretch of the season.

The Wild never trailed in a 3-2 win over the Sharks, who lost their fourth straight in regulation for the first time. Minnesota, which entered with a five-game regulation losing streak of its own, swept the three-game season series.

San Jose enjoyed a nine-point lead on the division just seven days ago after a win over Buffalo, but could be in a tie in points with Edmonton by the time the puck drops for their game on Friday in Dallas.

Minnesota carried a 1-0 lead late into the second period before an outrageous sequence in which the teams combined for four goals in just a 63-second span.

The Sharks tied it on David Schlemko’s wrist shot that deflected in off of a body in front. Patrick Marleau was battling for position in the slot at the time of the goal at 17:57.

Minnesota struck for the next two. Jason Pominville and Martin Hanzal chopped away at a loose puck at the side of the net and it bounced through at 18:30 with Hanzal getting credit, and just 15 seconds later, Zach Parise pushed Tomas Hertl off of a loose puck and fed Charlie Coyle for a snap shot at 18:45 to increase the Wild’s lead to 3-1.

San Jose got one back at the 19-minute mark, though. Devan Dubnyk and Ryan Suter got mixed up on a puck behind the Minnesota net, and Marleau swooped in and banked it in off of Dubnyk before the goalie could get settled back in the crease.

That was as close as the Sharks would get, though. The fell to 9-4-1 in the second half of back-to-backs. They are just 2-7-2 in their last 11 games in St. Paul.

Minnesota dominated the opening frame, jumping ahead on a Matt Dumba power play goal. Eric Staal dug out a puck along the wall to Parise, who poked it to Dumba for an open wrist shot in the slot at 10:29.

Martin Jones kept the game manageable for the Sharks, making a series of remarkable stops on Mikko Koivu and Nino Niederreiter on a Minnesota power play early in the second.

Minnesota had a 16-4 edge in shots after that power play, before the Sharks finally got some more offensive zone pressure later in the middle frame. Joonas Donskoi lost the handle on a breakaway, though, and Micheal Haley’s turnaround wrist shot from the slot was turned away by Dubnyk before the late flurry of goals prior to the second intermission.

Special teams

The Sharks had just one power play attempt, and did not score. They finished 0-for-5 against the Wild in the three head-to-head games. In their last 12 games overall, the power play is just 4-for-35.

Minnesota was 1-for-3 on the power play, and 3-for-8 against the Sharks in the season series, with one goal in each of the three meetings.

In goal

Jones and Dubnyk each played each of the three games against one another. The Sharks’ starter fell to 2-4-0 in his career against Minnesota, allowing three goals on 27 shots, while Dubnyk ended a personal four-game losing streak with 21 saves.

A Vezina Trophy candidate, Dubnyk evened his record to 8-8-2 career against San Jose.


Marc-Edouard Vlasic was a late scratch due to the flu. Chris Tierney returned after he was sick on Monday in Dallas.

The Sharks remain without Jannik Hansen, who missed his second straight game with an upper body injury. Coach Pete DeBoer did not rule out the possibility that Hansen could return before the end of the road trip.

Brent Burns remains with no goals in his last 14 games, and no points in his last seven.

Up next

The Sharks go back to Dallas for a game on Friday at American Airlines Center. They lost to the Stars on Monday, 1-0, but beat them on March 12 at SAP Center, 5-1.

The road trip concludes on Saturday with their only visit of the regular season to Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

After a perfect week, Sharks have playoff breathing room with three weeks to go


After a perfect week, Sharks have playoff breathing room with three weeks to go

The Sharks’ playoff outlook is a lot rosier after winning all four of their games last week. They are now four points clear of the Los Angeles Kings in the second Wild Card spot, and three points up the Anaheim Ducks, who are third place in the Pacific Division.

Those are four-point and three-point improvements, respectively, over those same spots last week. The Sharks even picked up ground on the first-place Vegas Golden Knights, and are eight points back of the Pacific’s leaders, with two head-to-head matchups remaining.

