Sharks comeback falls short in wild loss to Minnesota


Sharks comeback falls short in wild loss to Minnesota


SAN JOSE -- Nino Niederreiter scored 3:26 into overtime and the Minnesota Wild beat the San Jose Sharks 4-3 on Sunday night after squandering a three-goal lead.

Eric Staal scored twice and Ryan Murphy added a goal as the Wild extended their winning streak over the Sharks to four games.

Tomas Hertl tapped in a loose puck for San Jose with five minutes left in regulation to tie it at 3.

Hertl's goal followed a furious Sharks attack that Wild goalie Alex Stalock was able to fend off until a shot from Dylan DeMelo bounced off his shoulder pads and into no man's land just above the crease.

Brent Burns scored twice for the Sharks, who had won five of seven.

Stalock made 31 saves in his first appearance against his former team. Martin Jones stopped 20 shots for the Sharks.

The Wild, winners in four of their last five games, scored twice in the first 10 minutes. A series of sharp passes set up Murphy for a power-play goal just more than four minutes in. Staal sent a pass to Jason Zucker behind the net and he found Murphy for a 1-on-1 score.

Staal's first goal came after Ryan Suter recognized an advantage when Burns ran into Jones, knocking him off his feet. Suter delivered a pass to Staal, who easily fired it over Jones.

Early in the second period, Staal was able to push the puck through Jones' skates for a 3-0 Wild lead.

Burns got the Sharks on the scoreboard with a power-play goal during a two-man advantage late in the second period. Burns scored again on a power play with a slap shot from just inside the blue line midway through the third, his 12th multi-goal game.

NOTES: Sharks forward Jannik Hansen appeared in his 600th NHL game. ... Burns has six points in his last three games, including three goals. ... Murphy scored his first goal in 69 games. ... Staal had his second multi-goal effort in five games. ... Wild forward Jason Zucker has points in eight of his last nine games.


Wild: Open a three-game homestand against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.

Sharks: Begin a three-game road trip in Calgary on Thursday.

Sharks 'didn't have enough participants' in lethargic loss to Oilers

Sharks 'didn't have enough participants' in lethargic loss to Oilers

SAN JOSE – After a team loses, there’s always a need to pinpoint what went wrong. What play changed the course of the game. What specific mistake from that contest led to the loss.

In regard to the Sharks’ 4-3 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers, it wasn’t just that familiar problem with odd-man rushes. Tuesday's game just wasn’t the team’s best offensive effort, and a disappointment after their dominant win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

“We didn’t have enough participants tonight,” coach Peter DeBoer told the media after the loss. “Didn’t play good enough for long enough stretches. I don’t have an answer why. It wasn’t one or two guys, it was almost everybody. It’s just one of those nights.”

Captain Joe Pavelski agreed: “We didn’t create a lot of offense all night. There was something missing as far as a little jam to our game.”

This isn’t to say the Sharks got steam-rolled. The offense that was generated, whether it was on Marcus Sorensen’s first-period goal, or on Logan Couture’s second period marker, looked as though it could give San Jose that push to take over the pace of the game. 

Even then, the Sharks had trouble holding onto a lead. Not that their opponents were much better.

“[The Oilers] didn’t have a whole lot either,” Pavelski pointed out. “It was kind of a quiet game.”

The embattled Edmonton team, which was playing just hours after their head coach was fired and ultimately replaced, didn’t exactly play the desperate game a seasoned hockey viewer may expect. In fact, even with the Connor McDavid-led first line being difficult to contain, the Oilers never had a lead until scoring the game-winning goal in overtime. 

There was a suggestion after the game that the short-handed goal the Sharks gave up in the second period was the turning point in the game. But Pavelski disagreed.

“We’re not hanging this game on that play,” the captain said. “There’s a lot of other plays throughout the night.”

The night is something the Sharks obviously want to turn the page on quickly. They’re now 3-1-1 on their long homestand, and want to end it on a high note against the Vancouver Canucks on Friday. 

“This league doesn’t allow you to get frustrated for too long,” DeBoer said. “We’ve had a good homestand, we’re picking up points. We’ll take the good and look at the bad, and try and get it fixed.”

Sharks takeaways: What we learned in 4-3 overtime loss to Oilers

Sharks takeaways: What we learned in 4-3 overtime loss to Oilers

SAN JOSE – Never mind that the Edmonton Oilers won only three of their last 10 games, and had a drama-filled Tuesday as coach Todd McLellan was fired. The Sharks knew they were still going to have a challenge on their hands Tuesday night when the Connor McDavid-led squad visited the Tank.

It was a doozy, with the Sharks failing to hold onto leads in the first, second, and third periods. In the end, San Jose came out on the losing end, 4-3 in overtime.

Here are three takeaways from Tuesday’s overtime loss

The trouble with the odd-man rushes returned

Really, this accounted for the Oilers staying in the game and tying continuing to tie things up. The Sharks were visibly better in this department during their previous game against the St. Louis Blues. In Tuesday contest, however, the turnovers returned and ended up in the back of their net.

The Sharks entered the third period with more momentum then they’d had in the second, thanks to Logan Couture’s highlight-reel goal just 56 seconds before the second intermission.  But that didn’t stop the McDavid line from forcing a turnover, and powering ahead to get the tying goal.

Thornton's line stays hot

After helping Joe Thornton score his 400th career goal, linemates Kevin Labanc and Marcus Sorensen told NBC Sports California what made their combination so successful. Both wingers agreed: Thornton is great at communicating on the ice.

That communication and chemistry was on full display when the line scored the Sharks' second goal of the game. Even though it looked as though Thornton wasn’t looking when he made his back-handed pass from behind Edmonton’s net, Sorensen was in perfect position for his wrist shot to elude netminder Mikko Koskinen.

It was a nifty way for Sorensen to notch his seventh point in eight games – and for Thornton to tie Mario Lemieux for 11th on the NHL’s all-time assists list.

Hertl looks strong in return to the ice

Despite getting tangled up with McDavid on the tying goal in the third period, Hertl looked solid in his return to the lineup Tuesday night.

Whatever was ailing the 25-year-old forward when he missed the last two games appeared to be mended in Tuesday’s game against the Oilers. No. 48 had a nice breakaway attempt, and drew a penalty in the first period.

He then set up Couture’s second-period goal with a nice dish through the neutral zone, before Couture skated around defender Adam Larsson to score San Jose’s third goal.