Sharks overmatched in loss to Lightning


Sharks overmatched in loss to Lightning


TAMPA, Fla. -- Tyler Johnson broke out a scoring slump just in time to help the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning.

Johnson scored twice in the third period to snap a 15-game drought and the Lightning beat the San Jose Sharks 5-2 Saturday night.

"That's how hockey goes," said Johnson, who entered with four goals. "Sometimes you get the chances and bounces and they don't go your way. Other times, you get those garbage goals that just find a way to go in. Luckily for me I was able to breakthrough."

Nikita Kucherov had two goals and Cory Conacher also scored for the Lightning, who had lost four of six. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 25 saves. Kucherov had one of Tampa Bay's four goals, his 19th, in the third. He entered without a goal over his previous six games.

After Johnson had an in-close backhand power-play goal 1:39 into the third, the center made it 3-1 at 5:49 on a rebound goal after Martin Jones made a nifty save during Victor Hedman's breakaway.

"He's earned it." Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "When you're doing the right things and you're working, it's just a matter of time."

Barclay Goodrow and Justin Braun had goals for San Jose, and Jones stopped 38 shots in his return after missing two games with a lower-body injury.

"Our goalie was outstanding," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "He was by far our best player. We didn't have enough contributions. We would have needed 20 guys, plus Jones' effort."

Goodrow, activated from injured reserve after sitting out seven games, put the Sharks up 1-0 at 16:58 of the first on his first goal since Feb. 13, 2015 that ended a 44-game drought. It was his fifth goal, coming in his 84th career NHL game.

Kucherov tied it at 1 just 27 seconds into the second.

"We had a chance with 20 minutes to go to get some points and we didn't," DeBoer said. "That's a disappointment."

Conacher and Braun also had third-period goals.

Jones turned aside Ryan Callahan's in-close shot that went off a San Jose defender in the first, a period where the Sharks were outshot 15-8. Tampa Bay also dominated second-period shots 16-8.

Tampa Bay's top-ranked power play went 1 for 2 against the Sharks' second-best NHL short-handed unit. San Jose failed on its one man-advantage chance.

NOTES: The Sharks dropped to 7-3-1 on the road. ... San Jose placed RW Joonas Donskoi and D Tim Heed on IR. ... Tampa Bay C Cedric Paquette served a one-game suspension for a boarding penalty Wednesday against Boston. ... Lightning D Braydon Coburn (knee-to-knee hit) didn't play.


Sharks: Complete a four-game trip Monday night at Washington.

Lightning: Play the second of four straight home games Tuesday night against the New York Islanders.

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.