Sharks show off their post-deadline depth in win over Canucks

Sharks show off their post-deadline depth in win over Canucks

SAN JOSE – Now that the NHL trade deadline has passed, the Sharks know that the players currently in the organization are the ones that they’re going to go to battle with potentially for the next three months. Contributions will be necessary from up and down the lineup if the season is to be extended that long.

On Thursday against the Canucks, Logan Couture led the way with a goal and an assist, centering the Sharks’ most effective line with Mikkel Boedker and Patrick Marleau. But its was rookie Marcus Sorensen that provided the game-winning score, his first career goal in the NHL, while goalie Aaron Dell continued to give the club reliable backup goaltending in a 3-1 win.

“There are times in different games where we need different ingredients, and I think with the group of 23-to-25 guys that we have, we’re looking pretty good,” Couture said.

Sorensen, whose development is part of the reason Nikolay Goldobin was shipped to the Canucks for Jannik Hansen, had a dazzling shift in the second period that eventually resulted in his score. He twirled around in the offensive zone, pushed the puck to linemate Joel Ward, got to the front of the net, and played a Tomas Hertl pass off of his skate before slithering it through at 9:28.

That put the Sharks up to stay, 2-1, before Couture added another goal four-and-a-half minutes later.

“It was a great shift by our line,” Sorensen said. “We were cycling, and I was trying to [crash] the net.”

Sorensen made the most of his chance on the third line, which is where Pete DeBoer put him after he impressed the coach on Tuesday against Toronto.

"He had another strong game for us. He did a lot of good stuff,” DeBoer said. “Glad he got rewarded with the goal. He deserved it. He's making a case to stick around."

Dell didn’t have an overly taxing night, seeing just 18 shots and allowing only Bo Horvat’s redirection in front of the crease on the power play to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead. There were certainly no indications that the organization erred in keeping the 27-year-old around as the backup to Martin Jones, when it was thought that the Sharks might be looking for a more experienced option.

The goaltender, who was starting for just the second time in a non back-to-back situation, figures to get more playing time over the final 19 games than he’s seen so far. He’s pumped for that prospect.

“It's always exciting to get to play a few more games. I kind of prepared for that throughout the year,” Dell said. “[James Reimer] came in last year and gave Jonesy the rest he needed, so hopefully I can do that."

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the win for San Jose is that Sharks played a strong defensive game despite being down one injured defenseman in David Schlemko after the first period. Since the bye week ended the Sharks have allowed just three goals in three games, all wins, including two against Vancouver.

There wasn’t much of an update on Schlemko after the game, although partner Brenden Dillon said it didn’t look like “anything too crazy” after Schlemko tested out whatever was bothering him when the teams came out to start the second before deciding he couldn’t continue.

"He tried it, which is a good sign,” DeBoer said. “He had the ability to get out there and thought he might be able to come back. He didn't obviously, so we'll see how he is tomorrow."

Even if Schlemko can’t go on Sunday at Minnesota, the Sharks have to be confident that someone else can take his spot. The club has gotten contributions from all over the place this season, including on Thursday.

“We’re deep,” Couture said. “That’s all you ask for going into the end of the year and a playoff run. You need a lot of guys to step up.”

Sharks overcome early deficit, injuries to finish road trip with third straight win


Sharks overcome early deficit, injuries to finish road trip with third straight win

VANCOUVER --Timo Meier's second goal of the game snapped a third-period tie and the San Jose Sharks beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-3 on Saturday night for their fourth consecutive victory.

Logan Couture and Kevin Labanc each had a goal and an assist, and Tomas Hertl scored into an empty net with 25 seconds remaining for the Sharks, who are 7-2-0 in their last nine games.

Nikolay Goldobin, Alex Edler and Bo Horvat scored power-play goals and Sam Gagner had two assists for the Canucks, who lost their sixth consecutive game - their longest losing streak of the season.

Goldobin's goal at 10:48 of the first period snapped a scoreless streak of 222 minutes, 57 minutes for the Canucks, who had been shut out in three consecutive losses.

The Sharks had allowed just two power-play goals in their previous 17 games, but gave up three against Vancouver. The only other time San Jose allowed three power-play goals in a game was in an opening-night loss to Philadelphia.

Aaron Dell, making his first start since Feb. 22, made 28 saves for the Sharks. Vancouver's Jacob Markstrom stopped 25 shots.

Meier put the Sharks ahead at 6:07 of the third with a shot from the faceoff circle that went under Markstrom's blocker. The Canucks came close with just over six minutes left, but Hertl scooped a loose puck off the goal line.

Vancouver scored twice with the man-advantage in the second period to tie the game at 3.

The Sharks took a 3-1 lead just 1:47 into the period when Meier tipped in Brenden Dillion's shot from the point.

Horvat started Vancouver's comeback, scoring just 6 seconds into a power play. Dell stopped Gagner's slap shot but Horvat jammed home the rebound. Edler tied it with a blast from the point at 11:48. It was his first power-play goal in 88 games dating to Feb. 17, 2017.

The Sharks scored 1:10 apart in the first period to erase a 1-0 deficit.

Goldobin opened the scoring when he took a pass from defenseman Derrick Pouilot and snapped a shot from the face-off circle that sailed over Dell's shoulder. The San Jose goalie was screened by Jake Virtanen.

