Islanders 3, Sharks 4 (SO): How much hockey does it take to finally get a win?

More than you’d think!

Despite improvements to their game in the first two periods, the San Jose Sharks are still struggling to play a full 60 minutes — maybe because three of their last four games have gone to overtime, and two of those went to a shootout.

The New York Islanders struck first, but San Jose came back to take the lead twice. The power play is finally clicking, putting up two goals, though 5-on-5 is still lacking power. By the third period, the Sharks’ offensive efforts slowed down and New York dominated the third period and the five minutes of 3-on-3 overtime.

It may come as a relief to see the losing streak end, but the improvements are still marginal and three-point wins over bad teams aren’t anything to write home about. It’s especially got to feel good for James Reimer, who has been tasked with a lot of responsibility lately and came up huge tonight.

The Weatherby goal was pretty fun, too.

Comment of the Game

I promise to get off the Gregor criticism eventually but 1.) this game was so boring and 2.) something about “even Eastern Canada knows Noah Gregor can’t score” is just so funny to me.

Stealth jersey curse night, let’s go!

First Period

19:35: Every single time I remember Zdeno Chara is on the Islanders, it’s like I’m learning this information for the first time.

18:31: Watching the team actually try to skate the puck into the zone (good!!!! so good!!!!!) just to make the first pass to Noah Gregor, who then fumbles the puck, is so exhausting.

17:47: Matt Nieto goes off for hooking Chara, Islanders to the power play.

16:37: Isles’ second unit is quick to set up after breaking into the zone.

14:31: Brent Burns skating the puck around the Islanders’ net, sets up Timo Meier quite nicely.

14:18: And now Logan Couture with a shot on goal.

13:52: Tomas Hertl with a chance up close and Ryan Dzingel follows up with a weak shot off the rebound. Still love the hustle.


11:49: Islanders getting another power play, after Jacob Middleton takes down Brock Nelson with a hold.

10:22: The aggressive way the Sharks’ penalty kill holds the zone as New York tries to enter is so suffocating, it’s really good. They give absolutely no space.

9:49: Penalty killed.

9:29: James Reimer with another save off the mask, on a shot from Casey Cizikas. His poor head.

8:52: Andrew Cogliano gets up close and personal with Isles netminder Ilya Sorokin. Chara didn’t love that.

8:11: Big couple of saves from Reimer and he’s quick to pop back up to his skates to stay active, really great work. He’s so athletic and he’s on tonight.

7:04: “He’s so big and strong, and he’s got such a big stride; you give him an inch, he can take a yard.” — Isles broadcast on Timo Meier, wow, I agree!!!

5:04: Was just about to write that the Sharks were spending too much time playing back on their heels and the Islanders scored. Brock Nelson with a slapshot from above the right circle and it’s 1-0, Islanders.

4:20: Nick Bonino with a sick dangle in front, but Sorokin makes the stop. What a nifty bit of stickwork.

4:12: Adam Pelech goes off for interference on Alexander Barabanov. Sharks to the power play.

4:05: NO HESITATION. Barabanov from the top of the left circle from a feed off Burns. It’s tied 1-1.

2:28: Jasper Weatherby sends in a wrister and the Sharks have come up with a lead before the period closes. 2-1, Sharks.

Shots are 14-12, Sharks leading.

END FIRST: Sharks 2, Islanders 1

Second Period

18:41: Barabanov and Meier with a 1-2 punch. That whole line puts in a good shift, as Hertl follows up with a chance.

17:49: Dzingel with a quick chance up front. Really loving this Dzingel/Couture connection.

17:31: Viel and Chara drop the gloves behind the play. Chara is SO MUCH bigger than him, come on, Jeff. Five minutes each.

15:37: Anders Lee just got blanked up close, lots of bodies in the crease.

14:11: Reimer with a big sexy save on Pelech, then Cizikas.

13:31: Couple great chances from the Sharks on Sorokin.

12:58: Mario Ferraro with an excellent defensive play on Zach Parise.

10:17: The Isles’ defenders are so inactive on offense, they really maintain the blueline, which is fine for the cycle and keeping the puck in the zone, but it leaves their attackers shorthanded against the Sharks’ defense up front.

7:38: Nicolas Meloche is just confirmed to not be returning to tonight’s game. Hi last shift was with just under five minutes left in the first period.

7:12: Sebastian Aho (no, the other one) skates the puck behind the net, sends it up the slot to Zach Parise, who beats Reimer. Tied 2-2.

5:16: Reimer with a point-blank stop on a sweep from Oliver Wahlstrom.

4:51: Now Matt Nieto and Jean-Gabriel Pageau are throwing down. Nieto had a big hit on Ryan Pulock a second earlier.

