Sharks

Sharks prove too hot for the Flames to handle

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USATSI

Sharks prove too hot for the Flames to handle

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE — Joonas Donskoi scored the winning goal in a shootout, and the San Jose Sharks rallied to beat the Calgary Flames 3-2 on Thursday.

The Sharks were stymied for most of the night by Flames goalie David Rittich, but they got a late goal in the third period on Timo Meier's re-directed shot.

Joe Pavelski, who scored San Jose's first goal, got the puck past Rittich in the first round of the shootout. After Calgary missed its first two attempts, Donskoi deked Rittich and then wrapped a shot around the goalie for the game-winner.

Martin Jones made 32 saves for San Jose.

Both teams missed multiple scoring chances in the extra period, including a one-timer by Calgary's TJ Brodie that was stopped by Jones.

Rittich made 30 saves in his fourth career start. Mikael Backlund and Garnet Hathaway scored for the Flames, and Jaromir Jagr took another step toward breaking Gordie Howe's record for games.

Calgary lost for the first time this season when leading after two periods.

Jagr entered early in the first period, tying Ron Francis for third place on the NHL's games played list with 1,731. Jagr, who played 13 minutes, turns 46 in February and needs 37 games to break Gordie Howe's record of 1,767.

Hathaway took advantage when the Sharks had trouble clearing the puck from in front of the net and tapped in his second goal of the season to put Calgary up 1-0 early in the first period.

After Pavelski tied it with a power-play goal, Backlund re-directed a power-play shot by Tkachuk past Jones to make it 2-1 Flames at 15:45 of the first.

NOTES: Pavelski's goal was his 200th since 2011-12, fourth-most in the NHL during that time. ... Jagr had missed the previous two games with a lower-body injury. ... The Sharks have scored at least one power-play goal in nine consecutive games. ... Sharks C Logan Couture missed his fourth straight game because of a concussion, but is making progress and took part in the morning skate before the decision was made to hold him out. ... Rittich made his NHL debut in San Jose in the final regular-season game last year.

UP NEXT

Flames: Play at Anaheim on Friday.

Sharks: Play at Dallas on Friday.

 

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

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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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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.