Sharks

Sharks demolished in Dallas to close out 2017

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AP

Sharks demolished in Dallas to close out 2017

BOX SCORE

DALLAS -- Ben Bishop is getting regular work, and he and the Dallas Stars have been playing some of their best hockey of the season.

Bishop made 26 saves in his fourth shutout of the season, Tyler Pitlick scored twice and the Stars beat the San Jose Sharks 6-0 on Sunday night.

Bishop's 23rd career shutout came in his seventh straight start. It was Dallas' fourth win in five games.

In the first two games of a six-game homestand, the Stars have outscored opponents 10-2. The first five games are all two days apart.

"We kind of had a real hard one there before this homestand, a lot of in-and-outs, so it's kind of nice to have this homestand," Bishop said. "We've done a good job so far. It's going to be kind of important to enjoy this one and obviously get some rest (Monday)."

Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said there are few breaks in the schedule.

"We've made a little bit of ground, and we've created no separation," he said. "This is the way it's going to be for the rest of the year. It doesn't seem like anybody's missing a beat right now, especially in the Central."

Dallas scored two goals in each period - by John Klingberg and Pitlick in the first, Stephen Johns and Tyler Seguin in the second and Devin Shore and Pitlick 50 seconds apart in the third.

"I thought this was Pitlick's strongest game," Hitchcock said. "He stayed determined on the puck."

San Jose starter Martin Jones had 18 saves in the first two periods before giving way to Aaron Dell, who stopped eight shots.

The Sharks' three-game winning streak ended with their most lopsided loss this season. The poor road performance came as San Jose began a stretch with 14 of 18 games on the road.

"I don't look at this like we've been a poor road team. This was a poor game tonight," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "I don't think it's a symptom of something bigger. It was just a bad night."

Klingberg added an assist on Seguin's 19th goal of the season, a power-play score. Radek Faksa tied his career high with three assists and Mattias Janmark assisted twice.

The Stars had the game's first six shots on goal and cashed in on their seventh. Janmark circled behind the net and passed to Klingberg near the right faceoff dot. He sent a shot past Jones at 6:19, and then Pitlick gave Dallas a 2-0 lead at 15:07.

Dallas had 17 shots, their most in the first period this season, to five for San Jose. The Sharks had a chance with a power play to begin the second, but Bishop stopped the first six shots on goal. Logan Couture sent one shot into the right goalpost and another into the goalie's pads.

"We didn't play very well," Couture said. "Pretty simple. Left our goalies out to dry. I feel bad for those two. They battled and no one else did."

The teams were skating 4-on-4 when Johns scored at 4:25 of the second.

Seguin skated in front to deflect Klingberg's shot into the top of the net on the power play.

NOTES: Dallas RW Alexander Radulov left in the second period with an upper-body injury from a hit by Sharks D Justin Braun. ... The Stars have scored a power-play goal in six straight games, following a stretch of 14 games with only two goals with a man advantage. ... Benn has seven points (three goals, four assists) during a six-game point streak. ... Couture, who leads San Jose with 15 goals, returned after missing four games because of a concussion. ... The Sharks had not allowed more than five goals in a game before Sunday. ... The six-goal win was Dallas' largest margin of victory. ... Pitlick has seven goals this season. Three times he has scored twice in a game.

UP NEXT

Sharks: Play the second game on a five-game trip on Tuesday night at Montreal.

Stars: Host Columbus on Tuesday night.

Sharks avoid arbitration, re-sign Chris Tierney to two-year deal

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USATSI

Sharks avoid arbitration, re-sign Chris Tierney to two-year deal

Just two days before one was scheduled, the Sharks avoided an arbitration hearing with center Chris Tierney, and re-signed the restricted free agent to a two-year deal on Wednesday, the team announced. The deal is reportedly worth just shy of $2.94 million annually, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman

"Chris had his best season as a professional last year and stepped up his level of play in multiple areas," San Jose general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "We've always known he was a responsible, defensive-minded player, but he took his offensive game to the next tier and showed that he can be a productive player in all three zones. We look forward to watching him continue his evolution in 2018-19." 

Last season, the 24-year-old Tierney set career-highs in goals (17), assists (23), points (40), shots on goal (118), and ice time (16:00). Tierney also generated expected goals at the highest rate of his career (0.62 per hour), according to Corsica Hockey. 

A 2012 second-round pick, Tierney entered last season in an uncertain place. He signed his one-year, $735,000 qualifying offer last summer, and head coach Peter DeBoer challenged him to improve. 

“I came into the year wanting to prove a point. I believe in myself. I think I’m a good hockey player,” Tierney told the San Jose Mercury News in December. “I wanted to come in and show people that I could play an offensive role on the team.”  

DeBoer used Tierney slightly differently this season, as the forward started a career-high percentage of five-on-five shifts in the offensive zone (31.12 percent) and a career-low percentage of defensive zone starts (29.68 percent), per Corsica Hockey. Tierney responded in kind with his aforementioned career-best offensive numbers, and seized the third-line center role after versatile forward Tomas Hertl stayed on the wing.  

With Tierney back in the fold, the Sharks now have just under $4.4 million in salary cap space, according to CapFriendly. That’s for a roster carrying 14 forwards, seven defenseman, and two goaltenders, and San Jose’s actual cap space may change depending on the outcome of various positional battles in training camp. 

This summer, Tierney became the fourth Sharks player since 2008 to file for arbitration. In every case, including with Tierney on Wednesday, a settlement was reached prior to a hearing. 

The Sharks also signed a pair of prospects to entry-level contracts on Wednesday. Defenseman Ryan Merkley, San Jose’s first-round pick this June, and 21-year-old forward Alexander True, who scored 28 points in 68 games with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda last season, both inked deals with the organization.

Martin Jones' new goalie mask will have Sharks fans seeing double

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USATSI

Martin Jones' new goalie mask will have Sharks fans seeing double

Sharks goaltender Martin Jones won't just enter the season with a different paycheck, the result of entering the first year of a five-year, $34.5 million contract extension that he signed last July. He'll also have a new mask.

Toronto-based artist Steve Nash unveiled a look at Jones' mask design for the upcoming season Monday morning on Twitter. The design again features San Jose's secondary logo but with some subtle differences.

Eagle-eyed mask afficionados will notice a couple of tweaks. First, there now are two sharks on the side, compared to only one last season. Those sharks boast orange eyes seen on the back of his mask last season

For comparison, here's a look at Jones' mask from last year.

The 28-year-old netminder is entering his fourth season in San Jose's crease. Jones posted a .915 save percentage in 60 regular-season starts and followed that with a .928 in 10 postseason starts as the Sharks advanced to the second round. 

We'll get our best look at Jones' new mask in action when training camp opens in mid-September, and, assuming he plays, in a game as soon as the Sept. 18 preseason opener against the Ducks.