Instant Replay: Sharks swat away Flyers on Dell's first NHL shutout

Instant Replay: Sharks swat away Flyers on Dell's first NHL shutout


SAN JOSE – It took him until his 19th season, but Patrick Marleau finally has a game-winning goal against every team in the National Hockey League other than the one he’s always played for.
Marleau and Justin Braun scored goals, and Aaron Dell recorded his first NHL shutout in a 2-0 Sharks win at SAP Center on Friday night over Philadelphia.
Marleau’s power play goal was the only score through two periods. He pounced on the rebound of a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot that hit goalie Steve Mason in the chest, depositing his 10th of the season.
That was all the Sharks would need, as Dell made 21 saves in beating his former college coach at the University of North Dakota, Dave Hakstol.
The Pacific Division-leading Sharks won their fourth straight game, and eighth in their last nine overall. Philadelphia dropped to 1-4-1 in its last six following a 10-game winning streak.
Ironically, it was Marleau who was demoted to the second power play unit in place of Joel Ward, as the Sharks looked to reverse their recent struggles on a man advantage.
After two days off to practice the Sharks came out flying at the start, recording nine of the first 10 shots on goal. Mason made a remarkable save on Melker Karlsson two-and-a-half minutes into the game, though, and later got his pad on a Timo Meier attempt from the slot a little more than five minutes in.
Dell’s best save may have been his first one, when he denied Dale Wiese’s shot from the circle on a two-on-one about four minutes into the game.
The Flyers made a push in the third period and nearly tied it with 5:42 to go, but Claude Giroux’s slap shot struck iron.
Anthony Stolarz, who entered the game to start the second period, kept the Flyers within striking distance. The rookie got in front of a Joonas Donskoi shot on a two-on-one rush in the second period, sealed off the post on Marleau’s wraparound try early in the third, and turned aside Kevin Labanc’s redirection with 15:30 to go in the third.
He couldn’t stop Justin Braun, though, who hissed in a wrist shot on a rush with 4:37 to go, after Joe Pavelski’s backhand pass beautifully set up the defenseman.
Vlasic had to be helped to the dressing room with 30 seconds left in the game, when a Shayne Gostisbehere shot deflected into the defenseman’s face.
The Sharks improved to 17-1-2 against Philadelphia in the last 20 meetings, including six straight wins. They meet for the second and final time on Feb. 11 at Wells Fargo Center.
Special teams 
The Sharks finished 1-for-3 on the power play with their two new units, generating six shots on goal. They are 5-for-38 over the last 10 games (13.1 percent).
Philadelphia was 0-for-2, and is just 1-for-21 in its last eight games. The Sharks are 15-for-15 on the penalty kill over their last six games.
In goal
Dell’s start was just his second in the last 15 games, presumably allowing Martin Jones an extra day of rest for Saturday’s division game in Los Angeles. 
All five of Dell’s starts have come against Metropolitan Division teams, including two each against Carolina and the Islanders.
Mason was forced to leave the game after the first period. With 3:46 to go in the opening frame, a Brent Burns shot somehow went inside his blocker, and the goalie was seen flexing his hand while being attended to by the team trainer. He stayed in the game at the time, but did not return to the crease after the intermission.
David Schlemko drew back into the lineup after three games as a healthy scratch. He replaced Dylan DeMelo on the third pair with partner Brenden Dillon.
Up next
The Sharks will visit Staples Center for a New Year’s Eve matchup with the Kings on Saturday night. Los Angeles comes to San Jose for the back end of the home-and-home on Jan. 3.
The Sharks have won the first two meetings against their chief rival, one in each building.

The anatomy of Jannik Hansen's recently-broken scoring drought after nearly one year


The anatomy of Jannik Hansen's recently-broken scoring drought after nearly one year

Jannik Hansen's game-winning goal against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday marked the first time he scored in 355 days. 

Hansen last scored on Mar. 30, 2017 against the Edmonton Oilers, his second goal with the Sharks following an in-season trade. His scoring drought, in all, lasted 44 regular season games, 50 if you include the postseason. 

How exactly does a goal-scoring drought last nearly a year? The right (wrong?) circumstances all need to come together, and that was certainly the case for Hansen for much of the last year.

For one, the Danish forward was in and out of the lineup. San Jose played 83 regular season and postseason games between Hansen's second and third goals, and he did not play in 33 of those games. Plenty of players have had rough 50-game stretches, and that's often without not playing for weeks at a time, as Hansen has done a couple of times this season. 

When Hansen did draw into the lineup this year, however, he wasn't generating offense at the same rate he had in the past. This season, Hansen's five-on-five shot rate (6.19 shots per 60 minutes), shot attempt rate (10.53 individual corsi per 60), and unblocked shot attempt rate (8.95 individual fenwick per 60) were all down from his career averages, according to Corsica Hockey. 

That decline is natural, considering Hansen turned 32 just six days ago. Those rates were not down enough, however, to expect him to fail to score in his first 39 appearances this season. Naturally, a long run of bad luck played a big role in Hansen's dry spell.

Hansen went 0-for-66 in shots over the 50 consecutive regular season and playoff games in which he did not score. He's a career 11-percent shooter, and had he shot at his career average, he would have scored seven goals during that time. That feels about right for a bottom-six forward. 

In many ways, all of these factors fed into one another. Hansen wasn't generating shots or scoring, then was scratched, then couldn't find the back of the net when he returned and was scratched again. All the while, fellow fourth-liners Marcus Sorensen (26.7 percent shooting percentage this season), Joel Ward (14.3 percent) and Barclay Goodrow (13.2 percent) were converting on their chances, forcing Peter DeBoer's hand. 

His possession play has been solid all season (50.74 percent corsi-for, per Natural Stat Trick), but the offense hasn't followed. When it does, as was the case Tuesday night, he can be an effective fourth-line forward, and the goal on Tuesday bought him more time to prove it. 

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.