Sharks

Slow start: Jones allows four goals, Sharks fall to Flyers in season opener

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AP

Slow start: Jones allows four goals, Sharks fall to Flyers in season opener

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE -- Wayne Simmonds scored his second power-play goal to break a tie with 10:33 remaining and completed an opening-night hat trick with an empty-netter as the Philadelphia Flyers beat the San Jose Sharks 5-3 on Wednesday.

Claude Giroux and Jordan Weal also scored to get the Flyers off to a good start after missing the playoffs last season. Jakub Voracek and Shayne Gostisbehere each had three assists for Philadelphia.

Brian Elliott made 32 saves in his first game with the Flyers after signing a $5.5 million, two-year contract this summer.

Kevin Labanc became the first San Jose player to score two goals in the opening period of the season but also was called for three minor penalties that all led to goals for the Flyers. Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks, who had won seven straight openers.

Martin Jones made 26 saves in San Jose's first game without Patrick Marleau since April 7, 2009. Marleau, the franchise's career leading scorer, left as a free agent to sign with Toronto in July.

The Sharks were searching for ways to replace Marleau's 27 goals and Labanc delivered with his two. But his penalties hurt the cause, including a tripping call in the offensive zone that set up the game-winner.

Just 6 seconds after Labanc went into the box, Simmonds tipped Voracek's point shot past Jones to make it 4-3. Simmonds then sealed it with his empty-net goal in the final minute.

Simmonds also scored on the power play in the second period after another Labanc penalty to give the Flyers the lead, but San Jose tied it early in the third when Couture's pass deflected off Andrew MacDonald's skate and past Elliott for the equalizer.

Jones got off to a rough start for the Sharks, giving the puck away to Voracek on a clearing attempt. That led to Giroux's goal to open the scoring. Jones also got caught too deep in net when Weal scored on a rush on the power play to make it 2-0.

Labanc showed why coach Peter DeBoer put him on the top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski by scoring twice in the final three minutes of the period. He batted a rebound in midair past Elliott for his first goal and then scored on a wrister from the top of the circle on the power play to tie it in the final minute of the first.

NOTES: Brent Burns assisted on Couture's goal for his 500th career point. ... The last Sharks player to score twice in an opener was Tommy Wingels in 2014 against Los Angeles.

UP NEXT

Flyers: Visit the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

Sharks: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

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.