Instant Replay: Sharks cough up lead, fall to Kings in OT

Instant Replay: Sharks cough up lead, fall to Kings in OT


SAN JOSE – Tanner Pearson scored in overtime to give the Kings a 2-1 win over the Sharks at SAP Center on Tuesday.

On a two-on-one, Pearson flicked in a pass from Jeff Carter less than one minute into the extra session.

Los Angeles swept the home-and-home, and is now just six points behind San Jose in the Pacific Division. The Sharks’ four-game home winning streak was snapped.

The Kings tied it at 1-1 early in the third thanks to Carter. The center drew a hooking minor on Justin Braun, and on the ensuing power play, he redirected a Jake Muzzin pass from between the circle for his 21st of the season.

San Jose picked up its game after that, spurred by some line changes, including Timo Meier getting bumped up to the top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. The rookie was stopped in front of the net with 12:45 to go, and couldn’t quite find a loose puck in front of the net about 30 seconds later after Ward drove it the net.

Melker Karlsson had a wide open net with 11:12 to go, but couldn’t get a handle on a swift pass by Joonas Donskoi.

Los Angeles’ best chance to un-tie it was thwarted by Martin Jones, who knocked away Jordan Nolan’s point blank chance with about six minutes left in regulation.

The Sharks outshot Los Angeles 13-10 in the third, after the Kings had a 24-13 edge after two.

The Kings had the puck more than the Sharks through two periods, but Logan Couture’s first goal in 10 games was the only score through 40 minutes.

Kevin Labanc pushed the puck to his linemate in the neutral zone, and Couture raced ahead. He found space below Peter Budaj’s arm and deposited his 12th goal of the season at 11:56. It was his fourth this season against Los Angeles.

Los Angeles appeared to tie it up with 5:07 to go on the power play, when Alec Martinez’s wrist shot from the circle rattled around in front and went in off of Marian Gaborik. After a video review, though, it was ruled that Gaborik batted the puck into the net with his hand.

The Kings’ best chance to tie it before the second intermission came on a shorthanded breakaway by Anze Kopitar with 20 seconds left, but Jones waited out the Los Angeles captain and got his glove on the backhanded attempt.

The Sharks and Kings conclude their season series on Jan. 18 at Staples Center, their third meeting in a 19-day span.

The Kings are 7-1 in overtime, leading the league in wins. San Jose is 4-2.

Special teams:
The Sharks went 0-for-3 on the power play, and are just 14-for-96 since Nov. 1 (14.5 percent).  

Los Angeles was 1-for-3, scoring one power play goal in each of the four games against San Jose.

Burns took four minor penalties in the two games against Los Angeles, and has five of his nine on the season have come in the last three games.

In goal:
Budaj, who beat the Sharks on Saturday with 18 saves, notched another victory with 26 saves.

Jones fell to 5-3-1 in his career against Los Angeles, allowing two goals on 35 shots.

The Sharks remained without defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who was placed on injured reserve on Monday. David Schlemko also came out with an upper body injury. Mirco Mueller made his season debut, playing his first NHL game since April 9.

Coach Pete DeBoer made one notable line change ahead of the game putting Donskoi with Couture and Labanc and bumping Mikkel Boedker to the third line.

Talented Kings winger Tyler Toffoli missed his sixth in the row.

Up next:
The Sharks host the red-hot Wild on Thursday for the first of three meetings. Minnesota had a 12-game winning streak snapped on Dec. 31 to Columbus, and doesn’t play again until its visit to SAP Center.

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.