That’s not quite close enough to warrant inclusion in a look at the playoff picture headed into the week, but could be next week if San Jose continues to make up ground. Otherwise, it’s still worth examining where the Sharks stand in regards to the Pacific and the Wild Card.

San Jose Sharks (Second in the Pacific, 89 points)

Games Remaining: 10

On the Docket:  3/20 vs New Jersey, 3/22 vs Vegas, 3/24 vs Calgary

Outlook: Over the next two weeks, the schedule really starts to become difficult. San Jose has only two games remaining against teams on the outside looking in, and is just 2-6-2 in its last 10 against teams currently in a playoff spot. If that trend continues, the newfound breathing room could start to disappear rather quickly.

Anaheim Ducks (Third in the Pacific, 86 points)

Games Remaining: Nine

On the Docket: 3/21 at Calgary, 3/23 at Winnipeg, 3/25 at Edmonton

Outlook: The Ducks have now won three in a row, including next Sunday against the red-hot New Jersey Devils. They’ll play four of their final five road games in the next nine days, and all but one of their opponents is not in playoff position. Anaheim’s just 15-14-7 away from the Honda Center, though. With the fewest games remaining of any playoff team, the Ducks will help to move up any further.

Colorado Avalanche (First Wild Card, 86 points)

Games Remaining: 10

On the Docket: 3/20 at Chicago, 3/22 vs Los Angeles, 3/24 vs Vegas

Outlook: Give it up for surefire Hart Trophy finalist Nathan MacKinnon and the Avalanche, winners of three of four last week. Other than a slip-up on the second night of a back-to-back in Nashville, Colorado was outright dominant, outscoring opponents 16-7. A midweek matchup against Los Angeles could create some Wild Card separation.

Los Angeles Kings (Second Wild Card, 84 points)

Games Remaining: 10

On the Docket: 3/19 at Minnesota, 3/20 at Winnipeg, 3/22 at Colorado, 3/24 at Edmonton

Outlook: The Kings picked up points in three of four, including on both nights of a back-to-back. Their schedule really picks up this week, as they’ll face three playoff-bound teams from the Central on the road. The struggling Stars remain on their heels, although the Kings have a game in hand.

Dallas Stars (Ninth in the West, 84 points)

Games Remaining: Nine

On the Docket: 3/20 at Washington, 3/23 vs Boston. 3/25 vs Vancouver

Outlook: Is Dallas in the middle of a Lone Star letdown? We wrote last week that a difficult schedule could create openings for the teams chasing them and boy, did it ever. The Stars went 0-2-2 on the week, and picked up just one point against the lottery-bound Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators. They’ll surely relish a matchup against the Canucks in six days, as it’s their only remaining game against a non-playoff team.

St. Louis Blues (10th in the West, 83 points)

Games Remaining: 10

On the Docket: 3/21 vs Boston, 3/23 vs Vancouver, 3/24 at Columbus

Outlook: For the second straight season, it’s not quite time to stick a fork in the St. Louis Blues. Yes, they are once again in the playoff hunt after trading one of their best players at the trade deadline, and won three out of four to move with in a point of the final Wild Card spot. The Blues have now won four of five, and still have an uphill climb ahead. After last season, is it ever safe to rule them out?

The Departed: Calgary Flames (11th in the West, 80 points)

This section is reserved for teams that have fallen out of the playoff picture since our last look at the playoff picture, and the Calgary Flames have earned(?) the inaugural (dis)honor. The Flames failed to keep the door to the playoffs ajar thanks to a 7-4 loss to the Sharks on Friday, and it slammed shut after a 4-0 loss in Sin City on Sunday. They have to jump three teams and cover four points of ground to earn a Wild Card spot. The latest stretch stings, but the Flames will likely look on a four-game, post-trade deadline losing streak as when their playoff hopes burned out.

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.