The pair are getting five for fighting, so they’re heading to the dressing room because of the time on the clock. Pageau gets an extra two for roughing, so Sharks to the power play.

4:08: Isles getting some shorthanded offensive zone time, who is surprised?

3:29: Couture snipes it past Sorokin on a feed from Ryan Merkley. Sharks get the lead back, 3-2.

3:10: Damn, that’s a quick response. Pelech with shot right down the slot that gets in under Reimer’s pads. Tied, 3-3.

1:28: Big stop on Bonino, and Viel does some pushing and shoving with Chara and Matt Martin behind the net after the whistle.

Period ends with a late push from New York. Shots are 29-23, Islanders pulling ahead.

END SECOND: Sharks 3, Islanders 3

Third Period

18:02: Man, I hate watching the Islanders. What a drag.

17:06: The officials have missed two calls this period, but since they missed one for each team, I guess that’s okay? perhaps we should be calling penalties anyway, but what do I know?

16:02: Weatherby knocks the net off, but because an Isles skater pushed him to the goaltender, they’re saying the Islanders caused it therefore they don’t get a line change. Lucky break for an offensive zone faceoff for San Jose.

15:03: A delayed call on Logan Couture for hooking the skates of Noah Dobson, Sharks with a penalty kill coming up.

14:06: Reimer is going to give me a heart attack because he commits to a save and relies on his athleticism to bounce back and sometimes he cuts it SO close.

13:03: Penalty killed.

12:11: Example here, where Reimer was down and committed while Nelson skated around the net and luckily a Sharks player was in front to prevent a wraparound goal behind an outstretched Reimer.

10:38: Pelech with a hard shot from the left circle, bounces off Reimer into the slot, Kyle Palmieri follows up on the rebound.

9:08: Dahlen out with Viel and Weatherby is such a bad line. Terrible mismatch.

8:12: Pile of bodies in front of Reimer, but the puck doesn’t get through. Atta boy.

5:10: Bonino with a sneaky takeaway in the neutral zone, then gets the puck to Burns who rips one on Sorokin and is robbed.

4:30: Islanders get some time in the Sharks’ zone.

4:18: Reimer playing the puck in the trapezoid, please stop making me panic!!!

2:27: Ferraro has had a couple of giveaways in the last minute or so. Oof.

The final minute and a half or so is back-and-forth with nothing particularly dangerous, as happens in cross-conference tied games.

END THIRD: Sharks 3, Islanders 3


Isles are 1-3 in overtime ... interesting.

4:59: Sharks start with Meier, Hertl and Ferraro.

2:53: Reimer with a huge stop on Nelson.

1:33: Post bests Barzal.

1:01: Isles have been pretty dominate in overtime.

To a shootout we go.


Anthony Beauvillier: Miss
Logan Couture: Goal

Mathew Barzal: Miss
Tomas Hertl: Miss

Brock Nelson: Miss

FINAL SCORE: Sharks 4, Islanders 3 (SO)

It’s a big day for friend of the blog Kevin Kurz (FOTBKK check?), as his New York Islanders will visit SAP Center to wrap up their season series against the San Jose Sharks. The Isles have slipped in the standings since the last time the two met in New York in December, but they’re getting great goaltending out of their tandem, a problem from the goal-shy Sharks.

Here’s everything you need to know to tune in:



Timo Meier — Tomas Hertl — Alexander Barabanov
Ryan Dzingel — Logan Couture — Jonathan Dahlen
Noah Gregor — Nick Bonino — Matt Nieto
Andrew Cogliano — Jasper Weatherby — Jeffrey Viel

Jacob Middleton — Brent Burns
Mario Ferraro — Nicolas Meloche
Marc-Edouard Vlasic — Ryan Merkley

James Reimer
Zach Sawchenko

Expected Scratches: Radim Simek, Jonah Gadjovich

Injured Reserve: Erik Karlsson (upper body), Kevin Labanc (upper body), Adin Hill (lower body), Rudolfs Balcers (upper body)


Zach Parise — Mathew Barzal — Kyle Palmieri
Kieffer Bellows — Brock Nelson — Anthony Beauvillier
Anders Lee — Jean-Gabriel Pageau — Oliver Wahlstrom
Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck

Zdeno Chara — Noah Dobson
Adam Pelech — Scott Mayfield
Sebastian Aho — Ryan Pulock

Ilya Sorokin
Semyon Varlamov

Expected Scratches: Andy Greene, Ross Johnston, Josh Bailey

Injured Reserve: None

How to Watch

Tonight’s game will be broadcast regionally on NBCSCA and MSG+. Streaming is available with a subscription to ESPN+ (blackout restrictions do apply). The radio call will be streamed through the Sharks Audio Network. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET at SAP Center in San Jose, California.