SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Tomas Hertl scored first-period goals, and Alex Stalock made 30 saves to give the San Jose Sharks their second straight shutout to open the season, a 3-0 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night.
Patrick Marleau added an insurance goal late in the second period in the Sharks’ home opener. San Jose began the season with a 4-0 win behind Antti Niemi against defending champion Los Angeles and followed it up with Stalock’s third career shutout.
The Sharks joined this year’s Minnesota Wild team as the first to open the season with consecutive shutouts since Florida did it in 2005-06.
Ondrej Pavelec made 23 saves for the Jets, who came out flat following a 6-2 win at Arizona in the season opener on Thursday. Winnipeg was hampered without top line forward Evander Kane, who hurt his knee in the opener.
It wasn’t all positive for San Jose as the power play was inept. The Sharks went 0 for 8 with the man advantage. They didn’t even generate many scoring opportunities with just six shots in 15:41 of power-play time.
San Jose played its first home game since its Game 7 loss in the first round last April that capped the collapse from a 3-0 series lead. That loss set the stage for a summer of introspection that led to talk from general manager Doug Wilson of rebuilding and becoming a “tomorrow” team.
Marleau and Joe Thornton got much of the blame for the playoff loss and Thornton was stripped of his captaincy. But both players got loud ovations in the pregame introductions and delivered on the ice as well.
After spoiling Los Angeles’ banner-raising ceremony with a win over the Kings on opening night, the Sharks got off to another strong start against the Jets as they try to prove they can still contend right now.
San Jose scored twice in the opening 5:12 of the game, with Vlasic getting his first of the season when his point shot deflected off Winnipeg defenseman Mark Stuart and past Pavelec.
Then the Sharks capitalized on a pretty transition play with Joe Pavelski sending a pass from his own zone to Thornton at center ice. Thornton then quickly fed a racing Hertl, who beat Pavelec for his first of the season to make it 2-0.
The Sharks outshot the Jets 15-3 in the period and controlled the play throughout the period. San Jose was a bit sloppy in the second but Stalock managed to keep Winnipeg off the scoreboard and Marleau capitalized on a misplay for his late goal.
Zach Bogosian had trouble playing Brent Burns’ clearing attempt at the blue line. Matt Nieto got to the loose puck and sprung Marleau for a breakaway. Marleau beat Pavelec for his second goal in as many games.
NOTES: The Sharks’ Dustin Byfuglien got sent off for the game after slamming his stick against the penalty box glass following an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. He received a 10-minute misconduct for his reaction. … Kane will miss at least two weeks after a knee-on-knee collision with teammate Mark Scheifele on Thursday. He will be re-evaluated after that time. … San Jose F Mike Brown left in the second period after blocking a shot with his hand.
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