Instant Replay: Penguins return to San Jose, completely dominate Sharks

Instant Replay: Penguins return to San Jose, completely dominate Sharks


SAN JOSE – In the second rematch of the Stanley Cup Final, one team still looks like a contender. The other seemingly has lots of work to do.

The surging Penguins improved to 8-2-2 on the season, embarrassing the Sharks at SAP Center on Saturday night, 5-0.

The Sharks, meanwhile, have yet to find any consistency – either in the results, or with their effort – in losing their third straight game in regulation and dropping to 6-6-0 on the season.

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby scored late in the first period and early in the second to increase the Pittsburgh lead to a commanding 3-0. Martin Jones was pulled after that, but rather than get a jolt from Aaron Dell entering the game, the Sharks continued to play a sloppy and lazy middle frame. Pittsburgh took advantage.

Eric Fehr increased the lead to 4-0 at 2:33 of the second with a wrist shot from the circle on what was the first shot Dell faced. Later, Nick Bonino converted a shorthanded goal from Trevor Daley at 16:28.

San Jose dropped both meetings with the Penguins this season, including a 3-2 loss in Pittsburgh on Oct. 20.

Pittsburgh, which was concluding a four-game road trip, improved to 5-0-1 in its last six.

In the first period, after Chris Kunitz gave the Penguins a lead by finishing off an odd-man rush, the Sharks responded. During one stretch, they recorded 10 straight shots on goal.

Matt Murray made several nice stops on deflected pucks by Joe Pavelski and Melker Karlsson, though, and the Penguins increased their edge to 2-0 when Crosby skillfully banked a puck off of Jones’ skate from behind the goal line at 18:28.

Just 13 seconds into the second, Marc-Edouard Vlasic tried clearing a puck away from in front of the net, but whacked it directly on to Crosby’s stick and it bounded through Jones.

Crosby, who missed the first six games with a concussion, has eight goals and 10 points in his first six games of the season.

The Sharks, who dropped identical 3-2 decisions to Arizona and Calgary earlier in the week, shuffled up their lines prior to puck drop. Tomas Hertl returned to the left wing of the top line, while Patrick Marleau was the third line center for the first time this season.

Special teams

The Sharks were 0-for-5 on the power play, and allowed their first shorthanded goal.

Pittsburgh was 0-for-1, keeping the Sharks’ penalty killing streak intact at 18-for-18 in their last seven games.

In goal

Jones has started 11 of the Sharks’ 12 games, getting lifted for the first time this season. He made a highlight reel stop on Bryan Rust early in the game, but allowed three goals on just seven shots to take the loss.

Dell was playing for the first time since he won his NHL debut in Brooklyn on Oct. 18. He allowed two goals on 18 shots.


Murray got in his second game after missing the first few weeks of the season with a hand injury. He improved to 2-0 with 32 saves.


Matt Nieto returned to the lineup after he was a healthy scratch for the previous five games. Tommy Wingels was a late scratch for reasons that weren’t immediately clear, so Micheal Haley remained in.

Pittsburgh’s Conor Sheary, who scored the overtime winner in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, returned after a seven-game absence due to injury.

Up next

The Sharks’ now begin a season-long six-game road trip that takes them to Washington, Tampa Bay, Florida, Carolina, St. Louis and Arizona. Their next home game is on Nov. 21 against New Jersey, opening a five-game homestand.

Erik Karlsson unveils Sharks' black third jersey with an on-ice skate

San Jose Sharks

Erik Karlsson unveils Sharks' black third jersey with an on-ice skate

Erik Karlsson did not play for the Sharks in Saturday's preseason game against the Vegas Golden Knights, but he still managed to suit up. 

Karlsson took the ice in front of the fans at SAP Center as a Shark for the first time, all while wearing San Jose's newest uniform. He officially unveiled a black alternate jersey that the Sharks will wear in 13 home games this season. 

Teal is the only prominent accent color aside from some orange in the shark's eye. It looks like Martin Jones' new mask design offered a bit of a thematic preview of the Sharks' new look.  

The "Stealth" jersey also features a black-and-teal version of San Jose's original secondary logo, a cool nod to the franchise's history. Sharks co-president John Tortora told NBC Sports California's Brodie Brazil in February that the logo would "start showing back up again."

In all, it's the third black jersey in the club's history, and the team's first alternate uniform since Adidas took over as the NHL's jersey manufacturer last season. 

