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Sharks end skid in Montreal
Martin Jones stops 40 shots to propel San Jose
12/2/18 - By Mike Lee -

The road trip that wasn't finally ended on Sunday night. What is wasn't was a complete disaster. The Sharks salvaged the final game with a 3-1 win in Montreal to end a 6-game road losing streak. San Jose scored early and counter punched when the Canadiens tried to strike. An infusion of youth in the lineup helped resuscitate a roster that was in dire need of change as the Sharks have spiraled out of the Pacific Division lead int he last week.

The Sharks and Canadiens entered play with almost identical records and were equally abysmal in their last 10 games. Both teams sit on the cusp of falling out of the top 8 teams in their respective conferences, but the Canadiens were coming off a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers on Saturday night and had the home ice advantage.

San Jose was smoked by the Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon and had to make the short trip by Canada's capital to Montreal.

The Sharks opened the game's scoring with some offense from an unlikely source. Defenseman Justin Braun stepped in front of a Jeff Petry pass just outside the Canadiens blueline as Montreal tried to exit their own zone. It was an uncharacteristic move by Braun to pinch on a breakout pass, but an even more unusual move to see the defenseman skate in on net and blast a shot from 40 feet out.

Former Sharks defenseman David Schlemko tried to step in front of Braun's shot and may have screened Canadiens goaltender Carey Price from seeing the shot off the stick. It was Braun's 1st goal of the season.

Montreal found themselves in hot water after Mike Reilly and Michael Chaput took separate minor penalties 58 seconds apart. The Sharks capitalized on the 2-man advantage when Brent Burns snapped a shot from between the circles past Price. The goal was the first for Burns in over a month. Joe Pavelski setup the goal with a pass from the left corner after the Sharks power play forced the Canadiens to collapse as San Jose moved the puck around the left side.

Petry cut the Sharks lead in half at 12:15 into the 2nd period when a Jonathan Drouin shot fooled several skaters as it knuckled through the slot from left to right. Petry was on lurking on the weak side and tapped in the puck as it floated past two Sharks defenders.

The Sharks had just peppered Price with a flurry of shot before Petry countered after the Canadiens moved the puck to the Sharks end of the ice.

The game was decided 3 minutes later when Pavelski answered Petry's goal with the Sharks 3rd score of the night. The Sharks cycled the puck deep in the Canadiens zone before Burns slid a puck out of the right corner to Pavelski at the right dot for a one-time chance that got past Price.

San Jose misfired on another 2-man advantage later in the period. A Shea Weber interference penalty was followed by a delay of game penalty by Petry giving San Jose a brief 17 second 5-on-3 chance.

The Canadiens threw the kitchen sink at Martin Jones in the 3rd period, out-shooting San Jose 22-7 in the period. The Sharks goaltender stood on his head in the frame, providing San Jose with a goaltending performance they hadn't seen in a while.

Jones play in the period was as important as the scoring earlier in the game. The Sharks seemingly found ways to lose games during the first four stops on their trip. After surrendering 20 goals in those four games, Jones play was a welcome sign.

Game Notes:

* Rookie defenseman Radim Simek made his NHL debut for San Jose, and was a spark plug for the Sharks. The young blueliner was a wrecking ball on the ice. Even though he was only credited with a single hit, Simek played a physical game the was punctuated with several body checks.

* Martin Jones made 40 saves to earn his 10th win of the season. Jones was in need of a lock down performance after he struggled to play with much consistency this season.

* Brendan Gallagher, Jeff Petry and Mike Reilly combined for 16 of the Canadiens 41 shots. Joe Pavelski and Antti Suomela had 4 shots each for the Sharks.

* Montreal out-hit San Jose 35-16. The only stat the Sharks led the game in, was blocked shots.

* San Jose returns home to play Carolina on Wednesday, then they hit th eroad again for a brief 2-game trip through Dallas and Phoenix.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 2 1 0 2
MTL 0 1 0 0
1st period - 1, SJ, Braun 1 (unassisted), 2:55. 2, SJ, Burns 4 (Pavelski, E. Karlsson), 10:28, (pp).
2nd period - 3, MTL, Petry 3 (Drouin, Shaw), 12:15. 4, SJ, Pavelski 17 (Burns, Couture), 15:51.
3rd period - None.
Penalties
1st period - Reilly, MTL (cross checking), 8:50; Chaput, MTL (high sticking), 9:48; Bench, SJ (too many men), 14:52.
2nd period - Weber, MTL (interference), 16:53; Petry, MTL (delay of game), 18:36.
3rd period - M. Karlsson, SJ (tripping), 16:03.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 41 40
MTL - Price 29 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 11 11 7 29
MTL 9 10 22 41
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 4
MTL 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Pavelski
Martin Jones
Andrew Shaw
Attendance
Bell Centre - 20,301
Officials
Referees: Joanette, L'Ecuyer. Linesmen: Racicot, Cormier.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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