Sharks

Instant Replay: Sharks feel the blues in loss to St. Louis

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USATSI

Instant Replay: Sharks feel the blues in loss to St. Louis

BOX SCORE

ST. LOUIS – Jaden Schwartz scored twice in leading the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 win over the Sharks on Thursday night at Scottrade Center, in the first matchup between the clubs since last season’s Western Conference Final.

The Sharks have lost two straight, dropping to 3-2 on their longest road trip of the season, which concludes on Saturday in Arizona.

Special teams was the difference, as David Perron’s marker on the power play put the Blues ahead to stay in the second period. The Sharks were a season-worst 0-for-6, including the final 55 seconds of regulation after a delay of game penalty to Kyle Brodziak.

St. Louis scored twice in the second period to seize a 3-2 lead, which is where the score would remain.

Schwartz broke a 1-1 tie. After the Sharks’ fourth line was caught in its own zone and failed on a couple chances to clear, Schwartz’s wrist shot made its way through traffic at 8:45, giving St. Louis its first lead.

The Sharks responded just 19 seconds later. Justin Braun softly pushed the puck ahead where it found Kevin Labanc in the slot, the rookie turned around and flicked it through Jake Allen for his first career NHL goal.

San Jose had a pair of power plays after tying it at 2-2, but couldn’t find a way to re-take the lead. Instead, after Mikkel Boedker’s interference nullified the end of a Sharks advantage, Perron’s wrist shot on a Blues power play made it 3-2. Martin Jones, who didn’t play on Tuesday in Carolina, should have stopped it.

The goal ended the Sharks’ penalty kill streak at 11-plus games, and 26 kills overall.

Forward Tomas Hertl did not play after Perron’s goal, and was seen limping to the dressing room.

The teams traded first period scores. Logan Couture’s first even strength goal of the season on a rush by his line line at 6:16 opened the scoring, but St. Louis responded with the first of Schwartz’s tallies on a shot from the high slot at 10:38.

Special teams

The Sharks fell shy of setting a new franchise record on the penalty kill, going 11 straight games before Perron ended the impressive run. St. Louis was 1-for-4.

On the power play, San Jose is 1-for-17 in its last six games, and 2-for-24 in the last eight road games.

Joel Ward replaced Patrick Marleau on the top unit in the third period.

In goal

Jones saw his personal three-game winning streak halted, allowing three goals on 25 shots.

Allen allowed two goals on 29 shots, and has gone 13 straight home games allowing two or fewer goals.

Lineup

The Sharks rearranged all of their forward lines for the game, as Labanc played on the top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, and the scuffling Boedker was bumped to the fourth line.

Melker Karlsson missed his second straight game with a lower body injury.

St. Louis was without Alex Steen due to an undisclosed injury. Leading scorer Vladimir Tarasenko, who was questionable for the game, did play. His six-game point streak came to an end.

Up next

The Sharks will practice on Friday before Saturday’s game in Arizona. They lost to the Coyotes in the first meeting there on Nov. 1, 3-2.

San Jose hosts the Devils on Monday.

Sharks vs. Ducks watch guide: Projected lines and defensive pairs

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USATSI

Sharks vs. Ducks watch guide: Projected lines and defensive pairs

After losing four straight games, the Sharks have to find a way to get back in the win column against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night. 

San Jose dropped its fourth straight game on Thursday, losing to the Pacific Division-worst Los Angeles Kings. Top-line center Logan Couture was a late scratch from Thursday’s lineup due to flu-like symptoms, further hampering a lineup already missing top goal-scorer Joe Pavelski and defenseman Erik Karlsson.

The Sharks recalled forward Dylan Gambrell and defenseman Nick DeSimone from the AHL's San Jose Barracuda, according to the AHL's transactions page. Defenseman Jacob Middleton, who didn't play in his recent stint with the big club, returned to the AHL on Thursday night. 

After gaining zero points in the last four games, San Jose remains in second place in the Pacific Division. The Sharks are five points behind the Calgary Flames and five points ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Ducks, much like the Kings, haven’t exactly had the season they hoped for -- thanks in large part to injuries the roster has sustained throughout the course of the season. With just 69 points on the season, Anaheim sits nine points out of the second wild card spot. The Ducks have won three of their last six games, but are coming off a 3-0 shutout at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets. 

