Sharks

Sharks re-sign forwards Karlsson, Donskoi

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ap

Sharks re-sign forwards Karlsson, Donskoi

The Sharks re-signed forwards Melker Karlsson and Joonas Donskoi, the team announced on Friday.

Karlsson's deal is for three years and Donskoi's contract is for two years.

"Melker plays an up-tempo, high-energy game and brings flexibility to our lineup wherever he plays," GM Doug Wilson said in a statement. "His tenacious style of play fits our team perfectly, and we feel confident using him in many different situations. He kills penalties, can play with high-end players and brings an honest effort night in and night out. We're excited he has made this commitment to the organization."

Karlsson, 26, recorded 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists), 73 shots on goal and set career highs in both plus/minus (+7) and penalty minutes (22) in a career-best 67 games played with the Sharks in 2016-17. He finished ranked T-5th on the team in goals, T-6th in plus/minus, T-1st in shorthanded goals (2) and 3rd amongst Sharks forwards in blocked shots (59). He skated the third-most shorthanded minutes per game amongst all Sharks forwards (1:34).

The forward has collected 65 points (34 goals, 31 assists) and a plus-9 rating in 185 career NHL games with San Jose. He was named the "Sharks Rookie of the Year" in 2014-15, after finishing ranked 7th amongst all NHL rookies in goals and T-15th in points. Karlsson tied a franchise-best goal scoring streak for rookies, tallying a goal in five consecutive contests. He has also added nine points (six goals, three assists) in 30 career NHL playoff games.

"Joonas plays a solid two-way game, combining his skill and creativity with an aggressive, hard-working effort in all three zones," Wilson said. "He plays the game the way we want to play as a team, and we feel he has only scratched the surface of his abilities. He battled through multiple injuries last season and we look forward to having him healthy at training camp this season."

Donskoi, 25, recorded 17 points (six goals, 11 assists), and 10 penalty minutes in 61 games with San Jose in 2016-17, his second season in the NHL. The forward ranked 4th on San Jose in power-play points (4) and his plus-83 shot attempt differential ranked 8th on the Sharks.

In 137 career NHL games, Donskoi has tallied 53 points (17 goals, 36 assists) and 202 shots on goal. He was named the "Sharks Rookie of the Year" in 2015-16, and posted 12 points (six goals, six assists) in 24 playoff games that season with San Jose. Donskoi became just the sixth rookie in NHL history to score an overtime, game-winning goal in the Stanley Cup Final when he scored in Game 3 vs. Pittsburgh. That goal also marked the first game-winning goal in Sharks franchise history in the Stanley Cup Final.

San Jose Sharks media services contributed to this story

 

Sharks have Martin Jones to thank for keeping winning streak alive

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USATSI

Sharks have Martin Jones to thank for keeping winning streak alive

SAN JOSE -- The SAP Center crowd was on the edge of its seats during overtime play as Brent Burns went to the box for tripping and the Sharks went on the penalty kill. 

But goaltender Martin Jones was there to keep the game moving right along, making stop after stop against the Red Wings and giving San Jose the boost it needed to get to the shootout and tally its sixth straight victory.

On a night when the Sharks weren't at their best, Jones was -- as head coach Peter DeBoer aptly put it -- San Jose's "best player." And this certainly wasn't the first time this month that he came up with some big saves at a very big moment.

Without Jones playing at the level he has been over the last few contests, the Sharks might not finally be climbing out of their early-season hole.

"When he can steal games like that, it's huge for us," Kevin Labanc said. "He had an unbelievable game today and that's why he's the goalie that he is. We have a lot of faith in him and he's winning us games right now."

Jones' work on the penalty kill was just one highlight of his performance from Saturday night. He was steady as Detroit's offense picked up steam and used its speed to wedge into San Jose's zone. Jones was quick to save some of the Red Wings' best shots, most notably a Brandon Perlini attempt that he batted out of the crease with his outstretched right leg. He then topped it off by completely stymying Detroit's top scorers in the shootout.

