Sharks

Sharks overmatched in loss to Lightning

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Sharks overmatched in loss to Lightning

BOX SCORE

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tyler Johnson broke out a scoring slump just in time to help the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning.

Johnson scored twice in the third period to snap a 15-game drought and the Lightning beat the San Jose Sharks 5-2 Saturday night.

"That's how hockey goes," said Johnson, who entered with four goals. "Sometimes you get the chances and bounces and they don't go your way. Other times, you get those garbage goals that just find a way to go in. Luckily for me I was able to breakthrough."

Nikita Kucherov had two goals and Cory Conacher also scored for the Lightning, who had lost four of six. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 25 saves. Kucherov had one of Tampa Bay's four goals, his 19th, in the third. He entered without a goal over his previous six games.

After Johnson had an in-close backhand power-play goal 1:39 into the third, the center made it 3-1 at 5:49 on a rebound goal after Martin Jones made a nifty save during Victor Hedman's breakaway.

"He's earned it." Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "When you're doing the right things and you're working, it's just a matter of time."

Barclay Goodrow and Justin Braun had goals for San Jose, and Jones stopped 38 shots in his return after missing two games with a lower-body injury.

"Our goalie was outstanding," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "He was by far our best player. We didn't have enough contributions. We would have needed 20 guys, plus Jones' effort."

Goodrow, activated from injured reserve after sitting out seven games, put the Sharks up 1-0 at 16:58 of the first on his first goal since Feb. 13, 2015 that ended a 44-game drought. It was his fifth goal, coming in his 84th career NHL game.

Kucherov tied it at 1 just 27 seconds into the second.

"We had a chance with 20 minutes to go to get some points and we didn't," DeBoer said. "That's a disappointment."

Conacher and Braun also had third-period goals.

Jones turned aside Ryan Callahan's in-close shot that went off a San Jose defender in the first, a period where the Sharks were outshot 15-8. Tampa Bay also dominated second-period shots 16-8.

Tampa Bay's top-ranked power play went 1 for 2 against the Sharks' second-best NHL short-handed unit. San Jose failed on its one man-advantage chance.

NOTES: The Sharks dropped to 7-3-1 on the road. ... San Jose placed RW Joonas Donskoi and D Tim Heed on IR. ... Tampa Bay C Cedric Paquette served a one-game suspension for a boarding penalty Wednesday against Boston. ... Lightning D Braydon Coburn (knee-to-knee hit) didn't play.

UP NEXT

Sharks: Complete a four-game trip Monday night at Washington.

Lightning: Play the second of four straight home games Tuesday night against the New York Islanders.

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.