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Sharks Locker Room: Quinn Doesn’t Want To Lose Meier, Karlsson

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Credit: San Jose Sharks

The San Jose Sharks won their first overtime game since Oct. 27 on the backs of brilliant performances from Erik Karlsson and Timo Meier and Kaapo Kahkonen.

A win against the Tampa Bay Lightning looked unlikely after the first period, as the score was 3-1 in favor of the Lightning after 20 minutes. Entering tonight, Tampa Bay was on a 12-game winning streak at home and undefeated when leading after the first period.

But, strong goaltending from Kahkonen and goals from Jonah Gadjovich and Meier would tie the game 3-3. Meier would pick up his second of the game in OT off a great feed from Karlsson.

Scott Harrington talked about rejoining Karlsson on the top pairing and how good it felt for the San Jose Sharks to win in overtime again. Meier broke down the subtle play that allowed Karlsson space to set up the winning goal. And head coach David Quinn discussed Meier, Karlsson, and Kakhonen’s performances in addition to the team’s adjustments that allowed them to secure the comeback win.

Scott Harrington, on his assist to Gadjovich and playing with Karlsson again:

[He’s] someone who sees the ice well. The second he got the puck, tried to get open. I figured that it was coming to me because, like I said, he sees the ice so well. I just tried to get open for him and when I realized I had a little bit of ice, I tried to skate it and shoot it as hard as I could. I saw a little bit of net and tried to put it to an area [where] if it went in, great, but if not hopefully create a rebound. That one was fortunate. I think it hit a stick or something.

Harrington, on the San Jose Sharks’ first OT win since Oct. 27:

It feels great. Like you said, unfortunately the last couple—I don’t know how many overtime games—seem to have gone the other way. So for us to not just win in overtime, but to come back and tie the game against a good team—especially after the slow start we had—feels great.

That first game back after the break is always a tough one and we knew it was going to be difficult, especially them having played last night. That’s a good morale victory for us as a team and there’s a lot of stuff that we’ll look to build on next game.

Harrington, on Kahkonen’s performance:

He was great again. He played really well last game and with all their power plays, too—I don’t think we gave up a ton—but we certainly gave up some chances. When we did, he was right there to bail us out.

For us to win games, we’re going to need goaltending like that and he was great tonight again for us.

See Timo Meier’s interview here

Timo Meier, on the San Jose Sharks adjusting in order to make a comeback:

I thought the first 30 minutes [of the] game, looked like we were a little rusty out there. But then we found a way to battle back and I thought we played real determined. Just battled, then found a way to get those two points. Definitely feels good.

Meier, on setting a “pick” for Karlsson in OT:

Anytime you can try to get in a guy’s way—obviously you’ve got to be careful with taking penalties—but if you can get in their way a little bit so they have to go around you, it makes it harder to defend. Especially, when you’ve got to defend a guy like Erik. Like I said, really nice pass by him and well-executed.

Meier, on if the team was particularly focused on puck possession in OT after careless puck management in recent OT losses:

I think it’s pretty clear that it’s more fun to play with the puck than without the puck. So I think that’s all we need to do. If you can hold onto the puck, tire them out, and catch them on changes, that’s when you are going to create yourself some room.

See David Quinn’s interview here

David Quinn, on Karlsson and Meier’s performances amid trade rumors:

It speaks to how tough they are mentally. Everybody talks about the possibilities of what could happen, [but] they’re committed to our organization. They’re committed to winning. I’ve enjoyed coaching them. I hope they don’t go anywhere. It says an awful lot about their professionalism, the way they go about their business….they’re two superstars.

Quinn, on if Kahkonen “stole” a win:

You could certainly say that. Great job, especially in the first period. I thought we really were on our heels in the first… I just thought we got better as the game went on, certainly not the level we need to be. I thought the penalties really put us in a hole throughout the game and there were just too many penalties against. He made the saves he needed to. Really happy for him because he’s playing really well and good to see us take advantage of that.

Quinn, on the adjustments between the first and second periods:

Just skate more, get more physical. I thought we did a lot of standing around and watching and they had an awful lot of time and space in the first period. It could have been worse than it was and I thought we got the rust off and started doing some things better than the second again. We killed too many penalties in the second period, but I thought five-on-five we were much better, didn’t give up as many chances. They had chances in the third too.

I thought we weren’t great in the third but we held our own, had our own chances. But, I didn’t think we’re great in our own end tonight. I think we’re gonna have to clean that up tomorrow in practice and be better defensively if we’re gonna have a chance.

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