» INJURED SHARKS COULD RETURN SOON
SAN JOSE — Forward Melker Karlsson is out for Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders and defenseman Radim Simek is considered day-to-day after both players were both injured in the Sharks’ 2-1 overtime win over the Vegas Golden Knights.
Karlsson has an upper body injury, possibly caused by a hit from Golden Knights winger Ryan Reaves at the 8:26 mark of the second period of Thursday’s game at T-Mobile Arena. Karlsson took a regular shift for the rest of the period, but had just one shift early in the third before he left the game.
Simek has a lower body injury, which appeared to be caused by a low hit from Tomas Nosek in the corner to the right of Sharks goalie Aaron Dell with 17:00 left in regulation time. Simek left the ice and did not take another shift.
Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said Friday he did not know if Simek’s injury has anything to do with his surgically repaired right knee, but added the malady is in that area. Simek tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments and his meniscus in March and just returned to the Sharks’ active roster Nov. 5.
The Sharks dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen for Thursday’s game, which ended with Logan Couture’s breakaway goal with 1:40 left in overtime. Dell made 37 saves in the win, which lifted the Sharks’ record to 11-11-1.
The Sharks are 7-1-0 with Simek in the lineup, as the Czechborn defenseman has a goal and three assists and is averaging over 18 minutes of ice time per game since his return.
Tomas Hertl, who missed
Thursday’s game with a lower body injury, is also day-to-day, DeBoer said. Hertl, who was injured in the last two minutes of Tuesday’s game against Edmonton, skated briefly Friday after the team had an optional practice. Hertl also skated Thursday.
DeBoer said the Sharks, as of early Friday afternoon, were waiting for more medical information on Simek and Hertl before they decide to recall anyone from the Barracuda. The Sharks finished Thursday’s game with 10 forwards and six defensemen.
Barclay Goodrow started Thursday’s game in Hertl’s place as the Sharks’ second line center. He had one shot on goal, but won 10 of 19 faceoffs and played a season-high 18:33.
“I thought Barclay was excellent,” DeBoer said. “He did so many little things during that game, between faceoffs and little plays defensively. He was skating well, was hard, physical. I thought it was one of his best games.”
Suomela’s season debut —
DeBoer was also pleased with Antti Suomela’s first game with the Sharks this season. Suomela played just 6:03 but showed a bit more physicality than he had in the past, particularly on one sequence with just over six minutes left in the first period.
Suomela chipped the puck in across the Golden Knights’ blue line and created a turnover on the end boards with a forecheck on defenseman Jon Merrill. The puck later went out to the blue line, where Brenden Dillon’s shot was redirected by Suomela in the high slot into the Vegas net.
After a Golden Knights challenge, though, it was ruled that Timo Meier had impaired MarcAndre Fleury’s ability to stop the puck when he made contact with the Golden Knights goalie on the edge of the crease.
“That was a good shift,” Suomela said. “Coaches say I have to be a good forward one, get good pressure on their defense. It worked yesterday but I want to do the same (Saturday) too.”
The Blue Jackets' Riley Nash (20) looks for a pass while the San Jose Sharks' Radim Simek (51) patrols the front of the net in Columbus, Ohio, on Feb. 23.