Sharks

Sharks' struggles feel familiar on second rough East Coast road trip

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AP

Sharks' struggles feel familiar on second rough East Coast road trip

At the start of the Sharks' recent road trip earlier this week, the team felt like they were in pretty good shape. Despite losing to the Hurricanes in a shootout Thursday evening, San Jose played so well that they appeared primed to pick up a few wins.

But after being outscored 12-2 in back-to-back games against the Lightning on Saturday (7-1) and then the Panthers on Sunday (5-1), the Sharks aren't looking like the team that went 11-4-0 in the month of November. In fact, they're looking like the team that went 1-3-1 the last time they went on a long roadie out East.

Are the Sharks' struggles on this second long road trip just a coincidence, or is it history repeating itself?

"I think every trip is different, you're at different points," coach Peter DeBoer said to the media after the Sharks' loss to the Panthers. "My disappointment tonight was a little like last night. I think they scored on their first shot or their first couple of shots and then you're chasing the game right off of the bat. It's tough on the road to do that."

San Jose looked for a moment like they could trade in their bad luck during Sunday's game when Kevin Labanc scored a power-play goal in the first period to cut Florida's two-goal lead in half. But thanks to a lopsided special teams battle and Sergei Bobrovsky outplaying Martin Jones, the Sharks were handed yet another loss.

"I thought we hung in there and kept fighting, but it wasn't enough," DeBoer said. "Their goalie was better. Their special teams were better tonight than ours."

It's a disappointing trend to see from a Sharks team that was starting to turn things around after a solid November. Even after a disappointing loss to the Washington Capitals before the road trip, San Jose was able to put on quite the performance in Carolina -- despite only getting one point -- and had momentum in their favor. In both losses that ensued, that fight was hard to come by.

"I think we're a little too relaxed right now," Sharks winger Evander Kane admitted. "A couple of games where we got off to bad starts and weren't able to fight back. We didn't have much fight after we got down. That's probably the most disappointing part."

[RELATED: Simek to miss two weeks for minor knee procedure]

The Sharks might be leaving the Sunshine State behind, but their road trip isn't over just yet. They have one more stop before they can return home -- a Tuesday night meeting against the Predators in Nashville -- and one more chance to turn their luck on the road around. Even though the Predators haven't been playing well either, their home barn poses challenges for visiting teams. Given how the Sharks have played over the last couple of road games, a win won't be easy.

The Sharks have no choice but to buckle down and grind for a win.

"It sucks, but you just have to keep working to get out of this slump," Kevin Labanc said. "And make sure that we're getting out of this hole for ourselves."

Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson named to NHL's All-Decade Second Team

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USATSI

Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson named to NHL's All-Decade Second Team

The 2010s were pretty good to Erik Karlsson.

The Sharks defenseman was named to six All-Star teams, won two Norris trophies and signed a lucrative eight-year, $92 million contract last summer to stay in San Jose.

Now, Karlsson has been named to the NHL's All-Decade Second Team.

Paired with Karlsson on the Second Team blue line is Boston's Zdeno Chara.

Los Angeles' Drew Doughty and Chicago's Duncan Keith were named as the defensemen on the NHL's All-Decade First Team.

From Jan. 1, 2010 through Dec. 31, 2019, Karlsson played in 623 games with the Ottawa Senators and Sharks. He recorded 120 goals and 422 assists during that span.

Last month, NBC Sports ranked Karlsson as the third-best player of the decade behind Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.

[RELATED: Wilson defends signing of Karlsson]

At just 29 years old, Karlsson has plenty of good hockey ahead of him, and the Sharks are hoping he can help bring the first Stanley Cup to the Bay Area sometime in the near future.

NHL All-Star Skills Competition live stream: How to watch event online

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USATSI

NHL All-Star Skills Competition live stream: How to watch event online

It's time to see who's got the skills in the NHL.

That's right, All-Star weekend officially is here and the NHL's best will descend on Scottrade Center and see who's got the goods.

The fun starts Friday with the All-Star Skills Competition as the league's best compete in a variety of events such as Fastest Skater, Save Streak and Accuracy Shooting where Sharks All-Star Tomas Hertl will try and get the W.

It should be a lot of fun.

[RELATED: Hertl honored to be All-Star, not giving up on Sharks]

Here's how to watch the 2020 NHL All-Star Skills Competition online.

When: Friday, Jan. 24, at 5 p.m. PT (coverage starts at 3:30 p.m.)
Live Stream: NBC Sports