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Jones solid as Sharks get back to winning
Sharks snap 4-game losing streak with 3-1 win in Columbus
2/2/18 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks righted the ship for a game, as their current 5-game road trip hit the middle point with a stop in Columbus. San Jose scored three goals and Martin Jones reverted to his old self to take a 3-1 decision over the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. Jones made 28 saves to lead San Jose who broke a 4-game losing streak. The Sharks turned in solid performances on special teams, which turned out to the storyline for the struggling club.

San Jose locked down the Blue Jackets defensively, largely due to Jones stellar play in net. San Jose had given up 17 goals over their last four games. The win marked the second consecutive game where the Sharks held an opponent to a single goal. San Jose lost 2-1 in the shootout out Wednesday night.

The power play and penalty kill were exceptional on Friday night. San Jose converted on 2 of 3 chances with the mad advantage and killed off the lone Blue Jackets power play they were forced to defend.

Matt Calvert took a tripping penalty 4:14 into the game, setting up Logan Couture's 22nd goal of the season. Couture allowed the Sharks power play to spread the Blue Jackets defense before ripping a shot from the right point that was hit a Blue Jacket stick and deflected downward to the ice before bouncing past Sergei Bobrovsky.

San Jose made a late push to try and double their lead with an energetic showing that kept the Blue Jackets focused on their defense.

Boone Jenner tied the game 4:30 into the 2nd period, ripping a shot from the left wing boards that beat Martin Jones over the right shoulder. Jones had a good look at the puck, but he simply missed it. He may have thought that it was going to sail high, but the shot clipped the underside of the crossbar for Jenner's 5th of the season.

Columbus got themselves into penalty trouble later in the period when Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno followed Seth Jones to the penalty box, leaving the Sharks with a brief 12 second 5-on-3 power play. San Jose made good use of those 12 seconds when Kevin Labanc ripped a one-time chance from 15 feet out to beat Bobrovsky. Joe Pavelski setup Labanc with a feed from the bottom of the right circle.

Tomas Hertl just missed extending the Sharks lead late in the period when his shot from the right dot rang off the left post. The Sharks turned on the jets in the final 3 minutes, pressing Bobrovsky with a nice forecheck that kept the Blue Jackets pinned in their own end.

San Jose finally extended their lead 6:51 into the 3rd period, when Justin Braun lofted a long pass down ice to this defensive partner Marc-Edouard Vlasic. The pass bounced at the blueline just as Vlasic was sprinting up ice, receiving it on the forehand. Cutting to the right side of the slot, Vlasic swept the puck past Bobrovsky with a backhand shot that found twine for his 9th goal of the season.

Mikkel Boedker had a chance to push the Sharks lead with a breakaway chance midway through the period, but his backhand attempt was snuffed by Bobrovsky.

Jones was rock solid in the 3rd period, where his 14 saves denied the Blue Jackets from making any push. Brandon Dubinsky had Jones dead to rights with a chance from 4 feet out, but the Sharks netminder made the big save to keep the two goal lead in tact with 5 minutes to play.

Columbus pulled Bobrovsky with 2 minutes to play in a last ditch effort to cut into the Sharks lead. It was too little, too late for the Blue Jackets. Melker Karlsson missed on a chance to pad his stat line when his shot from center ice hit the left post.

Game Notes:

* With his 3rd period goal Marc-Edouard Vlasic tied his career high in goals with 9, set in 2014-15. The defenseman was credited with 2 shots on goal and had 3 blocks to round out his solid overall night.

* Logan Couture caught a puck in the face, which appeared to catch him in the teeth again. Couture lost several teeth last year in Nashville when a puck hit him in front of the net. Not a great dental year for Logan Couture. But at least he has team mates that cheer him during the dentist appointment!

* Justin Braun played one of his better games of the season. In addition to springing his defensive partner for a goal, the defenseman was solid on the backend. He made a key stick save on a Blue Jackets attempt in the 3rd period after Martin Jones had gone down moments earlier to make a save.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 1 1 3
CBJ 0 1 0 1
1st period - 1, SJ, Couture 22 (Labanc, Hertl), 5:07, (pp).
2nd period - 2, CBJ. Jenner 5 (Atkinson, Kukan), 4:30. 3, SJ, Labanc 7 (Pavelski), 10:20, (pp).
3rd period - 4, SJ, Vlasic 9 (Meier, Braun), 6:51.
1st period - Calvert, CBJ (tripping), 4:14; Dillon, SJ (unsportsmanlike conduct), 9:34; Dubinsky, CBJ (unsportsmanlike conduct), 9:34.
2nd period - Jones, CBJ (slashing), 8:25; Foligno, CBJ (hooking), 10:13.
3rd period - Ward, SJ (tripping), 14:34.
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 29 28
CBJ - Bobrovsky 28 25
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 14 5 9 28
CBJ 7 8 14 29
Power Play Conversion
SJ 2 of 3
CBJ 0 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Kevin Labanc
Martin Jones
Boone Jenner
Nationwide Arena - 16,867
Referees: StLaurent, Luxmore. Linesmen: Nansen, Brisebois.
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