This is the fourth and final time the Sharks and Ducks will play each other this season, with the Sharks leading the season series 2-1-0. In 139 total meetings between the franchises, San Jose has a 72-54-4-9 record against Anaheim.

Sharks projected lines and pairs

Timo Meier – Logan Couture – Gustav Nyquist
Evander Kane – Tomas Hertl – Joonas Donskoi
Marcus Sorensen – Joe Thornton – Kevin Labanc
Micheal Haley – Barclay Goodrow – Melker Karlsson

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Tim Heed
Joakim Ryan – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – Justin Braun

Aaron Dell – projected starter
Martin Jones

[RELATED: Watch Ron Burgundy show off hilarious Sharks knowledge on Kings broadcast]

Ducks projected lines and pairs

Nick Ritchie – Ryan Getzlaf – Daniel Sprong
Rickard Rakell – Devin Shore – Jakob Silfverberg
Corey Perry – Adam Henrique – Troy Terry
Max Jones – Derek Grant – Carter Rowney

Hampus Lindholm – Josh Manson
Cam Fowler – Andy Welinski
Jaycob Megna – Korbinian Holzer

John Gibson – projected starter
Ryan Miller

Banged-up Sharks make no excuses for losing streak after loss to Kings

Banged-up Sharks make no excuses for losing streak after loss to Kings

After the Sharks' losing streak hit four games in a 4-2 loss to the cellar-dwelling Los Angeles Kings, defenseman Brent Burns summarized it best to reporters in L.A.

“Every loss is doomsday, and every win feels good.”

Unfortunately for the Sharks, that doesn’t make Thursday’s defeat at the hands of the Kings sting any less.

With the defeat, the Sharks matched their season-long losing streak at four games – against the second-worst team in the entire NHL, no less. San Jose even entered the third period with a 2-1 lead, having taken over the pace of play in the second stanza and hemming even the Kings' best players in their own end.

Then, the Kings scored three unanswered goals in the final 20 minutes to emerge victorious. 

Meanwhile, the two Pacific Division teams bookending the Sharks in the standings – the Calgary Flames and the Vegas Golden Knights – are both on hot streaks and kept winning on Thursday while Team Teal was in L.A.

Nobody’s going to sugarcoat it – the Sharks know they have to be better.

“It’s a wake-up call for us,” center Tomas Hertl said. “We have to be ready because we have just eight games left. We saw how Calgary is playing right now, and we have to step it up.”

As if the Sharks weren’t already desperate for a win after dropping three straight contests, they got some bad news just before pregame warmups that center Logan Couture was a late scratch due to flu-like symptoms. With captain Joe Pavelski and defenseman Erik Karlsson already out, San Jose needed someone else to fill that void. 

“It’s always tough when you’re missing players like that,” Hertl said. “But we have a lot of skill and we didn’t improve (on) it today.”

Coach Peter DeBoer doubled down on not making excuses for big players being out of the lineup.

“You got to win this game anyway,” he told reporters. “You’ve got to find a way. Someone’s got to step up and be a first star. You’ve got to get a great performance from somebody in a game like this and I don’t think we got that.”

[RELATED: Watch Ron Burgundy's funny call of Hertl's goal vs. Kings]

With only eight games left in the regular season, San Jose needs to right the ship before embarking on a playoff run.

Getting Couture, Pavelski, and Karlsson back in the lineup healthy will certainly help. But, the Sharks' defensive effort and overall level of intensity has to be better. They’ve been outscored 19-9 over these last four games, and gone 1-for-13 on the power play. While there’s concern over this losing stretch, the Sharks have to buckle down and find a way to win immediately. 

“We’ve got to find a way to win some games,” DeBoer said. “We’re a little bit beat up, but you can’t use excuses this time of year. We need some guys to find another level for us. At this time of year, you need someone to give you a first-star performance either in net or up front or somewhere to stop the bleeding. We haven’t gotten that.”