NHL predictions 2019-20: Final standings, playoff projections, Stanley Cup picks
We can all agree the start of an NHL season brings renewed excitement, but we won't all agree on who will be the best. Sporting News' hockey experts give their picks for the 2020 playoff picture and awards.Officially, the slate has been wiped clean and all 31 teams are now set to travel, on what they hope, is a road painted in silver with the Stanley Cup at the end. But that road is a long, twisting, curving one with never-ending potholes. It is one that eventually splits where only one can take the road less traveled — one that less than 100 teams have taken — one that ends in a championship.
San Jose Sharks right wing Timo Meier, center, celebrates with Brent Burns, left, and Logan Couture after scoring a goal against the Calgary Flames during the first period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
San Jose Sharks right wing Kevin Labanc (62) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Calgary Flames during the first period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau skates against the Calgary Flames during the first period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) skates against the San Jose Sharks during the second period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson passes the puck against the Calgary Flames during the second period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl is congratulated by teammates after scoring goal against the Calgary Flames during the second period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan (23) skates against the San Jose Sharks during the second period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
San Jose Sharks center Dylan Gambrell, top, reaches for the puck behind Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane during the third period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau (13) skates in front of San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau during the first period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm (28) celebrates after scoring a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the second period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
SAN JOSE,Calif. (AP) -- Less than a week after rejoining his former team, Patrick Marleau is already making a big impact.
How worried should winless Sharks be after loss to Predators?
San Jose fell to 0-4-0 in 2019-20 as Nashville won 5-2.The Sharks sunk to 0-4-0 on the young 2019-20 season after the Nashville Predators beat them 5-2. This is San Jose’s second 0-4-0 start in franchise history, with the only other instance coming in their awkward earlier phase in 1993-94.
Tomas Hertl had a goal and an assist to help the San Jose Sharks beat the Calgary Flames 3-1 on Sunday night.
Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc also scored as San Jose won their second straight after an 0-4-0 start. Logan Couture had two assists and Patrick Marleau had one in his first home game since rejoining the Sharks. Martin Jones stopped 32 shots after posting a 4.55 goals-against average while losing his first three starts.
"I don't think it's an accident that we've won the last two and he's been in the lineup," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said of Marleau's return. "He just plays the right way. He does the right thing when he's out on the ice all the time. It's really helped solidify our lineup a little bit."
BOX SCORE: SHARKS 3, FLAMES 1
The 40-year-old Marleau spent the first 19 seasons of his career in San Jose and ranks first in franchise history in points (1,085) and goals (509), among other categories. After two seasons with Toronto he was traded to Carolina during the summer and then had his contract bought out.
Six teams on upset alert in NFL Week 7
Week 7 offers plenty of intriguing matchups, and these six teams are on upset watch.We’re putting six teams on upset alert heading into Sunday’s NFL Week 7 action, and chances are at least a few of them will succumb.
"He's 40 but he's still flying," Hertl said. "He's a huge part now of the team and we're happy to have him here."
Marleau signed a one-year deal to return to San Jose on Oct. 9 and scored two goals in his first game back to lead the Sharks to their first win of the season the next day. He has totaled five points in two games and infused energy to what was a downtrodden team.
"You lose four in a row and there's not many smiles at the rink," Couture said. "You really don't want to go to the rink to be honest, you want to stay away. But Patty was there, and everybody was happy to see him and that showed in our game."
Elias Lindholm scored for Calgary, which has lost two straight and three of its last four. The Flames were playing their third road game in four days and second in two days.
Marleau and Couture each had an assist on Meier's first goal of the season just over three minutes into the game.
Labanc scored midway through the first to give San Jose a 2-0 lead. Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl assisted on Labanc's second goal of the season.
Carlson scores 2 to help Capitals beat Flames 5-3
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Alex Ovechkin is starting an early-season campaign for teammate John Carlson to win this season's Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman.''Johnny for Norris. That's a hashtag right now,'' the Capitals captain said after Carlson's two goals helped the Washington Capitals to a 5-3 win over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.
The Flames scored at 6:43 of the second period, when Lindholm redirected T.J. Brodie's shot off a face off.
San Jose extended its lead to 3-1 when Hertl scored San Jose's first short-handed goal of the season with 1:45 left in the second period.
Cam Talbot had 17 saves in his Calgary debut. The 31-year-old, signed a one-year free agent contract with the Flames in the offseason after splitting time last season between Edmonton and Philadelphia.
"Cam was good. No issue there," Flames coach Bill Peters said. "I thought he moved the puck well when he had his goalie touches."
The Flames were 0 for 4 on power plays.
"Although we didn't show it, we're the better team," Flames center Mikael Backlund said. "We put pressure on them all night. Our power play has to be better . We'll get better from this game."
NOTES: Flames D Oliver Kylington and C Austin Czarnik were back in the lineup after sitting out Saturday's game against Vegas. ... Calgary F Johnny Gaudreau played in his 400th game. . San Jose is 8-2-0 in the last 10 meetings with Calgary. ... Sharks D Jacob Middleton (upper body ) was placed on injured reserve on Saturday. San Jose coach Pete DeBoer said he's expected to miss about 4-6 weeks. ... C Couture extended his points streak to four games with one goal and four assists over that stretch. ... Marleau is among just eight NHL players who've scored goals with the same team in their teens and in their 40's. That group includes Hall-of-Famers Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan. He was 18 when he scored his first NHL goal.
Firefighter, two civilians hurt during escape from flames in Kincade fire
The Kincade fire grew overnight to 25,000 acres, and evacuation zones expanded as firefighters struggled to get more control over the Sonoma County blaze before winds pick up. A structure continues to burn after the Kincade Fire moved through the area on Oct. 24, in Geyserville, Calif.
Flames: Host Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
Sharks: Host Carolina on Wednesday night.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP--Sports
Related slideshow: Best of the 2019-20 NHL season (provided by imagn)
New York Rangers recall young prospects Chytil, Lindgren .
The Rangers hope these young prospects can add scoring to a team struggling on offense.Chytil, 20, actually played the whole 2018-19 season with the Rangers, scoring 23 points in 75 games. At times, however, he looked overmatched and with the team’s added depth up front this season, he was asked to start the year in the AHL. That start went quite well with nine points in nine games for the Hartford Wolf Pack, and expectations are once again sky-high for the young Czech forward.