Instant Replay: Sharks fall to Rangers, suffer first loss of season

Instant Replay: Sharks fall to Rangers, suffer first loss of season


NEW YORK – After getting shut out in their previous two trips to Madison Square Garden, the Sharks finally broke through with four goals on Monday night.

Unfortunately for them, the Rangers scored a few more in giving San Jose (2-1-0) its first loss of the regular season, 7-4.

The Rangers took control in the second period, scoring a pair to open up a 3-1 lead.

Rick Nash gave New York the lead for good at 4:15. Ryan McDonagh purposely shot the puck wide of the net, and it rebounded off of the end boards to Nash’s stick in front and he tapped it through Martin Jones’ legs.

Chris Kreider’s remarkable, bar-down wrist shot from the circle on a New York power play gave the home team a two-goal cushion at 10:21. Kreider was momentarily shaken up on a dangerous Brenden Dillon hit less than two minutes earlier, resulting in the power play.

The Sharks had a pair of power plays of their own before the intermission, but struggled to get set up in the offensive zone.

In the third, Brent Burns cut the lead to 3-2. Joe Pavelski found him alone in the high slot, and Burns whipped a wrist shot though at 9:13.

Burns, though allowed Kevin Hayes to sneak behind him about three minutes later, and Hayes easily redirected in a pass from Jesper Fast at 12:16 to restore the two-goal cushion. Just 21 seconds later, more soft defensive zone play resulted in an easy conversion for Jimmy Vesey for the rookie’s first-ever NHL goal.

San Jose kept up the fight. Again it was Burns, whose wrist shot form the top of the circle with 6:03 to go brought the Sharks back to within 5-3. Pavelski redirected a Burns shot one minute and 31 seconds later for his first goal, cutting the New York lead to 5-4.

A Mats Zuccarello shot into an empty net at 18:24 ended any thoughts of a San Jose comeback, though, and another empty netter by Michael Grabner capped the scoring.

San Jose fell to just 4-11-2 all-time at Madison Square Garden. The Sharks suffered 4-0 shutouts in each of their previous two trips here in 2014 and 2015.

The teams traded scores in the first period. Marc Staal powered a one-timer clean through Jones at 12:06, while Couture finished off a pass from Pavelski at 19:02 with San Jose on a two-man advantage.

Pavelski finished with three assists to go with his third period goal.

Special teams:
San Jose finished 1-for-4 on the power play. The Sharks converted on the two-man advantage, but struggled for the rest of the night. Overall, they are 3-for-12 on the season.

The Rangers had three power plays, scoring once.

In goal:
Jones, who has played each of the first three games, took the loss with five goals allowed on 27 shots. He’s 1-2-0 all-time versus New York.

Backup Antti Raanta got the start for New York and improved to 2-1-0 in his career against San Jose with 27 saves. It was his first game of the season.

Coach Pete DeBoer said Monday morning that Aaron Dell would “probably” make his NHL debut on Tuesday night.

Burns played in his 800th career NHL game.

New York was without two key defensemen, as Kevin Klein (back) and Dan Girardi (groin) were unavailable.

Up next:
After playing in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, the Sharks have a Stanley Cup Final rematch with the Penguins on Thursday in Pittsburgh. The road trip ends on Saturday in Detroit in the Sharks’ final game at Joe Louis Arena.

Kane leads Sharks to critical win on four-goal night

Kane leads Sharks to critical win on four-goal night


CALGARY, Alberta -- Evander Kane scored four goals to lead the San Jose Sharks past the Calgary Flames 7-4 on Friday night.

Tomas Hertl had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who have won three straight and four of five. Kevin Lebanc and Eric Fehr also scored, and Martin Jones made 30 saves.

It was the first NHL hat trick for Kane, acquired from Buffalo just before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.

Micheal Ferland had a goal and an assist for the Flames, who are four points out of a playoff spot. Troy BrouwerMark Jankowski and Johnny Gaudreau also scored for Calgary.

