Sharks takeaways: What we learned in 2-1 overtime win over Islanders


Sharks takeaways: What we learned in 2-1 overtime win over Islanders

SAN JOSE -- For the second straight game, the Sharks took the ice without a couple of key pieces of their lineup. For the second straight game, they were able to get to overtime against a tough team.

And for the second game in a row, captain Logan Couture tallied the game-winning goal in the extra period, this time leading San Jose to a 2-1 victory over the visiting New York Islanders at SAP Center. 

Here are three takeaways from Saturday's game.

Hats off to the penalty kill

While the Islanders entered Saturday's game with a middle-of-the-pack power play, San Jose gave them plenty of opportunities to get on track.

But the Sharks' penalty-kill unit stole the show, as the team killed off all seven penalties it took on the evening. When things looked particularly dicey in the final minutes of the second period and Brock Nelson nearly chipped in the go-ahead goal, Martin Jones was there with the save. San Jose still takes too many penalties, but at least the penalty kill remains a dominant force.

Jones kept them in it 

Jones wasn't just solid on the penalty kill -- although, his point-blank stop on Jordan Eberle during the Islanders' fifth power play might have been the difference in the game. After sitting out the previous game, he was impressive overall in his return between the pipes.

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In fact, Jones got better as the game went on. New York built up momentum over the course of the contest and was able to pin the Sharks in their own zone and run up the shot tally. Had Jones not been so solid, the Isles could have run away with the game.

Speaking of which …

Weathering the late-game push 

Again, Jones deserves the bulk of the credit for keeping the Sharks in the game when the Isles gained momentum late. But the team in front of him deserves some credit for keeping its composure against a squad that came into Saturday's contest riding a 16-game point streak. 

On multiple occasions earlier in the month, San Jose ran out of gas and allowed the opponent to score late goals. But against the Islanders, the Sharks didn’t lose steam after spending so much time in the penalty box and were able to generate some good offensive zone time late in regulation. It was the perfect setup for getting to overtime so Couture could bury the game-winner.

NHL rumors: Sharks fire Peter DeBoer in fifth season as head coach


NHL rumors: Sharks fire Peter DeBoer in fifth season as head coach

In the midst of a five-game losing streak, the Sharks reportedly have decided to make a coaching change.

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported Wednesday afternoon that San Jose has parted ways with head coach Peter DeBoer.

TSN's Darren Dreger reported that assistant coach Bob Boughner is expected to replace DeBoer as head coach.

Boughner previously served as head coach of the Panthers, leading Florida to a combined 80-62-22 record over the last two seasons.

The changes aren't limited to the head coach, however, as assistants Steve Spott and Johan Hedberg also have reportedly been let go, according to Sportsnet's John Shannon.

This story will be updated.

Sharks continue to suffer from lack of scoring, abundance of penalties


Sharks continue to suffer from lack of scoring, abundance of penalties

Evander Kane called it "interesting." Head coach Peter DeBoer called it "messy." No matter what word you choose, everyone can agree that the Sharks' 3-1 loss to the Predators on Tuesday got downright ugly.

San Jose had what was probably its best defensive game of the month in Nashville, being stingy and not giving the opposing Preds a lot of room to work. But with a scoreless tie after two periods, tempers began to fly, and what followed was a tsunami of penalties that ultimately determined the Sharks' fate.

The Sharks felt like they were in this one. But a plethora of penalties late in the second period and early in the third changed that. A whopping 39 penalty minutes later, San Jose had dropped the fourth and final game of its road trip. 

"We're still taking too many penalties," DeBoer told reporters after the loss. "I thought we pressed really hard in the second, didn't give them anything. I thought we deserved to be up going into the third and we didn't get rewarded for the work in the second. And they're at home, I thought they pushed hard. Pushed us back early in the third, got us on our heels a little bit. Really, when you get into a game like that, whoever scores first is probably going to win."

San Jose actually went on the penalty kill just 47 seconds into the game when Barclay Goodrow went to the box for slashing. But the real wave of penalties came late in the second period after Goodrow and Calle Jarnkrok received matching minors. Tempers were unhinged from that point on -- heck even the officials were fired up, as the microphone caught one using explicit language while reprimanding Nashville's Roman Josi. 

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The biggest tussle, however, took place in the final seconds of the second period when Dan Hamhuis cross-checked Kane and then Auston Watson jumped in as the third man in. Though Kane was defending himself, the officials tagged him with 19 penalty minutes, essentially taking him out of the remainder of the contest. 

"I don't understand the 19 minutes and how that was made up," Kane remarked when asked about the scuffle. "There was a lot of that all night going back and forth."

"Tough for him to sit for that long," DeBoer said in Kane's defense. "Hamhuis started the whole thing and then Watson comes in and grabs him and we end up with the short end of it. But it's a messy situation, I'm not going to second guess the call."

Regardless of how many penalties the Sharks racked up, they still needed to find a way to score more goals. They only found the back of the net once Tuesday, and only scored once in each of their previous two games. Despite doing some good work in the offensive zone, San Jose isn't going to reap the rewards without scoring goals to make up for its mistakes.

"You've got to find a way to win and we've got to find a way to score," DeBoer summarized. "I think that's the story of the trip."