The Sharks will wear the jersey in every Thursday night and Friday night home game -- as well as one Saturday. The full schedule for the uniform is as follows:

  • Thursday, Oct. 18 vs. Buffalo
  • Thursday, Nov. 1 vs. Columbus
  • Saturday, Nov. 3 vs. Philadelphia
  • Thursday, Nov. 15 vs. Toronto
  • Friday, Nov. 23 vs. Vancouver
  • Thursday, Dec. 13 vs. Dallas
  • Thursday, Dec. 20 vs. Winnipeg
  • Thursday, Dec. 27 vs. Anaheim
  • Thursday, Feb. 14 vs. Washington
  • Friday, March 1 vs. Colorado
  • Thursday, March 7 vs. Montreal
  • Thursday, March 14 vs. Florida
  • Thursday, March 28 vs. Chicago

After Erik Karlsson trade, Sharks in line for new defenseman pairings

After Erik Karlsson trade, Sharks in line for new defenseman pairings

SAN JOSE -- Since Peter DeBoer took over as Sharks coach ahead of the 2015-16 season, defenseman Brenden Dillon has played with plenty of partners. Seven defensive pairings have played 500 minutes of five-on-five hockey together in the regular season and playoffs during that stretch, according to Corsica Hockey, and Dillon has played for four. 

He’ll likely join a fifth this season. Dillon’s most regular partner over the last three seasons, Dylan DeMelo, now is in Ottawa after being traded to the Senators in the massive deal that brought two-time Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson to San Jose last week. 

Dillon, like the rest of the Sharks' defensive corps, doesn’t know who he’ll skate with to start the season. But, he said, his experience regularly playing alongside many different players will prove beneficial when he does.

“I think it’ll be to my advantage for sure,” Dillon said Friday at the Sharks' practice facility. “I’m definitely excited. We don’t really know what the lineups are going to kind of shake out as exactly. I think even during the regular season in past years, too, you might start out with a certain guy and finish the game having played with all five guys. … There’s so many different variables.”

Dillon skated with defensive prospect Jeremy Roy on Friday. Marc-Edouard Vlasic paired with Karlsson for the third consecutive practice. Justin Braun, Vlasic’s regular partner to the tune of nearly 3800 regular-season and playoff minutes over the last three years, skated with Burns. 

At least in the Braun and Burns’ case, that was due to availability. Burns’ most common defensive partner last season, Joakim Ryan, played in Thursday night’s preseason game against the Anaheim Ducks, and thus skated in the second session. 

Still, it’s possible Braun will regularly play with someone other than Vlasic for the first time in years. The eight-year veteran last played with someone else for more than 500 five-on-five minutes during the 2013-14 season, when he logged just under 505 such minutes with now-retired defenseman Brad Stuart. 

Braun said there won’t be a big learning curve if he plays with someone other than Vlasic, since he’s played spot minutes with just about everyone else (other than Karlsson). Braun said he’d hope to play a couple preseason games with a new partner, but that practice might be an ideal time to learn their tendencies and develop chemistry. 

“You can learn anywhere,” Braun said. “There’s drills set up where there’s a lot of forechecking. You might chip [the puck], and he’s not there, and you kind of talk about it after. That might be the best place since they’re not scoring goals on you where it counts.”

It might be awhile before DeBoer provides a glimpse into his potential pairings. Karlsson will not play in Saturday’s preseason game against the Vegas Golden Knights at SAP Center, and the Sharks will not cut camp down to one group of up to 26 players (five forward lines, four defensive pairs, and three goaltenders) until Tuesday or Wednesday. 

After Saturday, San Jose will play three more preseason games before hosting Anaheim in the regular-season opener Oct. 3. Who Karlsson, and the rest of the defense, play with then is still to be determined, according to DeBoer. 

“We’ll see,” DeBoer said when asked if he envisioned Karlsson and Vlasic as a long-term possibility. “We’ve had a couple practices, but honestly I’ve got a bunch of different things rolling around in my head. The nice thing about getting [Karlsson] now is that it’s not a trade deadline where you’ve basically got six weeks to figure it out.”

DeBoer added that he hopes his pairings that open the season will stick together stick throughout the season, but he knows the nature of a long schedule will require changes. As Braun and Dillon both noted, that can happen during the ebb and flow of an individual game, too.

No matter who plays with whom, Dillon said he’s confident any new-look pairings will be able to become comfortable. 

“I think that’s just going to come with time,” Dillon said. “But, for us as a group, I think we can all cover for each other if we’re struggling a bit. At the same time, I think when we’re all going well, it’s going to be a tough group to beat.”