Instant Replay: Sharks erupt for six goals, beat Wings to end skid

Instant Replay: Sharks erupt for six goals, beat Wings to end skid


SAN JOSE – It took nearly half of the season, but the Sharks finally reached five goals in a game.

In fact, they even got to six.

Joe Pavelski scored twice, while Joonas Donskoi, Mirco Mueller, Patrick Marleau, and Mikkel Boedker also found the back of the net in a 6-3 Sharks win over Detroit at SAP Center on Saturday night.

The Sharks (24-14-2, 50 points) snapped a three-game losing streak (0-2-1), and earned a season split with Detroit (17-18-5, 39 points).

Trailing 1-0, the Sharks reeled off three straight scores in three-and-a-half minutes before the first intermission and didn’t look back.

Donskoi managed to get a piece of a Tommy Wingels shot from the high slot, and it bounced into the net off of Detroit’s Riley Sheahan. The Red Wings challenged for goalie interference, as Kevin Labanc was creating havoc in front, but the goal stood at 15:59.

Exactly 90 seconds later, Mueller powered home a slap shot from the point with Marleau screening goalie Jared Coreau, giving San Jose a lead it would keep. For Mueller, who was playing his fifth game of the season while Marc-Edouard Vlasic and David Schlemko remain out, it was his first goal since Oct. 30, 2014.

Marleau got his second goal in as many games at 19:31, when his shot hit a defending Danny DeKeyser’s stick blade and fluttered through.

That was it for Coreau, as Petr Mrazek replaced him to start the second.

After a scoreless middle frame, the Sharks upped their lead to 5-1 in the third. Pavelski deflected a low Burns feed to the top corner at 1:50, while Boedker – who was a healthy scratch on Thursday – got a piece of a Burns blast at 4:11, ending a 28-game goal drought for the offseason addition.

Anthony Mantha brought the Wings back to within 5-2 with a rebound goal at 4:43, but Pavelski chipped in his second of the night and 15th of the year at 10:31.

Andreas Athanasiou’s goal with 6:14 to go capped the scoring.

The Sharks improved to 15-6-0 against the Eastern Conference this season. They are 9-8-2 against the Western Conference.

Thomas Vanek put Detroit up 1-0, when his shot from the top of the circle struck Justin Braun’s skate and slid through Martin Jones’ five hole at 12:49 of the first period.

Detroit won the only other meeting of the season between the teams on Oct. 22, 3-0, in what was San Jose’s final game at Joe Louis Arena.

Special teams:
Both of the Sharks’ power plays came in the first period while the game was still scoreless. They failed on both, and are 14-for-99 since Nov. 1 (14.1 percent). Marleau went back to the top power play unit, in place of Ward.

Detroit got just one power play with 2:04 left in regulation, and did not score. The Red Wings are without a road power play goal in 17 games, going an incredible 0-for-51 over that span.

In goal:
Jones ended a personal three-game losing streak with 31 saves, improving to 20-13-2. He has started 12 of the last 13 games.

Coreau was coming off of his first NHL shutout in Los Angeles on Thursday, and allowed three goals on 15 shots before exiting. Mrazek made 17 saves on 20 shots, and got the loss to fall to 9-10-3.

Pavelski recorded his 42nd career multi-goal game, and first this season.

Micheal Haley came out of the lineup for the first time in eight games, allowing Boedker to get back in.

Detroit was without several key players due to injury including Jimmy Howard, Justin Abdelkader, Mike Green and Niklas Kronwall.

Up next:
The Sharks will visit Alberta for a pair of important division games against the Oilers on Tuesday and Calgary on Wednesday. Their game with the Oilers will also be the team’s first appearance at the brand new Rogers Place.

Sharks blow out Devils for season-high fifth straight win

Sharks blow out Devils for season-high fifth straight win


SAN JOSE -- Jannik Hansen scored his first goal of the season and fellow fourth-liners Eric Fehr and Barclay Goodrow also scored to help the San Jose Sharks win their season-high fifth straight game, 6-2 over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.

Logan Couture added his 30th goal of the season, and Joe Pavelski and Mikkel Boedker also scored to give the Sharks a four-point lead over third-place Los Angeles in the Pacific Division with one game in hand.

Brent Burns added three assists and Martin Jones made 26 saves.

The scoring barrage by San Jose spoiled Cory Schneider's return to net for the Devils. Schneider allowed four goals on 14 shots before getting pulled midway through the second period of his first start since March 8. Schneider has lost 11 starts in a row since his last win for the Devils on Dec. 27.

Taylor Hall scored his 32nd goal of the season and Blake Coleman also scored for the Devils, who lead Florida by just one point in the race for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Panthers have two games in hand.

After Hansen and Fehr scored in the first period, Goodrow chipped one in midway through the second period on a surprising night of scoring from the fourth line when he beat Schneider on a 2-on-1.

Couture then scored 40 seconds later on San Jose's first shot against Keith Kinkaid for his third career 30-goal season. Boedker added San Jose's second power-play goal of the night late in the second and the rout was on.

