Sharks

NHL Gameday: Karlsson returns, Sharks go for first win vs Coyotes

NHL Gameday: Karlsson returns, Sharks go for first win vs Coyotes

Programming note – Sharks-Arizona coverage starts today at 6:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California

WHERE THEY STAND

Sharks: 12-9-1, 25 points, 2nd Pacific Division
Arizona: 8-10-2, 18 points, 7th Pacific Division

PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES

***The Sharks are 0-1-1 against Arizona this season, losing 3-2 on Nov. 1 and by the same score on Nov. 19 in overtime, both on the road. San Jose has outshot the Coyotes 86-56 through two meetings. Goalie Mike Smith made 43 saves in the most recent game, and will go again tonight.

“We’ve outshot them the last two games by quite a wide margin but haven’t gotten results,” Pete DeBoer said. “We have to find a way to turn the effort and the shots into a win. Smith is good, he’s got a great record against us. We’ve got to find a way to get to him, get traffic, get some tough goals.”

Martin Jones will start for the Sharks, who also have a game on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

***Melker Karlsson will return after a seven-game absence from blocking a shot on Nov. 12. He’ll play on the fourth line with Micheal Haley and center Ryan Carpenter. DeBoer mentioned on Monday that Carpenter looks “more confident” than last season, when he managed to get in one NHL game.

The 25-year-od Carpenter agreed. “I’ve been a pro for a little longer so maybe a little more confident. I feel like I had a better training camp this year, too, so maybe that’s where you build confidence there, just by playing well. When you play well at the next level that’s how you build your confidence, naturally.”

The Sharks’ fourth line generated a goal against Anaheim on Saturday when a Dylan DeMelo score capped off a lengthy shift in the offensive zone.

“It was a good feeling,” Carpenter said. “I feel like we got some momentum and some energy there. … It was nice to be able to do that.”

***The Sharks will conclude a five-game homestand tonight, winning three of the first four. They are in the middle of a stretch of 11 games in 18 days, and would like to finish this week off strong before enjoying a rare weekend off.

“This has been a really tough stretch both opponent and number of games and short turnover,” DeBoer said. “We wanted to come back [home] and have a good week last week. We did, we went 3-1. We want to have a good week this week with the three games we’ve got.”

Arizona is in last place in the Western Conference, but is coming off of a home-and-home sweep of the first place Edmonton Oilers. 

KEEP AN EYE ON...

Sharks: Mikkel Boedker. The Sharks forward was benched for the third period of Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Ducks, and DeBoer indicated that Boedker’s effort has been lagging. The 26-year-old has just two goals, his only points, in 22 games this season. His most recent goal came against Arizona on Nov. 1, 12 games ago.

Arizona: Mike Smith. The Coyotes goalie will face what could be his favorite team to play against, as Smith has always seemed to give the Sharks fits. In his last 16 against San Jose, he’s 10-4-2 with a 1.66 GAA and .954 SP and four shutouts – two of which have come at SAP Center.

PROBABLE LINES

Sharks
Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Joonas Donskoi – Logan Couture – Joel Ward
Mikkel Boedker – Chris Tierney – Kevin Labanc
Micheal Haley – Ryan Carpenter – Melker Karlsson

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Martin Jones (starter)
Aaron Dell

Arizona
Max Domi – Martin Hanzal – Radim Vrbata
Jamie McGinn – Christian Dvorak – Anthony Duclair
Tobias Rieder – Jordan Martinook – Shane Doan
Lawson Crouse – Laurent Dauphin – Ryan White

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Connor Murphy
Alex Goligoski – Anthony DeAngelo
Mike Stone – Luke Schenn

Mike Smith (starter)
Justin Peters

INJURIES

Sharks: Tommy Wingels (lower body) and Tomas Hertl (right knee sprain) are out.

Arizona: Brad Richardson (broken leg) and Louie Domingue (lower body) are out.

QUOTEABLE

“Everybody has expectations, obviously. It’s always hard to keep confidence up when you don’t score [or] don’t do that well. You’ve got to continue to grind at it and continue to try and make good plays, and just play your game.” – Mikkel Boedker

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.”