NHL Gameday: Sharks' regular season concludes against Flames

NHL Gameday: Sharks' regular season concludes against Flames

Programming note – Sharks-Flames coverage starts today at 6:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on NBC Sports California Plus (Channel Listings)


Sharks: 45-29-7, 97 points, 3rd Pacific Division
Flames: 45-32-4, 94 points, 4th Pacific Division


***Although the Sharks are still technically alive for home ice in the first round, they'll need to beat Calgary in their regular season finale tonight and hope that Edmonton loses both games in regulation this weekend to miserable Vancouver. The Oilers visit the Canucks, who have lost six in a row, tonight.

***Coach Pete DeBoer wouldn’t confirm it, but it looks like Justin Braun will not play in the finale and Dylan DeMelo will draw in. The Sharks recalled Timo Meier, Danny O’Regan and Tim Heed on Saturday morning, and Meier and O’Regan might also play.

Whoever ends up sitting out, DeBoer indicated it would be more about bumps and bruises than taking a breather before the playoffs.

“If we sit anybody it won’t be a rest,” DeBoer said. “Everyone is dealing with a little something, so we’ve just got some bodies here and we’ll make some decisions at game time.”

DeMelo will be playing for the first time since March 25 in Nashville, and said it’s “definitely” important to get in a game in case he’s needed in the playoffs.

“Just same as always, really, whenever I get a chance just try to make the most of it,” DeMelo said.

***Aaron Dell will be between the pipes after Martin Jones started the previous seven.

“Just get that last little feel of it before we go in [the playoffs],” Dell said.

DeBoer is confident that Jones, who was so vital to the team’s run to the Stanley Cup Final last season, has gotten into a good rhythm. 

“I think he’s been excellent here the last week. I feel real good about where his game is at. I think he does. I think he’s ready to go.”

In his last eight starts, Jones is 3-5-0 with a 3.54 goals-against average and .882 save percentage.

***The Sharks have two players sitting on 29 goals – Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns. They have not had a season without a single 30-goal scorer since 2007-08.

Burns is trying to become the first 30-goal scorer as a defenseman since Mike Green had 31 for Washington in 2008-09.

“It would be nice for him. I don’t think anybody right now is thinking about personal goals, including him,” DeBoer said. “It would be a nice accomplishment, but I think he’s had an exceptional year, regardless. Arguably been our best player all year.”


Sharks: Patrick Marleau. Since moving to center with Joe Thornton and Logan Couture still out, Marleau has looked out of place. Perhaps he moves back to the wing for the Flames game, while Danny O’Regan gets a closer look as fourth line center. When asked if that could happen on Friday, though, DeBoer said: “I think the answers lie in the group we’ve got here.” That was before O’Regan’s recall.

Flames: Mark Giordano. The Flames’ 33-year-old defenseman has four assists in his last three games entering tonight. Giordano has 39 points (12g, 27a) in 81 games this season, and along with partner Dougie Hamilton (49 points), is part of a strong top pair that can contribute on both ends of the ice.


Melker Karlsson – Joe Pavelski – Kevin Labanc
Jannik Hansen – Tomas Hertl – Mikkel Boedker
Joonas Donskoi – Patrick Marleau – Joel Ward
Micheal Haley – Chris Tierney – Marcus Sorensen

Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Dylan DeMelo
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Aaron Dell (starter)
Martin Jones

Johnny Gaudreau – Sean Monahan – Michael Ferland
Matt Tkachuk – Curtis Lazar – Michael Frolik
Freddie Hamilton – Sam Bennett – Alex Chiasson
Lance Bouma – Matt Stajan – Troy Brouwer

Mark Giordano – Dougie Hamilton
T.J. Brodie – Dennis Wideman
Matt Bartkowski – Deryk Engelland

Brian Elliott
Jon Gillies


Sharks: Justin Braun (undisclosed) is doubtful. Logan Couture (face), Joe Thornton (left knee) are out.

Flames: Chad Johnson (lower body) is out.


“We’re still working at our game. We want our details of our game in the right place heading into the playoffs next week. For me, the meeting this morning was all about the details of the game that are going to be critical whenever we start next week.” – Pete DeBoer


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


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.