Sharks

Sharks make roster moves ahead of road trip

Sharks make roster moves ahead of road trip

The Sharks have recalled forward Marcus Sorensen and defenseman Joakim Ryan from the AHL Barracuda, and reassigned forward Kevin Labanc and defenseman Tim Heed.

San Jose opens a four-game road trip in Buffalo on Tuesday. Neither Sorsensen or Ryan has ever played an NHL game.

In 39 games with the Barracuda, Sorensen has 27 points (13g, 14a) and a plus-15 rating. A 24-year-old former rookie of the year in the Swedish League in 2014-15, Sorensen was signed to a one-year contract as a free agent by the Sharks on May 16, 2016. Ottawa originally drafted him in the fourth round of the 2010 draft.

In training camp in September, Barracuda coach Roy Sommer compared him to a current Sharks forward and fellow Sweden native.

“He’s a clone of the Swedes like [Melker Karlsson]. He plays a lot like him – hard, hounds pucks,” Sommer said at the time.

Ryan, a seventh round pick in 2012, has 25 points (5g, 20a) in 39 games with the Barracuda, and a team-leading plus-17 rating. He is a 23-year-old native of Rumson, New Jersey.

Labanc, 21, has played 40 games with the Sharks, posting 14 points (7g, 7a). He has gone 16 games without a goal, though, and skated on the fourth line in the Sharks’ most recent game against Arizona on Saturday.

Heed has been up and down of late as the Sharks’ seventh defenseman while Dylan DeMelo recovers from a broken wrist. He has played in just one NHL game, on Jan. 11 in Calgary.

Joonas Donskoi’s status remains in question, as the forward has missed eight of the last 11 games with a nagging upper body injury.

Sharks overcome late game struggles with 'best period of the season'

Sharks overcome late game struggles with 'best period of the season'

SAN JOSE -- The Sharks were well aware of the score when they went into the dressing room at the second intermission. They had a 2-1 lead, just like they had in the previous two tilts on the road against the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils. In both of those games, San Jose gave away the lead in the third frame on their way to losing both games.

On Thursday night, however, Team Teal came out buzzing against the Buffalo Sabres. They lit the lamp three times during that frame, easily having their best third period of the early 2018-19 campaign. And while converting on the power play and scoring more than two goals on the evening weres keys to the victory, having a strong third frame really solidified it.

"I thought it was probably our best period of the season so far," Sharks' head coach Peter DeBoer said after the 5-1 victory. "Playing with the lead in a 2-1 game and handling it that way."

The response certainly paid dividends. The Sharks' offense managed to hem the speedy Sabres in their own zone, and just shy of five minutes into the frame Logan Couture found the back of the net to give San Jose a much-needed 3-1 lead.

When asked after the game about getting the two-goal cushion, Couture called it the turning point of the game. Evander Kane agreed. "We wanted to make sure we're not going to be a team that lets third period leads slip away," Kane said. "I thought that third goal was really big."

DeBoer mentioned that a couple players did extra work to pump the team up during the second intermission, including Joe Pavelski. When asked what the conversation was like, the Sharks' captain said it came down to knowing the Sharks have to be a dominant third-period team.

"We've been in that position a time or two. We've given up leads, we haven't been as good," Pavelski said after the game. "These are periods that we have to be good. We've got to lock these down."

The strong finish no doubt gives the Sharks the confidence they need headed into Saturday night's tilt against the Islanders. The Isles blanked the Sharks in New York on October 8. Having a third period like San Jose surely gives them confidence headed into that game.

"It's been uncharacteristic of us to have poor third periods with the lead," DeBoer said. "We wanted to nip that in the bud, and I thought the guys did tonight. I thought the third was excellent."

Sharks takeaways: Three things we learned from 5-1 win over Sabres

Sharks takeaways: Three things we learned from 5-1 win over Sabres

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE -- For the third time in just as many games, the San Jose Sharks entered the third frame of Thursday night's tilt with a 2-1 lead. But this time, they weren't going to let the game slip away from them in the waining minutes of regulation.

Logan Couture scored a hat trick and the power play looked the best it has all season as Team Teal's 5-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.

Here are three takeaways from tonight's game:

We finally got a glimpse of how good the power play can be

After going 2-for-21 through their first six bouts, San Jose notched three power play goals in Thursday's game -- scoring two of those goals in the first five minutes of Thursday night's game. 

With Sabres' big man Kyle Okposo in the box for a four-minute double minor, Joonas Donksoi was posted up in the perfect spot in front of Buffalo's net to deflect Erik Karlsson shot past netminder Carter Hutton. Just 27 seconds later, Logan Couture eluded Hutton to give San Jose the early 2-0 lead. 

The powerplay lit up again in the third with the Sharks buzzing out of the second intermission. Just seven seconds into Marco Scandella's penalty, Joe Pavelski lit the lamp to give San Jose a nice 4-1 cushion.

With that being said ...

San Jose is still taking too many penalties

One thing that hurt the Sharks in their Sunday matinee against the New Jersey Devils was that they took too many penalties. And a similar pattern began to arise in Thursday's tilt as San Jose and Buffalo took turns dancing in and out of the sin bin. 

While the Sabres took their fair share of penalties as well, the Sharks still weren't able to capitalize on the chances they were getting in the latter half of the second frame. While they were able to gain much-needed momentum in the third period, they would likely like to stay out of the box more in upcoming games.

Martin Jones came up big when the team needed him the most

San Jose's starting netminder had his best game of the season speedy Sabres' squad, particularly with how many times the Sharks were on the kill Thursday evening. 

He almost ran into trouble in the third frame when Jeff Skinner's shot skimmed his jersey and almost went into the net. But Jones readjusted in time to sprawl out and keep the rebound out. 

His performance will no doubt earn him the chance at a redemption start against the Islanders on Saturday night.