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2019-02-11
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SAN JOSE Chris Wagner Jersey Womens , Calif. (AP) The scene was all too familiar for the San Jose Sharks: a postgame handshake line on their home ice with the other team celebrating a series win while the Sharks wonder what might have been.A team that seemed to have the ingredients necessary for a long playoff run went out instead in the second round with a 3-0 loss Sunday in Game 6 against the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.”For periods of this series I thought we were a better team, I thought we played the game that we know we’re capable of, we showed we could beat them,” forward Logan Couture said. ”We just didn’t do it long enough.”That’s what perhaps makes this the most bitter playoff loss in coach Peter DeBoer’s three seasons in San Jose, all of which ended with home playoff losses.In 2016, the Sharks got over a major hump and made it to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history before losing in six games to a more talented Pittsburgh team.Last year, San Jose sputtered toward the finish of the season and lost in six games to Edmonton in the first round in large part due to injuries that hampered top two centers Couture and Joe Thornton.But the Sharks were healthier this year despite Thornton’s absence because of a knee injury. Midseason acquisitions Evander Kane and Eric Fehr had San Jose surging following a first-round sweep against Anaheim.They came out flat in the opener against Vegas and lost 7-0 and then dropped a key overtime contest at home in Game 3, playing much of the series from behind. The biggest difference was the performance of the top lines with Vegas’ trio of William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith combining for eight goals and 17 assists, while Kane, Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi had just three goals and two assists for the Sharks.”We definitely would’ve liked to have been a little bit more productive,” Pavelski said. ”It’s hard to say. We’ll have to take a look at it, figure it out. We had some looks, we had some chances, we didn’t capitalize when we did. I wish I had an answer. We sure should’ve been a little better.”Here are some other takeaways from the season and things to watch this summer:JUMBO JOEThornton injured his right knee on Jan. 23 and never was able to make it back into the lineup. He practiced all postseason and even took part in all the pregame skates but never felt quite healthy enough to get back into the lineup. The 38-year-old Thornton is now eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this summer Alex Galchenyuk Jersey Womens , leaving his future in San Jose in doubt. He still can be productive as evidenced by his 13 goals and 23 assists in 47 games. But after significant knee injuries the past two seasons, there are questions about whether he will be able to keep up in the faster paced game.KANE’S CALLThe move to acquire Kane from Buffalo at the trade deadline provided a major spark. He had nine goals and five assists in 17 games, providing needed speed and physicality on San Jose’s top line. That carried over to the first round when he had three goals and an assists in a sweep against Anaheim but Kane wasn’t nearly as effective against Vegas as he played through injuries. Now the Sharks have a decision to make whether to keep Kane or let him leave as a free agent. If he signs, they owe Buffalo a first-round pick in 2019. If he leaves, that pick becomes a second-rounder.”Obviously I enjoy winning and coming here was a great opportunity for me to do that,” Kane said. ”I really, really, really enjoyed my time with this group of guys, and loved going to battle with these guys.”STEPPING UPThe best development for the Sharks this season was the development of some younger players. Tomas Hertl looks like he could be a dominant power forward, Chris Tierney and Kevin Labanc are able playmakers, Timo Meier scored 21 goals at age 21, and Joakim Ryan is an ideal defensive partner for Brent Burns. Those players will be counted on to do even more in the future as the Sharks transition from players like Thornton, Pavelski and the departed Patrick Marleau to a new generation.CAP ROOMThe Sharks head into the offseason with projected salary cap room of more than $15 million. While some of that could be used up by keeping Thornton or Kane, GM Doug Wilson also could use that money to target a top free agent like John Tavares of the New York Islanders. Wilson has been planning for that flexibility for years and now the question becomes how he will use it.— MONTREAL (AP) Taylor Hall couldn’t have picked a better time to get his first career short-handed goal.Hall scored on a breakaway late in the third period to lift the New Jersey Devils to a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday night.The 26-year-old forward came out of the penalty box after serving a penalty for too many men – in which Montreal had a 5-on-3 advantage for 51 seconds – took a a pass from Travis Zajac and beat Carey Price on the blocker side with 4:07 remaining.”I’m not much of a short-handed threat but it’s nice to get one there,” said Hall Carter Rowney Jersey Womens , who extended his point streak to eight games. ”Two minutes feeling shame and trying to think about what you’re going to do when you get out, and then you get a breakaway chance like that after a great kill by our guys.”The goal was Hall’s fourth in his last three games and 37th on the season, giving him career highs in goals and points (89).”You’re always thinking this is the time I’m going to get a breakaway out of the box,” Hall said. ”Usually you go in for a defensive zone shift and you’re hemmed in for a while. Just a great kill by our 5-on-3 group.”Nico Hischier tied the score early in the third and Keith Kinkaid stopped 25 shots in his sixth consecutive start for the Devils. New Jersey increased its lead to seven points on Florida for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Devils, vying for their first trip to the postseason since reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2012, have three games remaining – two fewer than the Panthers.”We’re excited about it but it’s about our game,” Devils coach John Hynes said. ”You can’t get too wrapped up in those situations. We need to make sure that our focus level is our game, and where we’re going, and making sure we’re ready to continue to play.”Daniel Carr scored for the Canadiens, who have already been eliminated from playoff contention. Carey Price finished with 30 saves while playing his 556th game with Montreal, pulling into a tie with Jacques Plante for most games by a goaltender in franchise history.”It was a good performance from this team,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. ”Price was very good. We battled hard and did some good things. It was a very physical game. It’s unfortunate because we played a good game but still found a way to lose.”Hischier tied the score 1-1 just 26 seconds into the third. With his back to the goal, the top overall pick in last June’s NHL draft, got the blade of his stick on a shot from Sami Vatanen and deflected the puck past Price for his 19th.Hischier, the only Devils player to dress for all 79 games this season Luke Schenn Jersey Womens , nearly gave New Jersey the lead on two occasions in the third. He was stopped by Price on a breakaway before hitting the post a minute later.”Every single guy in here wanted this win,” Hischier said. ”A huge two points. At the end we just found a way. That’s all that matters at the end of the season, to win games.”Both teams were playing the second game of a back-to-back series. Montreal lost 5-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday while New Jersey beat the New York Islanders 4-3.Carr scored a contentious goal with 9 seconds left in the first period to get the Canadiens on the scoreboard. With Montreal on a rush on a power play, Carr took a pass from Artturi Lehkonen in the slot and fired a slap shot, glove-side on Kinkaid, in the top corner of the net.Hynes challenged for offside on the play, but the goal stood after a review. Defenseman Mike Reilly, playing his 100th NHL game, got an assist on Carr’s fifth of the season.NOTES: The Canadiens finished 4-8-2 this season in the second game of a back-to-back. … Kerby Rychel, 23, recalled from Laval of the AHL on Friday, made his Montreal debut. … There was a moment of silence before the game for former Montreal Expos and MLB star Rusty Staub, who passed away Thursday.UP NEXTDevils: Host the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.Canadiens: Host Winnipeg on Tuesday night.

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