When the best team in the NHL—i.e. the New York Islanders—comes to your house, you want to put your best foot forward. The Sharks did that, winning in overtime with a score of 2-1.
Logan Couture gets a great pass from Evander Kane in overtime and he makes no mistake putting it past Semyon Varlamov. It’s the second overtime game winner in as many games for the Sharks’ captain.
On the other end of the ice, the team played pretty solid defense in front of Martin Jones. There were a few giveaways, but Jones was up to the task. Jones stopped 27 of the 28 shots he faced tonight.
The other news of note, the penalty kill. San Jose took six consecutive penalties, seven total and managed to kill all seven. They showed why they have the best penalty kill in the league, though I would prefer if they stopped testing it so much.
Hello everyone! Erika here live blogging with you tonight. Tomas Hertl is out, so the Sharks are going with 7 defensemen just like they did in Vegas.
18:54 - Sharks with the early power play after Kevin Labanc is tripped in the Islanders’ zone. Good chance to get on the board against the best team in the league.
17:44 - Sharks’ second unit is having a hard time gaining the zone. Still some time on the power play.
16:54 - Islanders kill the penalty, but Sharks are back in the Islanders’ zone.
15:32 - Sharks leading the shot counter 6-0, but the game is tied 0-0.
13:05 - Radim Simek called for hooking. Simek is not pleased. The Islanders get their first power play of the game.
12:43 - Islanders’ shot rings off the goal post.
12:22 - Yikes, there’s another post.
11:05 - Sharks kill the penalty thanks to some help from the goal posts.
7:43 - Martin Jones with the save. 0-0 still the score.
4:09 - Mario Ferraro shot tipped by Barclay Goodrow, but doesn’t make it through Semyon Varlamov.
0:00 - Sharks 0, Islanders 0. First period is in the books.
The Sharks have outshot the Islanders 13-7. Three of those shots are credited to Evander Kane, who is getting some extra shifts with the fourth line thanks to the team icing just 11 forwards. There were some giveaway issues on the Sharks’ end, but they really dominated play at points in the game. They came to play tonight.
20:00 - Puck drop.
19:23 - Brenden Dillon didn’t like the hit that Casey Cizikas made on Mario Ferraro, so Dillon challenges him and the two drop the gloves. Both got some shots in, but no one with the takedown. Dillon and Cizikas sit for five apiece.
17:53 - Varlamov with the save. The Sharks’ second line is generating chances tonight.
14:20 - Stoppage in play after a high touch. Dillon and Cizikas out of the box.
14:20 - Brock Nelson with a breakaway and in alone. Martin Jones makes the save.
13:22 - 2-on-1 with Mario Ferraro and Marcus Sorensen. Ferraro with a great pass that allows Sorensen to tap it in for the goal. Joe Thornton with the secondary assist. 1-0 Sharks.
12:55 - Cizikas scores to tie it up. That was quick. Bret Hedican called out Lukas Radil for not being close enough in the lane to block the shot. Hedican says he should have put himself in a better position.
Pete DeBoer challenged for goaltender interference. Refs decide that it’s not enough to stop the call on the ice of a good goal. 1-1 and now the Sharks are on the penalty kill.
Once again, we lose the challenge. I wounder what the goal differential for the Sharks on challenges this year is.
10:55 - Penalty killed. I guess you can take risks like that when you’re the best penalty kill in the league.
7:52 - Radil called for hooking. I know we have only 11 forwards, but you have to wonder if he’s going to be sitting for a while after that one. You also have to wonder if maybe the kid will be better served playing down in the AHL for a little bit.
5:52 - Sharks kill another penalty. 3-for-3 now.
3:18 - Kevin Labanc called for slashing. Sharks are back on the penalty kill.
2:25 - Jones with a huge save on Anders Lee. Penalty still being killed.
1:18 - Sharks kill the penalty. Now they need to get the momentum back.
0:00 - Period ends. Two goals were scored, but we’re back to square one with a tie score at one.
The Islanders had more jump than the Sharks in this period and the Sharks took some stupid penalties. Lukas Radil was called out more than once by Hedican. It’s no good if we ice forwards the coaching staff has absolutely no trust in.
20:00 - Puck drop. Even strength, which may help.
17:28 - Patrick Marleau called for tripping. Sharks on the penalty kill again.
16:36 - Karlsson clears after what was basically a string of scoring chances by the Islanders.
15:28 - Sharks kill the penalty, but still in trouble after the clear goes all the way down for icing. Tired Sharks’ penalty killers will need to stay out a little longer.
15:03 - Another icing and no change.
11:46 - Some back and forth hockey. No real chances for either side right now.
8:49 - Evander Kane’s wrap around try stopped. He’s still getting some great chances.
8:30 - Refs suddenly lost their whistles and missed what could have been a too many men penalty on the Islanders. In another game I could see skipping it, but with the number of penalties they’re calling on the Sharks tonight, it seems a little biased.
8:24 - And now Labanc is headed to the box for tripping.
6:24 - Penalty killed and they get zone time because the PK unit hit Labanc coming out of the box.
4:03 - Jone with another save and Marleau turns it the other way.
1:32 - Couture almost untied it. He just didn’t catch the puck in time, but it was a wide open net.
0:16 - Islanders called offsides. Faceoff comes outside the Sharks zone, increasing the chances of the Sharks walking away with a point.
0:00 - Sharks 1, Islanders 1. Overtime for the second game in a row.
4:59 - Islanders control the puck off the faceoff. Control is crazy important in overtime.
2:52 - The Sharks have had the puck for more than a minute and what feels like 0 shots on goal.
2:30 - Logan Couture scores! Evander Kane with the pass across the front of the net for Couture, who puts it past Varlarmov. That’s back-to-back overtime winners for the Captain.
Sharks win 2-1.
The San Jose Sharks will certainly have their work cut out for them tonight, as the New York Islanders roll into town on a 16-game point streak and having only lost four total games so far this season.
Doing them absolutely no favors is the absence of Tomas Hertl, who is a game-time decision. Though the Sharks called up Noah Gregor from the Barracuda this afternoon, Pete DeBoer is likely eyeing a line up of 11 forwards and seven defenders, which did result in a victory against the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday.
The Islanders, meanwhile, have been doing it by committee this year, with a surprising amount of depth with excellent usage by Head Coach Barry Trotz. Their system has been one of control — the Sharks may be able to gain time in the offensive zone, but getting quality chances (something they struggled with mightily in October) is an entirely different story.
It’s a bad time for the Sharks’ lineup to be in flux, for sure.
Expected Scratches: Lukas Radil, Noah Gregor
Injured Reserve: Melker Karlsson (upper body), Dalton Prout (upper body)
Islanders (via NHL.com)
Anders Lee — Mathew Barzal — Jordan Eberle
Anthony Beauvillier — Brock Nelson — Derick Brassard
Michael Dal Colle — Otto Koivula — Josh Bailey
Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck
Nick Leddy — Johnny Boychuk
Adam Pelech — Ryan Pulock
Devon Toews — Scott Mayfield
Expected Scratches: Noah Dobson, Leo Komarov, Ross Johnston
Injured Reserve: Tom Kuhnhackl (leg)
Where to Watch
Puck drop from SAP Center in San Jose will be at 7:30 Pacific/10:30 Eastern. The game will be broadcast on NBC Sports California in the Bay Area and on MSG+ in the New York broadcast region. Streaming is available via NHLtv. For the radio call, tune in to 98.5 KFOX if you’re local, or the Sharks + SAP Center app if you’re a little farther away.
Check back at puck drop for live updates and reactions!