"A big reason we got the two points was him tonight," captain Logan Couture said of Jones. "He made massive saves. You think of that penalty kill, that save in the second there which was huge, big saves in the third that he made. He's playing great. And then the shootout -- he's been unbelievable in the shootout so far."

Considering the rough start Jones had this season, one wonders if he has been doing something different recently in his preparation for games. But when asked postgame why he's been more successful lately, the netminder -- who is typically a pretty cool customer -- couldn't pinpoint where his current confidence is coming from.

"I have to play the game," Jones said. "I can't rely on making a big save early, sometimes that's just the way the game unfolds. I get confidence from practicing hard and making sure I'm focused on the details."

Granted, Jones' numbers on the season as a whole still aren't great. He's 8-7-1 through 16 starts and currently possesses an .889 save percentage. Even over the course fo San Jose's current six-game winning streak, he's sitting on an .891 save percentage. While the team in front of Jones obviously is scoring enough goals to win games and piggyback on his big saves, it still needs to give him a little more help.

"I still think we can be tighter and better defensively," Couture critiqued. "Too many grade-As in our slot and breakaways. So we'll tighten up on that."

[RELATED: What we learned as Sharks beat Red Wings in shootout]

But the Sharks aren't going to scoff at another win, especially if it comes at the hands of a big performance from their goalie.

"When you're putting together a winning streak, you're going to have to win all kinds of different ways," DeBoer said. "You're going to put some really solid games together, and then you're going to win some like this where you've got a couple of guys with big performances."

In this case, Jones' performance is what kept the winning streak alive.

Sharks takeaways: What we learned in 4-3 shootout win over Red Wings

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AP

Sharks takeaways: What we learned in 4-3 shootout win over Red Wings

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE -- Another night, another Sharks’ win.

San Jose certainly didn’t make things easy on itself against the Red Wings at SAP Center on Saturday night, and although the Sharks jumped out to an early lead, Detroit bounced back from two deficits and forced the contest into overtime. Kevin Labanc, though, played the hero with the lone marker in the shootout to clinch a 4-3 victory and extend Team Teal's winning streak to six games.

Here are three takeaways from Saturday's exciting win:

Jones comes up big

Martin Jones deserves credit for his solid play throughout the month of November, and San Jose's goaltender had another good start against Detroit. The Red Wings picked up speed over the course of the game and outshot the Sharks, but Jones was a steady presence throughout. Taro Hirose's second-period goal that tied the game 2-2 wasn't his fault and, frankly, he didn’t get much help from the defense when Andreas Athanasiou tied it up 3-3 late in the third period either.

One of Jones' best saves of the night actually came just before that Hirose goal when he made a huge kick save on Brandon Perlini that narrowly missed dribbling into the net. Although, to be fair, his blocker saves when San Jose went on the penalty kill in overtime were equally impressive.

If Jones continues making big saves like that on a nightly basis, the Sharks' fortunes will continue to turn for the better. 

Still in search of that four-line game 

The Sharks have been an improved even-strength team since the start of the month, but against the Red Wings, the forward attack didn't look as deep as it has on other nights. Labanc and Logan Couture did their fair share of the heavy lifting on the top line, as evidenced by Labanc's first-period goal and Couture's three assists on the evening. 

But other than that, San Jose's lines didn't generate much against a Red Wings team that doesn't have much forward depth itself. With two big divisional games coming up next week against the Oilers and the Golden Knights, the Sharks need more players to start producing on a regular basis. There's no way around it.

[RELATED: Thornton discusses importance of fitness in HEADSTRONG]

On a positive note ...

Keep the big hits coming 

One of San Jose's top concerns heading into Saturday's game was being able to contain Detroit's speed. When the Wings did manage to break into the Sharks' defensive zone, San Jose did a good job of imposing its physicality and breaking up plays. Through the first two periods, the Sharks out-hit the Red Wings 10-5.

While San Jose still needs to work on taking more of the center of the ice away from the opposition, that's the kind of heavy game the Sharks must play regardless of how fast or physical the opponent is. If they can build off that performance, the wins will keep on coming.