Sharks

Instant Replay: Sharks score early, hold off West-best Blackhawks

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AP

Instant Replay: Sharks score early, hold off West-best Blackhawks

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE – The Sharks scored a pair of special teams goals in the first period and it turned out to be enough in an energetic, fast paced 2-1 win over Chicago on Wednesday at SAP Center.

The Sharks improved to 2-0 on their five-game homestand, and are 6-2 at SAP Center overall.

A power play goal followed by a shorthanded score staked the Sharks an early 2-0 edge.

Logan Couture got it started, teeing off a one-timer going bar down at 11:32. It was his sixth of the season, four of which have come with a man advantage.

Joel Ward’s first goal in 18 games made it a 2-0 lead. The forward cruised towards a loose puck headed into the Chicago end after Brent Seabrook dove in vain to try and prevent Chris Tierney’s clearing attempt from leaving the zone. Ward froze Corey Crawford with a fake slapper before sliding it through at 14:42.

Chicago got on the board in the second period with the only goal. Artemi Panarin blasted a one-timer from Artem Anisimov at 12:11, cutting the Sharks’ lead to 2-1.

Coming off of a shutout on Monday, Martin Jones remained on point. In the first period, he stopped a partial breakaway by Tyler Motte with about seven minutes to go, and a slapper by Brent Seabrook from the circle about a minute later. Marian Hossa was denied with 31 seconds to go after a Brent Burns giveaway in the corner.

In the second period, Jones robbed Ryan Hartman on a two-on-one with Nick Schmaltz with 6:25 to go, and kicked away a sneaky shot by Motte in the final minute.

Finally, in the third, Jones preserved the slim lead by swatting away Artem Anisimov’s chance from the slot with 9:55 to go. He finished with 33 saves.

The Sharks had a prime opportunity to increase their lead before the intermission with a two-man advantage for one minute and 22 seconds, but Joe Thornton rang one off the crossbar and an errant pass by Joe Pavelski after he had all kinds of time with the puck just outside of the crease allowed Chicago to escape.

Defenseman David Schlemko was a late scratch due to illness. Dylan DeMelo made his season debut, skating with Brenden Dillon on the third pair.

Chicago lost captain Jonathan Toews in the second period for reasons that weren’t immediately clear.

Special teams

San Jose was 1-for-4 on the power play, scoring with a man advantage for the third time in the last six games (3-for-20).

The Blackhawks were 0-for-2. The Sharks are 36-for-38 on the PK over their last 15 games (94.7 percent).

Chicago, which entered with the league’s worst penalty kill, has also given up a league-high five shorthanded goals.

In goal

Jones, starting for the 18th time in 20 games, improved to 10-7-1 on the year. He has allowed two or fewer goals in six of eight home games.

Crawford made 33 saves to suffer the loss. He misplayed Ward’s goal, when he had all kind of time to come out of the crease and retrieve the puck before the Sharks forward corralled it and beat him.

Lineup

DeMelo had been scratched for the previous 43 straight games – 24 in the 2016 playoffs, and the first 19 this season. His most recent game was last year’s regular season finale on April 9.

Melker Karlsson missed his fourth straight game with a left foot injury, but is expected to return shortly.

Danny O’Regan, who made his NHL debut on Monday, was reassigned to the Barracuda on Tuesday.

Up next

The Sharks continue their busy week at home with a matinee matchup on Friday against the Islanders. The Ducks visit on Saturday night, and the homestand concludes next Tuesday, Nov. 29 with Arizona.

Sharks takeaways: Three things we learned in 5-4 comeback win over Predators

Sharks takeaways: Three things we learned in 5-4 comeback win over Predators

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It was supposed to be a speedy, back-and-forth game Tuesday night between the Sharks and the Nashville Predators. And boy, it didn’t disappoint.

San Jose traded opportunities with the Western Conference-leading Preds all night, even overcoming a two-goal deficit in the third period to tie things up late. Then Sharks fans were rewarded with the Erik Karlsson feed to Brent Burns they’ve been waiting for since the start of the season, as San Jose skated away with the 5-4 victory.

Here are three takeaways from Tuesday's instant classic. 

Scoring was tit for tat, all the way

In their two previous tilts, the Sharks was able to gain momentum on their opponents and create some cushion in their lead. It was different story, however, when they took on Nashville on Tuesday evening. The exchange of chances kept the game entertaining from start to finish, and showed this Sharks team has the fuel to come back from a deficit against a tough team.

The Sharks got on the board early with a rebound goal from Timo Meier on the power play. But Viktor Arvidsson capitalized on a breakaway and buried the equalizer before the first period was over. Nashville added to it 21 seconds into the second stanza when Filip Forsberg collected a loose rebound and deposited it to give the Predators the lead.

In the second frame, Meier broke up a play in the Sharks zone and got the puck to Logan Couture. No. 39 made a nice feed to Tomas Hertl, who scooped the puck past Saros to tie the game, 2-2.  Then Arvidsson scored again after snagging a behind-the-net feed from Forsberg to give Nashville 3-2 lead.

The near-backbreaker came in the waning minutes of the second period, when Barclay Goodrow rang a shorthanded attempt off the post, and Nashville brought the puck back the other way for Craig Smith to deposit the Predators’ fourth goal on the evening.

All seemed lost for the Sharks, until Brendan Dillon went coast-to-coast to notch the shorthanded goal, and Joe Pavelski followed it up by tying the contest up 4-4. Burns’ game-winner was icing on the cake.

Defense played a role … for better or for worse

The Sharks and Predators have two of the most talked-about blue lines in the entire NHL. While both has some amazing moments, both let their feet – or skates, if you want to be picky – off the gas at different times. 

San Jose’s defense looked sturdy early in the tilt, a couple turnovers allowed Nashville’s top line to capitalize and find the back of the net. Likewise, Nashville’s defense settled back on their heels in the third period which allowed Dillon to skate in and score.

The penalty trouble almost came back to haunt the Sharks

Not that the delay of game penalty against the Sharks in the third period made much sense. Nevertheless, San Jose gave Nashville too many opportunities on the power play. 

Even though the Predators’ power play wasn’t anything spectacular, this is still an area the Sharks need to clean up as the season goes on. And it’s certainly something for them to tighten up as the three-game road trip continues. Their next opponents in the upcoming games aren’t necessarily power-play specialists – the Hurricanes are somewhere towards the bottom of the league on that end of special teams – but its still a part of the Sharks’ game they likely want to clean up.
 

Sharks vs. Predators live stream: Watch 2018-19 NHL game online

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USATSI

Sharks vs. Predators live stream: Watch 2018-19 NHL game online

After winning both games of their short homestand, the Sharks are back on the road to face the red-hot Predators in Nashville.

While the Sharks have won two in a row, the Predators are riding a five-game winning streak and hold the best record in the NHL.

The Sharks will avoid Predators starting goalie Pekka Rinne, who is injured. But they will have to deal with young netminder Juuse Saros, who has a 1.54 goals against average in four games this season. The Sharks have scored at least two goals in five consecutive games and in seven of their eight games this year.

Here's how you can watch the Sharks-Predators game online and on TV.

When: 5 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 23
TV: NBCSN
Live Stream: NBC Sports app