NHL Gameday: Sharks face Bruins just after a coaching change

NHL Gameday: Sharks face Bruins just after a coaching change

Programming note – Sharks-Bruins coverage starts today at 3:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California


Sharks: 33-17-4, 70 points, 1st Pacific Division
Bruins: 26-23-6, 58 points, 4th Atlantic Division


***The Sharks are 8-1-2 in their last 11, and 4-0-1 in their last five road games, but they enter tonight with back-to-back losses in a shootout and overtime, respectively. They started a four-game road trip in Buffalo on Tuesday, blowing a 4-1 third period lead to lose 5-4 on Evander Kane’s marker in extra time.

“They came back, but I thought we did a lot of good things,” Joel Ward said. “We let them come back. We’ve just got to hunker down, special teams, penalty killing – little details. If we get a chance to put the foot down, we’ve got to take advantage of it.”

The Sharks will make one lineup change, putting Ryan Carpenter back in on the fourth line, moving Micheal Haley to the wing and bumping rookie Marcus Sorensen.

Regarding Carpenter, who has been a healthy scratch for the last two games, Pete DeBoer said: “Energy, reliability, faceoffs, penalty kill – he’s been real good. Excited to get him back.”

DeBoer revealed that Joonas Donskoi, who has missed nine of the last 12 games with an upper body injury, would not be joining the team before the end of the road trip.

***Boston, 3-5-1 in its last nine games, will be playing its first game since firing longtime coach Claude Julien on Tuesday. Bruce Cassidy is the interim coach.

David Backes told that the move was a “wakeup call.”

“It certainly hit me square in the forehead, and there are a lot of guys in here with the same kind of mentality,” Backes said. “We can’t change the past, but we can change the future, prepare better and play better. That’s our focus at the moment.”

The Sharks are preparing for a fired up Bruins team.

“What we’re expecting is a big push,” DeBoer said. “There’s always a big jump in energy when a new guy goes in, and that’s probably the biggest thing we’re preparing for.”

The Bruins canceled their morning skate due to a snowstorm in Boston, so its uncertain if defenseman Zdeno Chara will be in the lineup after he’s missed some practices due to illness.

***Brent Burns’ eight-game road goal scoring streak – the first in NHL history for a defenseman – came to an end on Tuesday in Buffalo. He did have two assists, though, stretching his road point-streak to 14 games.

Only two other defensemen have had longer such scoring streaks, according to Elias: Ray Bourque (16 games; Nov. 7, 1993 – Jan. 25, 1994) and Paul Coffey (15 games; March 6 – April 27, 1995).

“A lot of that stuff is just benefitting from playing with great players, and having chemistry with them, too,” Burns said.

Burns (57 points) is just three points behind Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby for the NHL scoring lead.


Sharks: Ryan Carpenter. Despite the fourth line generating a goal in Buffalo, Carpenter will get a chance to return to the lineup for the first time since Feb. 2 at Vancouver. He has two goals and two assists for four points in 10 games this season, and seemed to be making a push to stay on the team for good when he was somewhat surprisingly scratched.

Bruins: David Pastrnak. The Bruins’ first round pick from 2014 (25th overall) is second on the team with 22 goals and 44 points, trailing only Brad Marchand (23 goals, 55 points). A Czech native and just 20 years old, Pastrnak has two goals and four assists in his last two games, and at least one point in five of his last six games.


Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Mikkel Boedker
Timo Meier – Chris Tierney – Joel Ward
Micheal Haley – Ryan Carpenter – Melker Karlsson

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

Martin Jones (starter)
Aaron Dell

Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Backes
Matt Beleskey – David Krejci – David Pasternak
Frank Vatrano – Ryan Spooner – Jimmy Hayes
Tim Schaller – Dominic Moore – Riley Nash

Zdeno Chara – Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug – Adam McQuaid
Kevan Miller – Colin Miller

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin


Sharks: Joonas Donskoi (upper body) and Dylan DeMelo (broken wrist) are out.

Bruins: Zdeno Chara (illness) is questionable. Austin Czarnik (lower body) is out.


“Welcome home.” – Joe Thornton jokingly to Martin Jones, who was traded to Boston briefly before getting dealt to the Sharks, at Thursday's morning skate

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.