NHL Gameday: Karlsson returns, Sharks go for first win vs Coyotes

NHL Gameday: Karlsson returns, Sharks go for first win vs Coyotes

Programming note – Sharks-Arizona coverage starts today at 6:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California


Sharks: 12-9-1, 25 points, 2nd Pacific Division
Arizona: 8-10-2, 18 points, 7th Pacific Division


***The Sharks are 0-1-1 against Arizona this season, losing 3-2 on Nov. 1 and by the same score on Nov. 19 in overtime, both on the road. San Jose has outshot the Coyotes 86-56 through two meetings. Goalie Mike Smith made 43 saves in the most recent game, and will go again tonight.

“We’ve outshot them the last two games by quite a wide margin but haven’t gotten results,” Pete DeBoer said. “We have to find a way to turn the effort and the shots into a win. Smith is good, he’s got a great record against us. We’ve got to find a way to get to him, get traffic, get some tough goals.”

Martin Jones will start for the Sharks, who also have a game on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

***Melker Karlsson will return after a seven-game absence from blocking a shot on Nov. 12. He’ll play on the fourth line with Micheal Haley and center Ryan Carpenter. DeBoer mentioned on Monday that Carpenter looks “more confident” than last season, when he managed to get in one NHL game.

The 25-year-od Carpenter agreed. “I’ve been a pro for a little longer so maybe a little more confident. I feel like I had a better training camp this year, too, so maybe that’s where you build confidence there, just by playing well. When you play well at the next level that’s how you build your confidence, naturally.”

The Sharks’ fourth line generated a goal against Anaheim on Saturday when a Dylan DeMelo score capped off a lengthy shift in the offensive zone.

“It was a good feeling,” Carpenter said. “I feel like we got some momentum and some energy there. … It was nice to be able to do that.”

***The Sharks will conclude a five-game homestand tonight, winning three of the first four. They are in the middle of a stretch of 11 games in 18 days, and would like to finish this week off strong before enjoying a rare weekend off.

“This has been a really tough stretch both opponent and number of games and short turnover,” DeBoer said. “We wanted to come back [home] and have a good week last week. We did, we went 3-1. We want to have a good week this week with the three games we’ve got.”

Arizona is in last place in the Western Conference, but is coming off of a home-and-home sweep of the first place Edmonton Oilers. 


Sharks: Mikkel Boedker. The Sharks forward was benched for the third period of Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Ducks, and DeBoer indicated that Boedker’s effort has been lagging. The 26-year-old has just two goals, his only points, in 22 games this season. His most recent goal came against Arizona on Nov. 1, 12 games ago.

Arizona: Mike Smith. The Coyotes goalie will face what could be his favorite team to play against, as Smith has always seemed to give the Sharks fits. In his last 16 against San Jose, he’s 10-4-2 with a 1.66 GAA and .954 SP and four shutouts – two of which have come at SAP Center.


Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Joonas Donskoi – Logan Couture – Joel Ward
Mikkel Boedker – Chris Tierney – Kevin Labanc
Micheal Haley – Ryan Carpenter – Melker Karlsson

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Martin Jones (starter)
Aaron Dell

Max Domi – Martin Hanzal – Radim Vrbata
Jamie McGinn – Christian Dvorak – Anthony Duclair
Tobias Rieder – Jordan Martinook – Shane Doan
Lawson Crouse – Laurent Dauphin – Ryan White

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Connor Murphy
Alex Goligoski – Anthony DeAngelo
Mike Stone – Luke Schenn

Mike Smith (starter)
Justin Peters


Sharks: Tommy Wingels (lower body) and Tomas Hertl (right knee sprain) are out.

Arizona: Brad Richardson (broken leg) and Louie Domingue (lower body) are out.


“Everybody has expectations, obviously. It’s always hard to keep confidence up when you don’t score [or] don’t do that well. You’ve got to continue to grind at it and continue to try and make good plays, and just play your game.” – Mikkel Boedker

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.