Labanc tied it on a power play at 14:48. Joe Pavelski's shot was stopped by Markstrom, but he managed to get his own rebound and passed it to Labanc at the side of the net.

The Sharks went ahead on Couture's 29th of the season at 16:08. He took a feed from Hertl, fought off a check by Virtanen and chipped the puck past Markstrom.

NOTES: Defenseman Chris Tanev returned to Vancouver lineup for his first game since breaking his leg Feb. 8 against Tampa Bay ... San Jose center Melker Karlsson went to the dressing favoring his right leg early in the first period after blocking a shot. ... San Jose's Marc-Edouard Vlasic left in the second period after being hit in the chest by a puck. ... The Canucks' franchise record for a scoring drought is 234 minutes, 52 seconds, set March 16-24, 2016. ... The longest goal drought by a team in the expansion era is 262 minutes, 3 seconds, set by the Minnesota North Stars from Jan. 28-Feb. 6, 1988.


Sharks: vs. New Jersey on Tuesday night.

Canucks: at Vegas on Tuesday night.

Where does Evander Kane's four-goal game rank in Sharks history?

Where does Evander Kane's four-goal game rank in Sharks history?

Sharks winger Evander Kane returns to his hometown of Vancouver on Saturday, fresh off of doing something a Vancouver-born player had not done in nearly 30 years. 

On Friday, Kane became the first such player to score four goals in an NHL game since Hockey Hall of Famer Glenn Anderson, who scored four goals with the Edmonton Oilers against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 19, 1988. It was also the first hat-trick of Kane's career, and just the fourth four-goal game in Sharks history. 

The latter point got us thinking, where does Kane's four-goal effort rank among those games? Using a rigorous, highly scientific process (read: the thoughts of this writer), we've come up with the definitive ranking. 

Without further adieu, we start with another power forward acquired in a midseason trade. 

4. Owen Nolan (Dec. 19, 1995 at Anaheim)

The Final Line: Four goals (Three power play goals), One assist, Six shots on goal

You never forget your first, so we begin with Owen Nolan, the first player to accomplish the feat in franchise history. If not for Kane and another entrant on this list (no spoilers), Nolan would still be the fastest to do it, scoring four goals in just his 27th game and just under two months after the Sharks acquired him from the Colorado Avalanche.

Nolan struck quickly throughout. He opened the scoring just 1:22 into the game against the then-Mighty Ducks, then scored his second only 57 seconds into the second period. His third and fourth, both on the power play, came 34 seconds apart in that same period. 

Just as Kane did on Friday, Nolan scored as many goals as the opposing team in a 7-4 win. It didn't quite have the same impact on the playoff race, however, as San Jose picked up its seventh win....of the entire season (in its 34th game) thanks to Nolan.

3. Patrick Marleau (Jan. 23, 2017 at Colorado)

The Final Line: Four goals (including the game-winner), Six shots on goal

The 1,459th time was the charm for the longest-tenured player in Sharks history, and the then-37-year-old Marleau became the second-oldest since 1987 to score four in a game. The oldest, Martin St. Louis, actually reached the feat against the Sharks as a 38-year-old in 2014. 

Marleau scored all four goals in a span of 13-and-a-half minutes in the third period, which began with the game tied at one. Three of those goals constituted a natural hat trick, in just a 7:42 stretch.

This game also jumpstarted Marleau's pursuit of a major milestone, as the goals were No. 494, 495, 496, and 497 of his career. He scored No. 500 a week-and-a-half later, but the four-goal game gave Marleau yet another signature moment in teal. 

2. Evander Kane (Mar. 16, 2018 at Calgary)

The Final Line: Four goals, Seven shots on goal 

Of all the players to score four goals in Sharks history, Kane certainly had the best timing. With San Jose in the thick of a playoff race and in need of a win, the newly-acquired forward delivered. 

He only needed eight games to score four goals for the first time in teal, but needed 565 for the first hat-trick of his career. The exuberance (and relief) was palpable after Kane scored his third, and that goal put the Sharks up by two. 

The desperate Flames, now four points out of the playoffs, would never get closer than that again, and Kane essentially put the game out of reach with his fourth goal 62 seconds into the third period. No Sharks player has scored four goals in a playoff game, but this one comes the closest. 

1. Tomas Hertl (Oct. 9, 2013 vs New York Rangers)

The Final Line: Four goals (One power play goal), Seven shots on goal

In just his third NHL game, and in front of his griflriend and mother visiting from the native Czech Republic, Tomas Hertl became then the fourth-youngest player in NHL history (now the sixth-youngest) to score a hat-trick-plus-one. If not for Auston Matthews scoring four in his debutHertl has arguably the most memorable four-goal game by a young player to his name. 

Of all the Sharks to score four in a game, Hertl did it the most efficiently. He only played 11:12 in that game against the Rangers, and still scored four goals on seven shots. 

Yes, it was in an October blowout, but no other four-goal game has had the same impact on the rest of the hockey world. From a fourth goal tailor-made to go viral, to the ensuing Hot Takes ("Hertl's disrespecting the game!") and subsequent jokes (Joe Thornton's still looking for four goals) it spawned, Hertl captivated the hockey world in a way no other Shark that's scored four has, and all by living his "dream, no reality."