Sharks hang on to beat Ducks, take 2-0 series lead

Sharks hang on to beat Ducks, take 2-0 series lead


The Sharks outlasted the Anaheim Ducks in Game 2 of the first round, and left Southern California with a 2-0 series lead after a 3-2 win on Saturday night. 

Anaheim opened the scoring on the game's first shot. 40 seconds in, Jakub Silfverberg entered the San Jose zone and floated a shot past goaltender Martin Jones for the game's opening goal. 

The Sharks settled into the game afterward, out-attempting the Ducks 10-6 at five-on-five over the next nine minutes. On their 11th shot attempt, Marcus Sorensen buried a rebound off of the boards into a yawning cage, tying the game at one. 

Exactly five minutes later, San Jose took the lead on the power play, when Logan Couture finished Kevin Labanc's lead pass with a backhand move in close. 71 seconds into the second period, Anaheim goaltender John Gibson was beat by another backhand shot, this time from the stick of Tomas Hertl after the Czech forward dangled through the Ducks defense and gave the Sharks a 3-1 lead. 

The two-goal margin became one-goal margin about seven minutes later, when Hampus Lindholm wristed Anaheim's first power play goal of the series past Jones. Jones shut the door for the remainder of the game, including on a Ducks power play in the third period.

Corey Perry blindsided Melker Karlsson with 3:43 remaining in regulation while the Karlsson was on the far edge of a puck battle, giving the Sharks a late power play. San Jose couldn't convert, but wound the clock down and withstood a late Anaheim push with Gibson pulled to win a second game at the Honda Center in three nights. 


Marcus Sorensen was part of a dominant fourth line. He scored San Jose's first goal, drew a penalty, and finished the night with a team-best 78.57 percent corsi-for percentage. 

His line had the puck in their possession all night, and Sorensen was on the ice for just three shot attempts against. 


Sharks: 1-for-3 on the power play; 1-for-2 on the penalty kill

Ducks: 1-for-2 on the power play; 2-for-3 on the penalty kill

For the ninth time in 11 games since the start of the 2016-17 season, San Jose had more power play opportunities than Anaheim. In all, the Sharks have had 14 more power play opportunities than the Ducks during that time.


Sharks: Martin Jones added to his playoff resume with yet another impressive performance. He stopped 28 of 30 shots he faced, including all 11 in the third period. 

John Gibson was one of the league's best goalies during the regular season, but Jones outplayed him for the second straight night. 

Ducks: Gibson allowed three goals for the second straight game, making 32 saves. He has now given up three or more in five of his last seven starts. 


Couture's goal gave the Sharks a lead they would not relinquish, but Hertl's eventual game-winner gave them breathing room. They played the Ducks about even after Lindholm cut the lead to one, aside from the frantic finish, and two goals proved to be too much for Anaheim to overcome. 


Sharks: San Jose made no lineup changes from Game 1, but Joe Thornton (right MCL) participated in pregame warm-ups for the second straight game. He did not take part in line rushes. 

Ducks: Kevin Bieksa (left hand) returned to the lineup for his first game since March 12.


The series shifts to San Jose for Game 3 at SAP Center on Monday night. Pregame Live begins on NBC Sports California at 7 p.m, with game coverage beginning at 7:30. 

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


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


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.