Sharks

Instant Replay: Sharks fall to third in Pacific with loss to Oilers

Instant Replay: Sharks fall to third in Pacific with loss to Oilers

BOX SCORE

EDMONTON – Patrick Maroon scored twice, helping Edmonton take over sole possession of second place in the Pacific Division in a win over the Sharks at Rogers Place on Thursday, 3-2.
 
Connor McDavid added a goal and an assist, as the Oilers (43-25-9, 95 points) pushed San Jose (43-26-7, 93 points) down to third place. Each team has five games remaining, including one more head-to-head matchup next week.
 
It was a tale of two first periods, as the Sharks started strong but saw the Oilers respond to take a lead they would keep.
 
The Sharks came out with the territorial edge, capped off by a Jannik Hansen goal at 1:01, when he slipped in the rebound of a Paul Martin shot after some nice work by linemates Tomas Hertl and Mikkel Boedker. It was the second straight game Hansen opened the scoring.
 
San Jose kept up the pressure, recording 12 of the first 14 shots of the game.
 
Edmonton controlled play over the final half of the opening frame, though, and took a 2-1 lead.
 
First, Cam Talbot’s long outlet pass during a Sharks line change resulted in a two-on-one, as McDavid fed Maroon for a goal at 10:22.
 
McDavid’s first career shorthanded goal was dazzling. He blew past a flat-footed Patrick Marleau, and showed off his quick hands before roofing a backhand over Martin Jones at 17:28.
 
San Jose regrouped in the second period, outshooting the Oilers 14-6, but Marleau tipped a Justin Braun pass just wide on a two-on-none rush with about eight minutes to go. In the closing seconds, Marc-Edouard Vlasic turned the puck over at the Sharks’ offensive blue line, and Leon Draisaitl rang his breakaway chance off of the post.
 
Maroon added insurance at 7:51 of the third. Tomas Hertl slid the puck to the stick of Kris Russell in the Edmonton offensive zone, and Maroon redirected Russell’s floater to push the lead to 3-1.
 
The goal was needed, as Joe Pavelski redirected a Vlasic puck with 6:01 remaining.

The Sharks dropped their seventh game in the last eight, all in regulation, while surging Edmonton claimed its fourth in a row and eighth in the last nine. San Jose had a 10-point lead on Edmonton as recently as two weeks ago on March 16.

Hansen had a Gordie Howe hat trick, assisting on Pavelski’s goal and fighting Adam Larsson in the second period.

The Sharks and Oilers close out their season series on April 6 at SAP Center. They have split the first four.
 
Special teams 
 
After scoring a power play goal in each of their last three games, the Sharks were 0-for-2 on Thursday night. Edmonton was 0-for-3, but scored its sixth shorthanded goal of the season.
 
The Sharks have allowed a shorthanded goal in three of their last four games, and a total of eight this season.
 
In goal
 
Starting his third straight game, Jones allowed three goals on 22 shots to fall to 33-21-6 on the season.
 
Talbot, who leads all NHL goalies in games and minutes by a wide margin, picked up his second straight win with 38 saves.
 
Lineup
 
After serving his one-game suspension, Micheal Haley returned on the fourth line while rookie Kevin Labanc came out of the lineup.
 
On Thursday morning, head coach Pete DeBoer confirmed that Logan Couture (face) would miss the entire three-game road trip.
 
Up next
 
San Jose visits Calgary on Friday for the second of a back-to-back, in an attempt to increase its slim lead over the fourth place Flames. The Sharks are 1-2-0 against Calgary rivals this season, including a 3-2 loss at the Saddledome on Jan. 11.

Sharks not satisfied with single point, believe skid will strengthen them

Sharks not satisfied with single point, believe skid will strengthen them

Well, the Sharks certainly made it interesting. Every time the Ducks scored a goal on Friday evening, the Sharks came back and were able to tie things up. They even got the game-tying goal late in the third period that took their contest into overtime – at least, before they lost 4-3.

Perhaps at a different time of year, getting their first point in five games would feel better. Not on this night. 

The focus remains on the work to be done with just seven games left in the regular season. For Team Teal, they need to clean their game up and get back into the win column.

