SAN JOSE -- Although it came in a loss, defenseman Dan Boyle was relieved to get his first goal since Jan. 9, ending a drought of 29 straight games without one.
Boyle’s re-direction goal in the first period gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead that would last for less than a minute. San Jose lost to Winnipeg, 4-3.
“It’s been a long time. It was nice for a couple minutes, but obviously losing the game puts an end to that pretty quickly. It was nice to help put one in.”
The goal was Boyle’s ninth on the season, and with his 263rd point, he tied Mike Ricci for 10th all-time in scoring in franchise history.
The 37-year-old pending unrestricted free agent has 30 points in 68 games.
[RECAP: Sharks underachieve in loss to Jets]
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If there was one positive for San Jose, it’s that the power play had another good night. The Sharks have scored five power play goals in their last two games, and have climbed back up to 19th in the NHL with a 17.3 percent success rate.
Interestingly, Todd McLellan chose to leave Brent Burns on the top unit, after that five-some helped generate three goals in Edmonton on Tuesday. Logan Couture, who returned to the lineup after a one-game absence, played on the second unit.
“The power play is still going good, which is important for us,” Joe Pavelski said. “It’s created some momentum over the last week or two.”
Burns had a number of good chances early, but the puck either bounced over his stick, passes in his direction were just a little off the mark, or came in too hot.
“We just didn’t quite finish, whether the pass was too hard or it bounced or whatever,” Pavelski said. “You have nights like that every once in a while but you have to find a way to get through it.”
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Couture revealed a little more about the nature of the injury that kept him out of the Edmonton game.
“It’s a cut, so it’s above the ankle, and it’s just playing with the stitches in there and obviously it went pretty deep. It’s a bone bruise as well. Just playing through the pain I guess,” he said.
The decision to play was made by him and the team medical staff, and came just before the game.
“We made the decision before warmup and it felt good in warmup, and I was ready to go.”
Couture looked a little shaken up on his goal, which came when James Sheppard’s errant shot hit him in the glove. That tied the game at 3-3 in the second period.
“It just hit me in the thumb,” Couture said. “I was putting my hands up to protect myself and it got me on the inside of the thumb. It was fine.”
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Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler had one goal and two assists to lead the Jets, but his goal was obviously one that Antti Niemi should have routinely knocked away.
“I didn’t think he was going to be able to score from there. Not exactly sure what happened,” Niemi said.
The Sharks’ goalie also recognized that the game was a little more wide-open than he’s used to seeing from his perspective in the goal crease.
“They had lots of speed. They are a good team with the rushes. So, it was maybe a little bit more open.”