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Road sweet road
Sharks get back on track with solid win in Montreal
12/15/15 - By Mike Lee -

Don't even try to understand what's going on with the Sharks. They've been a contradiction to everything you would expect from a sports team when it comes to home and road games. Their inability to win on home ice is offset by their impressive road record, which improved by a game on Tuesday night in Montreal as they kicked off a 5-game road trip. What started as a Canadiens shooting gallery, turned into a 3-1 Sharks win at the Bell Centre. The victory was the 1st in 7 tries for San Jose in the month of December.

The Eastern Conference leading Canadiens had every advantage on Tuesday night, knowing they were facing a wounded Sharks lineup that had dropped their previous 6 games.

Already stung by Logan Couture re-injuring himself in Edmonton last week, the Sharks were without another piece of their offense when Tomas Hertl came up lame in the pre-game skate and was scratched with a lower body injury. That opened the door for Barclay Goodrow, who was recalled from the Barracuda earlier in the day.

Montreal jumped on their wounded guests, skating circles around the Sharks in the opening period. The Canadiens had a handful of quality scoring chances in the opening 10 minutes, pushing the Sharks back on their heels.

Goodrow made sure the coaches would remember his limited opportunities, so he went after Montreal's star defenseman P.K. Subban with a hit behind the Canadien's net that was a borderline boarding infraction.

Former Shark Torrey Mitchell took exception to Goodrow's hit pouncing on the Sharks forward and locking him up in a headlock. The ensuing fight was more of a bantam weight scrap, but it sparked the Sharks.

San Jose capitalized late in the period on a miscue by Subban, who misjudged the space he had behind him, allowing the Sharks to skate on a counterattack 2-on-1. Joel Ward carried the puck up the right wing, wrapping a pass around Andrei Markov to Patrick Marleau on the off wing. Marleau gathered the pass which was slightly behind him and slid it past Canadiens goaltender Dustin Tokarski for his 12th goal of the season.

The goal was a letdown for the Canadiens, who had controlled the majority of the period but trailed by a goal heading into the 1st intermission.

San Jose pushed their lead to a pair of goals 36 seconds into the 2nd period when Joe Pavelski tipped a Justin Braun shot past Tokarski from the inside of the right circle. Pavelski reached out and tipped Braun's shot with his stick blade, changing the trajectory on Tokarski for his team leading 14th goal of the season.

San Jose found their legs in the period, out-shooting Montreal 13-8 in the period. Recently signed forward Dainius Zubrus silenced the sellout crowd with his 1st goal as a Shark at 9:19 of the period with a nifty set of hands. Zubrus took a Pavelski feed through the slot as he sat perched outside the right post. Rather than taking the obvious shot from his forehand, Zubrus pulled the puck to his right, going to the backhand and lifting the puck past Tokarski for the 3-0 Sharks lead.

Zubrus has 6 goals and 5 assists in his last 10 games in Montreal.

Montreal head coach Michel Therrien had seen enough, pulling Tokarski and replacing him with backup Mike Condon. The move settled things for the Canadiens, but they couldn't generate the necessary offense to pull even with San Jose.

Dale Weise provided Montreal with the only scoring of the night, when he took a shot with 2:36 left in the middle period that deflected off Marc-Edouard Vlasic's skate and redirected between Jones' pads.

Jones really went to work in the 3rd period, stopping all 9 shots the Canadiesn threw at him. He book-ended the period with two stellar saves. His kick save of a Nathan Beaulieu blast from the left side4 minutes into the period prevented the Canadiens from thinking about a comeback.

Tomas Plekanec had a wide open net with 1:24 left in regulation, but Jones shut the door with that familiar left pad, pinning it up against the left post as the shot arrived.

The Sharks netminder finished the evening with 26 hard-earned saves.





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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 1 2 0 3
MTL 0 1 0 1
1st period - 1, SJ, Marleau 12 (Ward, Braun), 17:34.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Pavelski 14 (Braun), 0:36. 3, SJ, Zubrus 1 (Pavelski, Thornton), 9:19. 4, MTL, Weise 10 (Subban, Beaulieu), 17:42.
3rd period - None.
Penalties
1st period - DIllon, SJ (roughing), 6:09; Goodrow, SJ (fighting major), 16:44; Mitchell, MTL (fighting major), 16:44.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - Tierney, SJ (cross checking), 1:37.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 27 26
MTL - Tokarski 12 9
MTL - Condon 6 6
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 3 13 2 18
MTL 10 8 9 27
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 0
MTL 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Martin Jones
Joe Pavelski
Nathan Beaulieu
Attendance
21,288
Officials
Referees: Sutherland, Joannette. Linesmen: Brisebois, Nowak.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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