The Sharks got off to a fast start in their first game back from a 3-0 Canadian road trip, scoring three goals in the first period and killing 1:20 of a two-man advantage for New Jersey.

The teams traded goals to start with Fehr beating Schneider over the shoulder from a bad angle and Hall answering when he stole a bouncing puck from Justin Braunand beat Jones with a quick shot.

San Jose then scored twice in a span of less than three minutes to take the lead. Pavelski tipped in a shot from Kevin Labanc on the power play to give the Sharks the lead.

Then after Jones denied Damon Severson from in close at one end, Dylan DeMelo sent a long pass that Hansen chased down and then beat Schneider on a breakaway for his first goal since March 30, 2017.

NOTES: DeMelo has 10 assists this month. ... San Jose D Brenden Dillon has a five-game point streak. ... Devils F Miles Wood (upper body) was scratched and Jesper Bratt played in his place.


Devils: Visit Pittsburgh on Friday.

Sharks: Host Vegas on Thursday.

With Devils in town, Sharks will get firsthand look at top contender for MVP


With Devils in town, Sharks will get firsthand look at top contender for MVP

As the season winds down, whispers surrounding players’ awards candidacies are turning into full-blown conversations. None are more interesting than those surrounding the Hart Trophy, awarded to “the player judged to be the most valuable to his team,” according to the NHL’s criteria.

The Sharks have already seen their fair share of MVP candidates since the trade deadline, and will encounter yet another one on Tuesday when Taylor Hall and the New Jersey Devils stop by SAP Center. They’ll see a couple more beyond Hall over the next three weeks, too.

Who do we think has the best case? With no disrespect meant to Nikita Kucherov or Anze Kopitar, Hart Trophy candidates that the Sharks won’t play before the playoffs, we’ll look at the ones the Sharks have played since the deadline or will play before the end of the regular season.

The Dark Horses
Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals: The demise of the ‘Great Eight’ was greatly exaggerated. In his 13th NHL season, the 32-year-old is tied for the league lead in goals (43), 11th in points (78), and has led a depleted Capitals roster to the precipice of a third-straight division title. That probably won’t be enough to earn his fourth Hart Trophy, but this is undoubtedly one of Ovi’s best seasons.

Eric Staal, Minnesota Wild: Staal was a pleasant surprise when he scored 65 points last year, but has been even better this season. He’s tied for fourth in the in goals (39), tied for fifth in even strength goals (26), tied for 19th in points (71), and leading his team in each category as a 33-year-old. The Wild are a near-lock for the postseason at this point, and a resurgent Staal deserves much of the credit.

The Frontrunners
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers: McDavid’s candidacy comes down to where you fall on the “non-playoff players winning MVP” debate, but his value to the lottery-bound Oilers cannot be denied. Edmonton is 28-19-3 when he’s scored a point, and 3-17-2 when he hasn’t.

The former is about a 97-point pace in the standings over an 82-game season, while the latter is about a 30-point pace. In other words, the Oilers are basically a playoff team when McDavid scores, and historically bad when he doesn’t.

We’re sympathetic to questions about how valuable a player can be when his team will finish so far out of the postseason. However, imagining how much worse the poorly-constructed Oilers would be without him makes him a worthy candidate alone.

Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche: The Colorado Avalanche were 31 points worse than the league’s second-worst team last season, and finished 46 points out of the postseason. A full offseason with second-year coach Jared Bednar, as well as some under-the-radar acquisitions have helped the Avalanche’s remarkable turnaround into a Wild Card team, but Nathan MacKinnon is undoubtedly the catalyst.

The former No. 1 pick has put it all together this season, and is tied-for-second in points (89) with McDavid, despite playing eight fewer games. His 1.39 points per game are the most in the league, as are his 3.49 points per 60 minutes of five-on-five play, according to Natural Stat Trick (minimum 500 minutes played).

The Avalanche is the league’s fifth-worst five-on-five puck possession team overall (47.42 percent corsi-for), but are right around league-average with MacKinnon on the ice (50.96 percent). He’d be a very worthy Hart Trophy winner, and likely would be the clear-cut frontrunner if not for the man leading the Devils into SAP Center on Tuesday.

The Favorite
Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils: McDavid is not the only No. 1 pick the Oilers drafted that’s in the MVP conversation, but he’s the only one still on their roster. The other is Taylor Hall, who has the best Hart Trophy case in our eyes.

Hall strikes the sweet spot between McDavid’s case, as a superstar with little support around him, and MacKinnon’s, as an emergent force leading a resurgence, and he has a 26-game point streak to his name. He sits outside the top 10 in points (77), goals (31), and assists (46), but has scored points at a higher rate per game (1.15) than all but six qualifying players.

He also doesn’t have Mikko Rantanen or Leon Draisaitl skating alongside him as MacKinnon and McDavid do, nor does he have a supporting cast like Kucherov and Kopitar. Of all the players the Sharks have and will face down the stretch, Hall’s been the player most valuable to his team this season.