Instant Replay: Preds outlast Sharks in 3OT, series tied 2-2


Instant Replay: Preds outlast Sharks in 3OT, series tied 2-2


NASHVILLE –- Mike Fisher scored in the third overtime, giving Nashville a 4-3 win in Game 4 of their second round series with the Sharks on Thursday night.

The game was the second-longest in Sharks franchise history.

On the deciding goal, Fisher corralled a Mattias Ekhom rebound in front of the crease and curled it over the line at 11:12.

The home team has now captured all four games in the series, which shifts back to SAP Center for Game 5 on Saturday. The best road team in the NHL in the regular season, San Jose had not lost consecutive games on the road since Dec. 18-20.

San Jose has now dropped both of its overtime games in the playoffs, including Game 3 to Los Angeles in the first round.

Prior to the winner, an apparent Joe Pavelski goal in the first overtime was waved off after a lengthy review.

The Sharks captain plowed into Pekka Rinne – perhaps helped by Paul Gaustad – while trying to play an airborne puck with his hand. The disc sat on the goal line before a prone Pavelski smacked it across at 7:34, but the league’s Situation Room decided it was “incidental contact,” thereby “preventing Rinne from doing his job in the crease.”

Martin Jones kept 3-3 at 7:18 of the third overtime, sealing his five hole on Colin Wilson’s breakaway attempt after Justin Braun was caught out of position.

The game was tied at 2-2 after two periods when Brent Burns gave the Sharks their first lead in the third period on the power play, his second score of the night. He passed the puck to Logan Couture, who quickly slid it back, before blasting in a one-timer that deflected off of Roman Josi at 6:48 of the final frame.

Nashville kept up the pressure, though, and re-tied it on James Neal’s goal with 4:21 left in regulation, when he pounded home a Ryan Ellis rebound. Paul Martin failed to clear the puck out of the zone with a backhand, leading to the score.

That’s where the game stood until Fisher ended it at 1:03 a.m. Friday morning, local time.

It didn’t take long for the Preds to take the lead, when Wilson cleaned up a loose puck in front of the net just 41 seconds into the game. Ellis’ shot hit Joonas Donskoi in front of the net before Wilson spotted it for his fourth goal.

Less than two minutes later, Burns tied the game on a wrist shot from a bad angle that beat Rinne up high at 3:08.

Nashville took a 2-1 edge on Mike Fisher’s second goal of the series, when Jones left a big rebound off of his arm on a Neal blast. Fisher slammed it home at 9:50 of the first period.

The Sharks, who were generally outplayed in the opening frame, got going in the second after coincidental minors to Filip Forsberg and Tommy Wingels at 6:38. San Jose had a pair of great chances to score the equalizer during four-on-four, but Rinne denied Pavelski on a one-timer from the high slot, and later stopped Couture streaking towards the net.

San Jose did get the tying goal at 14:09, though. At the exact moment a penalty to Josi expired, Joonas Donskoi smacked a shot that deflected past Rinne off of the shaft of Ellis’ stick to make it 2-2.

Nashville challenged that Joel Ward was offside earlier in the sequence to no avail.

The Sharks played their first multiple-overtime game in the playoffs since April 12, 2012, when Marty Havlat scored the game-winner in St. Louis. The longest game in franchise history was a four-overtime game against Dallas on May 4, 2008.

The Sharks are 4-9 all-time when a series is tied at two games apiece.

Special teams
Each team had a pair of power plays throughout the lengthy overtime, but did not convert.

The Sharks were officially 1-for-5 on the power play, including their failed chance at the end of the second overtime, although Donskoi’s marker occurred as the penalty box door was opening for Josi. San Jose is 4-for-14 in the series.

Nashville finished 0-for-5. The Preds are 3-for-15 in the series and just 4-for-41 in the playoffs.

In goal
Jones allowed four goals on 45 shots to suffer the loss.

Rinne allowed more than two goals for just the second time in his last six games. He made 44 saves, including a dandy on Tomas Hertl in the second overtime.

Wilson increased his point streak to five games, with three goals and three assists over that span.

Roman Polak was hurt late in the first period when the defenseman blocked a Shea Weber slap shot on a Nashville power play, but he returned in the second.

Neither team altered its lineup from Game 3, as Nashville’s Mike Ribeiro was again a healthy scratch.

Up next
The Sharks will return home for Game 5, where they are 3-1 so far in the postseason, winning their last three. Nashville is 3-3 on the road.

In the other Western Conference second round series, Dallas and St. Louis are tied at two games apiece. The Stars won Game 4 in overtime on Thursday, 3-2.

Aaron Dell lifts Sharks to big win vs. Canucks, earns another start


Aaron Dell lifts Sharks to big win vs. Canucks, earns another start

SAN JOSE - The Sharks named Aaron Dell the first star on the evening after they defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 at SAP Center on Saturday. Really, it would have been silly to give that first star to anyone else.

