SAN JOSE SHARKS NOTES:
LAST TIME OUT
Game 13 – 11/9 SJS 3 vs. EDM 2…
Tomas Hertl (1g, 1a) registered two points, Fabian Zetterlund (1g, 0a) netted his team-leading fourth goal of the season and Filip Zadina (1g, 0a) lit the lamp for the third time as a Shark as the Sharks defeated Edmonton, 3-2. The Sharks blocked 35 shots in the game, the most in the team’s history, led by Nikita Okhotiuk’s eight blocks. Mackenzie Blackwood made 39 saves on 41 shots faced in the victory. SJS Goals: Zetterlund (4), Hertl (2), Zadina (3) SF: 18 SA: 41 SJS PP: 0-2 SJS PK: 4-4 W: Blackwood L: Skinner
THE DUKE ABIDES
Forward Anthony Duclair registered consecutive first multi-point efforts on Nov. 4 and Nov. 7, posting back-to-back games with both a goal and an assist. Three of those four points came on the power play, including a goal and a helper against Pittsburgh on Saturday (Nov. 4) and another assist Tuesdsay (Nov. 7) against Philadelphia. It’s the seventh time that Duclair has recorded back-to-back multi-point games in his career. He has factored into each of the Sharks’ last four goals. Duclair found the back of the net for the first time as a member of the Sharks on Oct. 19 against the Boston Bruins, with an assist from linemate Tomáš Hertl. Per NHL Edge, Duclair is tied for 10th among league forwards with three shots of 90 mph or faster. Duclair, acquired in a July 1 trade with Florida, had a career-best 31 goals in his last full season in 2021-22, a campaign that finished with 58 points and a plus-19 rating.
WHERE THERE’S A WILL…
Forward William Eklund started the year with two points in the first six games, including his first goal of the season against Carolina on Oct. 17, and added his second goal of the campaign on Tuesday (Nov. 7) against Philadelphia, a power play strike that proved to be his first career game-winning goal. With an assist in Thursday’s win over Edmonton (Nov. 9), Eklund has points in back-to-back games as the team heads to Vegas. As of games ending Nov. 7, the Stockholm, Sweden native ranks near the top of the NHL in skating distance (80th percentile) at 33.88 miles and in speed bursts over 20 miles per hour (82nd percentile) with 20. Eklund, the seventh-overall selection in the 2021 NHL Draft, has 10 points (4g, 6a) through 29 career NHL games.
Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood turned two more stellar performances in helping the Sharks earn their first wins of the season, making 38 saves on 39 shots faced Tuesday vs. PHI and following up with a 39-for-41 effort Thursday against EDM. Per NHL PR, his save total Tuesday was the second-most in Sharks history for a goalie in his first win with the club, lesser than only Troy Grosenick’s 45 on Nov. 16, 2014. Blackwood ranked fourth in the NHL following games on Nov. 8 with 75 high-danger saves on the year per NHL Edge and is in the 72nd percentile among league goaltenders with four games with a SV% greater than .900. Blackwood started his Sharks tenure with a remarkable 51-save effort against the Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 14, including stops on his first 48 shots faced in the game. It remains the most by a NHL netminder in any game this season, represents the most by any NHL goalie in a debut with a new team since at least 1955-56, per NHL PR, and was the most by a Sharks netminder in this millennium (Steve Shields – 51, Oct. 14, 1999, 5-1 W at NSH).
HERT SO GOOD
Forward Tomáš Hertl leads the Sharks with nine points (2g, 7a), entering Friday’s game against Vegas. With his goal on Nov. 9 against Edmonton, the centerman is now just one goal back of Owen Nolan (206) for fifth on the Sharks’ all-time goals list and is one multi-point game back of Nolan for sixth on the team’s all-time multi-point games list (109).. With his pair of helpers on Oct. 17, Hertl (453 points) surpassed Nolan (451) for sixth on San Jose’s all-time points list and moved beyond Jeff Friesen for eighth on the team’s all-time multi-assist games list (38), and his multi-helper game against Pittsburgh tied him with Erik Karlsson for seventh. Hertl entered 2023-24 after posting a career-best 41 assists in 2022-23, a season in which he tallied 63 points (22g, 41 a) in 72 games. It was the second time in his career that he hit the 20-goal plateau in consecutive seasons and the first since 2017-18 (22) and 2018-19 (35).