Three nights after stopping all 28 shots he faced against the Oilers, Calgary goalie Mike Smith had a rough outing as he made just 14 saves before being replaced by David Rittich early in the third period. Rittich went on to stop all seven shots he faced in a relief appearance.

The Sharks opened the scoring six minutes into the first period when Kane's wrist shot beat Smith to the glove side.

The Flames pulled even at 16:42 when Brouwer chipped a pass from Curtis Lazar into the top corner behind Jones. Matt Stajan stole the puck from Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon behind the San Jose net to get the play started.

Jankowski took a pass from linemate Garnet Hathaway and wired a shot to the top corner, glove side behind Jones to put Calgary up 2-1 at 2:10 of the second period.

Kane then redirected Dillon's point shot past Smith at 6:29 before Gaudreau cut into the slot and snapped a shot past Jones at 10:16 to put Calgary back up by a goal.

That lead lasted just 1:26 as Lebanc fired a shot from a sharp angle into the top corner past Smith to pull the Sharks into a 3-all tie.

Kane completed his hat trick at 16:32 when he swatted in his own rebound before Hertl poked the puck through Smith's legs with 1:58 remaining before the second intermission.

The Sharks added an insurance goal 62 seconds into the third when Kane redirected a pass from Joe Pavelski past Smith.

Ferland backhanded a shot past Jones to pull Calgary within two goals with 5:35 left in regulation and Rittich on the bench for an extra attacker. Fehr rounded out the scoring with an empty-net goal 1:37 later.

NOTES: Jankowski suited up for the Flames after sitting out Tuesday's 1-0 win over Edmonton. Fellow forward Kris Versteeg returned to Calgary's lineup after missing the past 49 games with a hip injury. ... Gaudreau extended his point streak to six games (three goals, five assists).


Sharks: At the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.

Flames: At the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday.

Jones set for big workload down the stretch


Jones set for big workload down the stretch

Sharks goaltender Martin Jones is on pace for the lightest overall workload of his career as a starter. After starting 65 games in his first two seasons in San Jose, Jones can only play a maximum of 62 if he appears in each of the team's 12 remaining games. 

Yet simultaneously, he is also on pace for the largest stretch-run workload of his career. Jones will make his 10th straight start, and 51st overall, Friday night in Calgary. 

Friday will also mark his eighth consecutive start since the trade deadline. Over the last two seasons, Jones made 13 and 14 starts, respectively, from the deadline onwards. 

It's easy to envision Jones far surpassing that workload. Entering Mar. 16 each of the last two years, the Sharks held, respectively, 10-point and 18-point leads over the West's ninth-place team, the closest among the squads on the outside looking in at the postseason. As a result, James Reimer and Aaron Dell spelled Jones for eight and seven starts, respectively, to keep him rested ahead of the postseason. 

This year, San Jose's only three points clear of the ninth-place Anaheim Ducks. There's also only one back-to-back remaining on the post-deadline schedule, compared to five in 2016-17 and two in 2015-16, and 10 of the next 12 games are against teams within four points of a playoff spot. 

Taking all of that into consideration, Jones should pretty easily exceed the mark of 14 post-trade deadline starts he set last season and ultimately start more than 60 games for the third consecutive season, barring injury. 

Should the Sharks clinch a playoff spot, it will be fair to wonder what kind of effect Jones' stretch-run starts will have on his postseason performance. Jones posted a .923 save percentage in San Jose's run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016, and a .935 save percentage in the first round last year after receiving a good amount of time off. 

But the Sharks have to get there first, and it's understandable they will rely on Jones in order to do so. The recently-extended Aaron Dell remains one of the league's better backups, but has come a bit back down to earth this season (.914 save percentage) after earning the role last year (.931). 

Jones, for his part, has handled the increased workload well so far, winning five of nine games and posting a .922 save percentage. How well handles his 10th consecutive start, and any that follow, will have a profound impact on the Sharks' hopes of making the playoffs.