SAN JOSE — Sharks coach Pete DeBoer didn’t have a health update on Melker Karlsson on Sunday morning after the forward was blasted by Anaheim’s Corey Perry with an illegal hit in the late stages of Game 2 at Honda Center.
Perry was given an interference penalty with 3:43 to go in the third period Saturday. Just as big for the Sharks, though, was that Perry wasn’t able to take anyone to the penalty box with him.
The Sharks have been preaching playing “whistle-to-whistle” against the Ducks since the opening round playoff series began, trying to avoid costly retaliatory penalties.
So far, the Sharks are mostly sticking to the game plan. The only infraction of that sort for San Jose through two games during timed play was a penalty to Evander Kane in the first period on Saturday, when he and Jakob Silfverberg each received two-minute minors for roughing.
“I think it’s been critical,” DeBoer said Sunday on a conference call. “Anaheim’s got some guys over there that are very good at dragging you into that stuff and have made a career out of it. So far we’ve done a real good job of refusing to get into that type of game and sticking to what we do which is hard, physical, fast, whistle-to-whistle.”
Karlsson was standing a few feet away from Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon and Silfverberg, trying to dig the puck free, as Dillon and Silfverberg were battling along the boards. Perry then came in with a hard shoulder check on the left side of an unsuspecting Karlsson, sending his helmet flying off and Karlsson to the ice. Karlsson did not return to the game after the hit.
The Ducks killed the penalty, but it cost them valuable time in their effort to tie the game. The Sharks survived a furious effort from the Ducks after Perry’s penalty expired and earned a 3-2 win to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
There was no indication Sunday morning that Perry would receive any further discipline from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
Perry also took a roughing penalty in Game 1, getting into it with Marcus Sorensen and Eric Fehr around the Sharks’ net after a second period shot of his was stopped by Martin Jones.
The Sharks have depth forward options in case Karlsson can’t play in Game 3 Monday at SAP Center, with Jannik Hansen, Joel Ward and Barclay Goodrow all available.
There was also no update on defenseman Justin Braun, who blocked a Hampus Lindholm shot with under a minute to go in the third period and did not play the final 44 seconds.