Nico Sturm has been dominant at the faceoff dot so far this season, leading the NHL at 65.3-percent on draws through games ending Nov. 9 (min. 50 faceoffs) after a 6-for-6 showing Tuesday against the Flyers. He also paces the league at 67.6-percent at even strength and is seventh in shorthanded FOW% with a 57.1-percent clip (min. 20 SH FO). The forward earned his first point of the season with an assist in the Sharks’ win over Edmonton on Nov. 9. Sturm went 17-for-20 (85.0%) Oct. 27 at Carolina, the third-best single-game effort at the dot in his career (min. 10 faceoffs). Sturm’s strong start comes on the heels of posting the 21st-best season in Sharks history at the dot (min. 100 FO) in 2022-23, winning 55.8-percent of his draws on the season.
Forward Fabian Zetterlund scratched the goal column for the first time with the Sharks since being acquired as part of the trade that sent Timo Meier to New Jersey in February, opening the scoring in San Jose’s Tuesday (Oct. 17) tilt with Carolina. Adding an assist later in the contest, Zetterlund tallied his first multi-point game in teal and sixth of his career. The Swedish forward followed up with his second goal in teal a week later, scoring on the power play in the Sharks’ contest at Florida (Oct. 24) and enters Nov. 10 at Vegas as the team’s leader with four goals on the season, two coming in November (Nov. 2 vs. VAN and Nov. 9 vs. EDM). Per NHL Edge, Zetterlund ranked in the 98th percentile for top skating speed, a 23.19 mph burst (0:50, second period) on Nov. 2 vs. Vancouver, is in the 92nd percentile for speed bursts over 20 mph (27), and 83rd percentile for top shot speed (91.40 mph), as of games ending Nov. 7.
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS NOTES:
LAST GAME RECAP – VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1, LOS ANGELES KINGS 4
The Vegas Golden Knights (11-2-1) lost to the Los Angeles Kings (8-2-2), 4-1, on Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena. After a scoreless first period, Adrian Kempe opened the scoring for LA to put the Kings up, 1-0. Four minutes later, Trevor Moore extended the lead with a power-play goal. The Golden Knights entered the final period in a 2-0 deficit until Pierre Luc Dubois scored to extend LA’s lead to three goals. With six minutes left to play, William Karlsson ended Cam Talbot’s shutout campaign to put the Golden Knights on the board but Anze Kopitar’s empty-net tally completed the 4-1 victory for the Kings.
AGAINST THE SHARKS
The Vegas Golden Knights will face the San Jose Sharks for the second time this season and the first time at T-Mobile Arena. The last time these met, Vegas defeated the Sharks, 4-1, at SAP Center. Michael Amadio struck first for Vegas 15 minutes into the first period. With less than one minute remaining in the frame, Filip Zadina tied it for the Sharks, 1-1. Vegas scored two more times with goals from both Nicolas Hague and Nicolas Roy, 53 seconds apart, putting the team up 3-1. Two minutes into the final frame, Brayden Pachal netted his first NHL goal to seal the 4-1 victory. Former Shark, Adin Hill, made two starts against his former club last season, defeating them both times and owning a .950 combined save-percentage in those outings. The Golden Knights hold an all-time record of 21-2-5 in 28 meetings with San Jose, their best record against any opponent aside from Seattle (8-1-0).
SOME SERIOUS SCORING
The Golden Knights were limited to just one goal for the first time this season by the Kings on Wednesday night after averaging 3.77 goals for per game, including scoring a season-high of seven goals against Colorado last Saturday. Vegas had not scored less than 2 goals in 16 straight regular season games (including 2022-23 regular season). The Golden Knights remain a top high-scoring team with a +18-goal differential (3rd in NHL) and are one of just four teams in the NHL with at least 50 goals so far this season.