Programming note: Flames-Sharks coverage starts Wednesday at 7 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
SAN JOSE -- Tommy Wingels was aware he hadn’t scored in a while before his shorthanded marker against Arizona on Saturday.
The 26-year-old forward, who signed a three-year, $7.4 million contract with the Sharks over the summer, said back in July that one of his goals was to produce consistent offense during his third full NHL season.
He converted on a 2-on-1 rush with Barclay Goodrow, who forced Oliver Ekman-Larsson into a turnover at the Sharks’ defensive blue line before spiriting the other way with only forward Sam Gagner defending.
Wingels’ smacked in Goodrow’s perfect cross-ice feed in the second period, ending a 10-game goal-scoring drought.
“It’s been a long time. Going into the season, that’s what I talked about in my game. I needed to work on that and not have those long stretches,” Wingels said. “But, feels good.”
For Goodrow, who is starting to take regular shifts on the penalty kill, it was his second assist in 10 games. He played 14 minutes and 21 seconds against the Coyotes, a new season high for the 21-year-old rookie.
"It's definitely nice to contribute,” he said. “To play in shorthanded opportunities is nice. Just finding ways to make the team be successful is nice."
As for the goal, which got the Sharks on the board when they were trailing 2-0 in the second period, Goodrow said: “I was just trying to get the puck out. I got lucky and kind of settled in behind [Ekman-Larsson], and was able to win a footrace. Tommy made a great shot after that.”
Goodrow also got a chance in the shootout, and said after the game he was a regular participant in tiebreakers in the OHL. He couldn’t solve Devan Dubnyk, though, and San Jose would go on to lose the game, 4-3.
“Just tried to stick with a move that I’ve done in the past and he just got a stick on it,” Goodrow said.
Although the result of the game was not what the Sharks wanted in falling to 0-0-2 on a six-game homestand, Todd McLellan liked what he saw from his third and fourth lines, including Andrew Desjardins’ first goal of the season.
“I thought we got tremendous energy from our third and fourth lines tonight,” he said. “They got us going shorthanded. Barclay made a good play, and then Desi’s goal. They gave us a real good boost on a night when some of our top players didn’t have the energy and didn’t have the details.”
Wingels said: “I thought our line as a whole, throughout the game with [James Sheppard] and [Goodrow], created some energy for us and some scoring chances. We’ll build on that as a line and try to continue it next game.”
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Now that Adam Burish’s $1.85 million salary that is buried in the AHL -- and it's hard to imagine him returning to San Jose any time soon -- the Sharks are spending a pro-rated $5.04 million on players not currently on the roster through this season and 2015-16.
Marty Havlat was a compliance buyout in the offseason, costing the Sharks $2 million in actual dollars for this season and next, while the club is retaining $1.19 million of Jason Demers’ salary through next season.
Only Demers' retained salary and $925,000 of Burish’s salary count against the cap, though, according to CapGeek.com, which credits the Sharks with about $7.1 million of cap space.
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The Sharks will practice on Monday and Tuesday at Sharks Ice, before hosting Calgary on Wednesday.
The team is currently carrying 23 active players, including eight defensemen. Mike Brown appears to be nearing a return, though, so the Sharks would have to clear a spot for him once he recovers from a left hand injury.