SAN JOSE – The Sharks jumped out to an early lead and recorded their second straight shutout to start the season, blanking the Jets at SAP Center on Saturday night, 3-0.
San Jose improved to 2-0, winning its home opener after starting with a victory in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Alex Stalock made 30 saves for his third career shutout, matching counterpart Antti Niemi’s blanking of the Kings on Wednesday.
The Sharks became just the seventh NHL team to start the season with consecutive shutouts, and the first in league history to do it with different goaltenders.
Although the score was similar, the game wasn’t nearly as flawless as Wednesday’s 4-0 win over the Kings. The power play was particularly concerning, as San Jose went 0-for-8 with a man advantage, failing to score in nearly 16 minutes. The Sharks also failed to record a single shot on goal in the third period, getting outshot 14-0 over the final 20 minutes.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic opened the scoring at 3:22 of the first period. His point shot hit Jets defenseman Mark Stuart in front of the net before slowly creeping across the goal line.
Less than two minutes later, the Sharks quickly advanced the puck up the ice, leading to Tomas Hertl’s breakaway goal at 5:12 to give San Jose a two-goal cushion. Joe Pavelski found Joe Thornton in the neutral zone, and Thornton spotted Hertl breaking through a pair of Winnipeg defenders.
Play evened out in the second, as the Jets made a push thanks in part to some sloppy play by San Jose. But, Patrick Marleau’s breakaway goal with 29 seconds to go in the frame increased the Sharks’ lead to 3-0.
Winnipeg took over in the third, but still couldn't solve Stalock, who was aided around the crease by his teammates who helped to limit the second chances.
The Sharks outshot the Jets 15-3 in the first period, but were outshout for the game, 30-26.
The Sharks are now 1-for-12 on the season on the power play after finishing 20th in the league last year.
Conversely, Winnipeg failed to score on its two power plays. The Sharks have killed off seven straight opponent advantages to start the season.
Jets forward Dustin Byfuglien was issued an unsportsmanlike conduct minor at 10:24 of the third period, and after slamming his stick on the glass in frustration, a 10-minute misconduct on top of that ended his night early.
Stalock was tested more than Niemi was against the Kings, and was strong, particularly in traffic. He stopped a Michael Frolik redirection in the second period with a quick right pad, and later stoned Bryan Little alone in front of the net in the third period.
The Jets’ Ondrej Pavalec took the loss, allowing three goals on 26 shots.
Mike Brown left the game after blocking a Paul Postma shot with his left hand in the second period, and did not return.
Other than the goalie change, the Sharks iced the same lineup they did for the season opener. Matt Irwin and John Scott were the scratches.
Earlier in the day, forward Eriah Hayes was assigned to Worcester after clearing waivers.
Saturday’s game was one of just three home games for the Sharks in the month of October. They hit the road to play the Capitals, Islanders, Devils, Rangers and Bruins, beginning in Washington on Tuesday. Their next game at SAP Center is Oct. 23 vs. Columbus.