But in San Jose's first win with Bob Boughner behind the bench, the 30-year-old backup netminder didn't just keep the team in front of him in the game. He also earned himself his first back-to-back opportunity of his 2019-20 campaign, with Boughner all but confirming after the win that Dell would get the start over Martin Jones when the Sharks host the Coyotes on Tuesday.

Earlier in the season, Jones might have gotten the nod to start Tuesday's game regardless of how Dell played on Saturday. But this is Boughner's team now. And the interim head coach is going to play whoever the hot hand is.

"This is a competition," Boughner told reporters after San Jose's victory over Vancouver. "Both guys are good goalies."

Despite an up-and-down first few months of the season, Dell came up big in his first start of Boughner's tenure. He had a shutout bid going against the Canucks up until 7:57 in the third period. Sure, he let two goals in late, but he also strung together some highlight reel-worthy stops to stymie Vancouver's mounting offensive push. Dell stopped 33 of 35 shots, improving to 18-6-3 in his career when recording 30 or more saves in a contest. Needless to say, the performance added to Dell's glowing resume against the Canucks, who he holds a 6-1-0 all-time record against.

"He was our best player," Boughner said of Dell. "He made some key saves at key times and kept us in it when we were starting to take on water. That's what a goalie does in a win like that" 

Teammate Timo Meier agreed with his new coach

"Definitely wouldn't have been able to win without him," Meier said. "He was really solid in net. He played great for us. He's definitely a huge part of this win. He kept us in the game."

Although Dell will start San Jose's next game, Jones won't be sitting around waiting around for his next start. No. 31 is expected to get some extra practice time in with newly-appointed goalie coach Evgeni Nabokov, which Boughner sees as a big positive for San Jose's goaltending tandem.

"Jones is going to get a chance to work with Nabby for a few days, which is an advantage for us," Boughner said.

As for Dell's next outing, it's anyone's guess how he will play in a second straight start. He's 2-2-0 lifetime in back-to-back starts and, again, hasn't played consecutive games yet this season. If his next start is anything like his start on Saturday night, however, the Sharks should be in a good position to get another win.

Of course, San Jose's success won't start and end with how Dell plays on Tuesday against Arizona. The Sharks might have gotten into the win column on Saturday, but they still have work to do to improve the game -- mainly when it comes to playing tight defense for a full 60 minutes.

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"It's just one game so we've got to string some (wins) together," Marc-Edouard Vlasic said after Saturday's win. "We played better. We stuck more to our system. Turned (the puck) over too many times, but other than that, we played the way we wanted to."

"It's a start," Meier said. "We know there are still a lot of things we need to clean up, but it's a step in the right direction."

Sharks takeaways: What we learned in skid-busting 4-2 win over Canucks


Sharks takeaways: What we learned in skid-busting 4-2 win over Canucks


SAN JOSE - It wasn't the cleanest game, nor was it the most dominant. And boy, did it get dicey there at the end. But heck, it was a victory all the same for the San Jose Sharks.

For the first time in the month of December, Team Teal (16-17-2) put a notch in the win column, holding on late to defeat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2.

Here are three takeaways from Saturday's game at SAP Center.

Still in search of that full 60

Perhaps San Jose's biggest issue in their last game was that they didn't put a full effort on the ice for all three periods, thus not being able to hold onto a one-goal lead with 15 minutes left in the game. While they played significantly better on Saturday against the Canucks (16-13-4), there was still some sag in their defense at points during the second and third periods -- especially late in the third period with the game on the line.

San Jose looked its best during Saturday's game when their defense played extra stingy -- pushing Vancouver's offense to the edges and not giving them enough time to get good shots off. Lucky enough for the Sharks' defense, the guy between the pipes was having a heck of a game.

On that note ...


Maybe it was the slick black goalie pads. Or maybe he was just in the zone. Whatever the reason, Aaron Dell put on quite a solid performance in his first start of the Bob Boughner era. Dell was especially good in the second period when Vancouver made a push and pinned San Jose in their own end. His sprawling split save on a Tanner Pearson wrister toward the end of the second stanza was probably his most notable of the night.

The question now is whether Saturday's game earned Dell a second consecutive start in a row. Boughner appears open to the idea of letting both Dell and Martin Jones duke it out for starts. While Dell's shutout bid was snapped in the third period against the Canucks, he certainly made a case for himself starting another game.

The PK prevailed

Yes, the Sharks still need to tighten up for a full 60 minutes. But one area of their game that came up big was the penalty kill. And against the fourth-best power play in the league, that meant a lot for San Jose.

The kill came up huge in the second half of the third period when Kevin Labanc went to the sin bin and the Sharks were clinging to a 2-1 lead. While it is definitely preferable that the Sharks don't take penalties that late in the game when they've had trouble holding onto leads, at least they were able to get the job done.