Sharks

Three takeaways from Sharks' 3-1 win over Lightning

Three takeaways from Sharks' 3-1 win over Lightning

The Sharks put together another solid road game on Saturday in Tampa Bay, overcoming the Lightning at Amalie Arena, 3-1. Three takeaways from the Sharks’ third straight win, all away from home…

1 – Beating a speedy team

The Sharks have struggled with the faster teams, dating back, of course, to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. Already this season, they dropped a pair of decisions to the Penguins and lost to the swift-skating Rangers and Red Wings, too. Tampa Bay possesses some of the fastest forwards in the league in guys like Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson, as well as one of the best scorers in the game in Steven Stamkos, but scoring chances were few and far between for the Lightning, who managed just 26 shots on goal.

2 – Special teams success

The Sharks’ penalty killing streak is becoming quite remarkable, as they’ve now killed off 24 straight opponent power plays and 28 of 29. They managed to stay out of the box against the Lightning, who entered with the NHL’s third ranked power play, giving them just two opportunities.

While the Sharks’ power play isn’t exactly setting the world on fire, bringing a 1-for-16 streak in their last five games into Saturday, they did get a goal with a man advantage from Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Any coach will tell you, though, that they would rather have a strong PK rather than power play. The Sharks’ top unit is likely to get going at some point.

3 – Concern for Karlsson

Tommy Wingels extended his goal-scoring streak to a modest two games with a first period tally, while linemates Chris Tierney and Melker Karlsson recorded the assists. Just when it looked like that group was developing some real chemistry, though, Karlsson was injured in the first period and was seen leaving the arena in a walking boot, probably from blocking a Victor Hedman shot. Coach Pete DeBoer didn’t give much of an update after the game.

If Karlsson is out, Matt Nieto or Micheal Haley would likely play on Tuesday in Carolina. Or, perhaps the Sharks could give Barclay Goodrow a chance. The forward recorded a hat trick for the Barracuda on Friday in Texas, and had a strong training camp before he was eventually assigned to the AHL.

Sharks notes: DeBoer sees depth starting to show its full potential

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USATSI

Sharks notes: DeBoer sees depth starting to show its full potential

SAN JOSE -- Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said Saturday night he believed his team really displayed its roster depth in a 4-1 victory over the New York Islanders.

"I thought the story of the game was contributions from all 20 guys," he said. "I thought we got a great team effort from everybody."

There was so much talk at the start of the season about how much depth the Sharks had on paper -- and then more talk about how that depth wasn't showing right off the bat. But as this team works its way through the first month of the season and builds chemistry, that depth is starting to show.

"I think every game you start to move around the ice a little more seamlessly without thinking as much," DeBoer said. "I think every game you get a little more comfortable."

Timo Meier agreed with that assessment, saying he felt that kind of line depth even came into play in the previous game -- a win over the Buffalo Sabres.

"Every time we get a win, it's because we have a lot of guys chipping in," the winger said. "And that's how it needs to be. I think the depth of our team is our strength."

Will that strength play a role in the upcoming road trip? DeBoer expressed earlier in the week he felt the Sharks weren't rewarded for the chances they created on the previous roadie.

Meier said the team would just have to keep grinding.

"Sometimes there are tough buildings and tough circumstances," Meier said. "We've just just gotta stick with it."

Joe Thornton is expected to accompany the Sharks on their upcoming three-game road trip this week, although there's no word as to whether or not the center will play. 

Thornton has practiced with the rest of the Sharks all week since they've been at home facing the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders, but he has yet to be in a game lineup. 

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On the same morning that news of Thornton's plans to go on the road trip came to light, rookie forward Dylan Gambrell was reassigned to the San Jose Barracuda.

Gambrell is expected to suit up for the AHL club on Sunday night when they host the Stockton Heat. 

Gambrell was recalled by the Sharks when Thornton left the previous road trip, but he was reassigned as soon as the team returned home so he could participate in the Baracuda's game Monday night. He has played in two games for the Baracuda so far this season, contributing on the score sheet every time.

Gambrell did not join them in their Saturday night game in Stockton, and instead was a healthy scratch for the NHL club.

DeBoer hinted earlier in the week that Gambrell might play in his first NHL game of the season fairly soon. When NBC Sports California caught up with Gambrell on Tuesday about working with both teams, the 22-year-old said he's embracing the workload that comes with it and that he'll be happy with wherever he's slotted.

Joe Thornton plans to join Sharks on road trip, but his status is unclear

Joe Thornton plans to join Sharks on road trip, but his status is unclear

SAN JOSE -- It's been a little over two weeks since Joe Thornton left the Sharks' five-game East Coast road trip. Now it appears the center might join the team as they hit the road again -- although it isn't clear if he'll see any game action.

Thornton plans to accompany the rest of the team on its upcoming three-game road trip, which opens Tuesday night against the Nashville Predators. He participated in all of the Sharks practices this past week, including Saturday morning's optional skate, and he even slotted in during power play practice earlier in the week. Nevertheless, there has been no further update on Thornton's health.

The 39-year-old top liner was placed on injured reserve Oct. 5 after he experienced swelling in his surgically repaired knee following an overtime win over the Kings in Los Angeles. While Thornton has looked fine during morning skates, Sharks coach Peter DeBoer maintained all week during home practices that the center's status remained day to day.

Joe Pavelski has centered the top line in Thornton's absence. He primarily has skated with Evander Kane and Kevin Labanc as his wings.