“It’s better than nothing, but overall, we’re just not finding ways to win games now,” Timo Meier told the media in Anaheim regarding the single point. “We’ve got to find a way to win games. It’s an important time of the year. Playoffs are really close.”

San Jose put a better effort on the ice on Friday than they did the previous evening in LA against the Kings, but the opportunistic Ducks were able to bury more of their chances,

"I don’t think we gave them very much," Peter DeBoer said. "Every chance they got, they stuck in the net, though."

DeBoer was more critical of the team a second night in a row, and rightfully so. Despite outshooting the opposition, the Sharks weren’t able to find the back of the net enough times. They allowed two goals while playing on the penalty kill and tallied 14 giveaways. Plus, outside of Meier’s power-play marker, San Jose still went one-for-five on the man advantage. Despite tying the score up three times, the Sharks couldn’t keep the Ducks from responding.

Clearly, all areas of the game need to be tweaked.

“We’ve got to find a way to get an extra save, and on (the other) end we’ve got to find a way to get another goal,” DeBoer said. “We could’ve used a power-play goal tonight -- another one.”

Perhaps the only silver lining, as Meier put it, is that the Sharks are going through this stretch now instead of once they get into the playoffs. San Jose is still trying to get some of its key players healthy and into the lineup so they can make a deep playoff run with the lines and pairs they want. The goal, at least at the moment, is to make sure this five-game skid is a lesson to learn from and not a prelude to the future.

"Get stronger as a team, get tighter as a group, and learn," Meier said. "It’s going to make us stronger going into the playoffs because there are going to be lots of ups and downs coming up. It’s going to make us stronger and we’ve got to react the right way.”

Sharks takeaways: What we learned from overtime loss to Ducks

Sharks takeaways: What we learned from overtime loss to Ducks

BOX SCORE

All the Sharks needed was a win. Just one win on Friday evening against the Ducks. Two points to salvage the road trip, stop the losing streak, and get back to hunting for first place in the division.

Not surprisingly, Team Teal made things interesting with a game that stayed tied up heading down the stretch. Unfortunately for San Jose, the Ducks were the victors in overtime 4-3.

Here are three takeaways from Friday’s game:

How did the power play look?

In a few words: nonexistent until the third. San Jose had three opportunities on the man advantage through the first 40 minutes of play and couldn’t make anything happen. They even gave up a couple breaks the other way that Dell had to stop. Had the power play converted, the Sharks might’ve been up by two or three goals after two period of play.

Timo Meier came up big with the power-play goal in the third period to tie the score up 2-2. While they couldn’t capitalize on the power-play opportunity immediately followed, Meier’s marker will hopefully open up the flood gates for the power play.

Who else stepped up?

Sharks’ bench boss Peter DeBoer didn’t mince words after Thursday’s loss to the Kings, saying that the team needed someone to step up during this stretch with injured superstars and be a hero.

“You’ve got to get a great performance from somebody in a game like this and I don’t think we got that,” DeBoer said on Thursday.

In all honesty, the whole team looked better even with the loss. The fourth line had a couple very memorable shifts, cycling low and establishing pressure. Joe Thornton’s line was clicking, which was clear from Kevin Labanc’s goal.

Gustav Nyquist was a solo standout – despite not finding the back of the net, he played a heck of a game and had some incredible looks. Of course, you can’t talk about this game without talking about Justin Braun scoring the big game-tying goal in the third frame, which was his first marker since December 2.

How did Aaron Dell do?

In all fairness, Dell gave the Sharks a chance to win for the majority of the game. No. 30 has looked good in his last couple of outings – save his relief effort against the Golden Knights earlier in the week when he had little defense to help him out – and he made a couple great saves in Anaheim as well, especially when the Ducks had a couple short-handed breakaways.

Unfortunately for Dell, he gave up the two power-play goals in the third frame. While Braun was the hero and scored the tying goal late in the third to help take the game into overtime, Dell still couldn’t hold down the fort in overtime. It doesn’t matter if he’s the backup or not – at this time of the season, playing too loose late in games isn’t good.