SAN JOSE –- Playing in their preseason home opener, the Sharks skated to a 3-1 win over a young Arizona roster on Friday night at SAP Center.
Brenden Dillon put the Sharks ahead early at 4:26 of the first period, when his floating wrist shot from high in the zone bounced off of goalie Anders Lindback and trickled over the line.
A Joe Pavelski power play goal at 11:28 of the second period increased the lead to 2-0, when the Sharks’ leading goal scorer for the past two seasons tipped a Marc-Edouard Vlasic blast.
Arizona got on the board on a power play of its own in the final minute of the middle frame, when Antoine Vermette got his stick on a Gord Murphy point shot. It was the first regulation goal the Sharks allowed in the preseason, as they went nearly seven periods without allowing an opposition score.
San Jose restored its two-goal cushion on a power play goal by Joonas Donskoi, who continues to make a push for the opening night roster. The 23-year-old Finn went to the slot and found the rebound of a Dylan DeMelo shot at 14:29 to cap the scoring.
DeMelo and Joe Thornton each had two assists.
Alex Stalock was the final Sharks goalie to see game action, and was strong with 25 saves. The Sharks outshot the Coyotes for the game, 37-26.
San Jose improved to 2-0-1 in the preseason, with four games remaining to prepare for its Oct. 7 opener in Los Angeles.
The most notable player in the lineup for San Jose was forward Raffi Torres, who missed all of last season due to multiple right knee surgeries and infections. Playing for the first time in more than 17 months, the 33-year-old finished with one shot on goal in about 10 minutes of ice time, as well as a huge hit in the corner on Coyotes defenseman Nicklas Grossmann three minutes into the first period.
The teams played a 3-on-3 overtime, despite the final score after three periods, per league mandate. Ben Smith scored with 3.3 seconds on the clock, tipping in a Vlasic pass.
The Sharks finished 2-for-4 on the power play, and killed off three of four Coyotes advantages.
Troy Grosenick, who started the preseason opener on Monday, backed up Stalock.
Louis Domingue replaced Lindback about halfway through the second period. Lindback allowed two of the three goals on 19 shots.
Here’s how the Sharks lined up for most of the game:
Joonas Donskoi – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Matt Nieto – Chris Tierney – Tommy Wingels
Raffi Torres – Bryan Lerg – Mike Brown
Nikolay Goldobin – Ben Smith – Timo Meier
Marc-Edouard Vlaisc – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – Dylan DeMelo
Mirco Mueller – Matt Tennyson
Torres, Thornton, Pavelski and Vlasic all made their preseason debuts after skipping the two-game trip to British Columbia earlier in the week.
Notable players for Arizona included Vermette, and former first round picks Max Domi and Dylan Strome.
The Sharks remain at SAP Center on Saturday night, hosting Anaheim at 6 p.m., and close out the home portion of their preseason schedule vs. Vancouver on Tuesday.