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Eklund's PPG leads SJ to home win
SJ scores another game winner in the 3rd period
12/12/2023 - By Mike Lee

The Sharks returned home for the first time since November 27th following a 6-game road trip that netted them 7 points in the standings. San Jose would only enjoy home cooking for the contest on Tuesday night as they defeated the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 in a nail biter at SAP Center. Scoring 3rd period goals has been the Sharks new found talent, which was on full display as William Eklund converted a power play chance to secure the win for San Jose.

Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood made 36 saves to notch his 4th win of the season. The netminder was spectacular when the Sharks needed him to be. He made 9 big saves in a 3rd period that would decide the winner of the contest.

The Sharks controlled the tempo for much of the opening period, out-shooting Winnipeg 12-1 at the 6 minute mark. They would cash in on their 13th shot when new right winger Justin Bailey pumped a shot from the high slot that evaded goaltender Laurent Brossoit. The goal was Bailey's first goal since March of 2018.

Former Sharks defenseman Brendon Dillon knotted the game up at 1-1 with just under 4 minutes to play in the period. Dillon floated a puck that was either deflected or it crossed up goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood who clipped it with his glove before it deflected into the Sharks goal.

Neither team would score in the middle period, even though both had their chances. The Jets would hold a 14-11 edge in shots in the middle frame, and both teams traded a power play chance.

The penalty kill has been a gaping hole in the Sharks game this season. Winnipeg enjoyed 5 power play chances on the night, but the Sharks found a way to keep the puck out of their own net. Rookie defenseman Henry Thrun lobbed a puck over the glass 2:39 into the 3rd period which setup a critical moment in the contest. San Jose didn't get a single clear during the kill, but they kept Winnipeg from scoring.

A Dylan Demelo hooking penalty with 6:26 setup a go-ahead goal for the Sharks when Eklund bagged his 7th of the season. Mikael Granlund fed the Sharks rookie for the one time chance from the right dot. Eklund'd shot squeezed between Brossoit and the right post for the 2-1 lead.

A Mike Hoffman hooking penalty with 3:32 to play was the Sharks biggest test in the game and they came out with flying colors. The penalty killers suppressed the Jets from generating anything remotely challenging for Blackwood.

It was Winnipeg's last shot but the Sharks held serve.

Game Notes:

* Sharks captain Logan Couture skated for the first time this season at the Sharks training facility. Couture made comments to the media that he feared two months ago that he may never play in the NHL again.

* The Jets were without leading scorer Kyle Connor who was injured in a knee-on-knee hit in Anaheim on Sunday.

* The Sharks had three players return to the lineup after they dealt with injury issues. Anthony Duclair missed Sunday's game in Vegas after suffering what is suspected to be a head issue. William Eklund returned after missing Sunday's game as well. Luke Kunin also returned after missing the last 5 games.

* Matt Benning was formally moved to the injured reserve. He has been out since December 5th with a lower body injury.

* Eklund's game winning goal was the 4th of the season for the rookie. Mikael Granlund extended his point scoring streak to 6 games where he as scored 2 goals and 9 assists.


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1 2 3 T
WPG 1 0 0 1
SJ 1 0 1 2
1st period - 1, SJ, Bailey 1 (Hoffman, Rutta), 9:17. 2, WPG, Dillon 5 (unassisted), 16:09.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 3, SJ, Eklund 7 (Granlund, Duclair), 15:09, (pp).
1st period - Vilardi, WPG (hooking), 10:26; Eklund, SJ (holding), 11:10; Ferraro, SJ (tripping), 18:04.
2nd period - Eklund, SJ (holding), 10:52; Pionk, WPG (interference), 15:51.
3rd period - Thrun, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 2:39; Demelo, WPG (hooking), 13:34; Hoffman, SJ (hooking), 16:28.
Shots Saves
WPG - Brossoit 32 30
SJ - Blackwood 37 36
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
WPG 15 13 9 37
SJ 15 10 7 32
Power Play Conversion
WPG 0 of 5
SJ 1 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
William Eklund
Mackenzie Blackwood
Laurent Brossoit
SAP Center - 13,142
Referees: #23 Corey Syvret, #13 Furman South. Linesmen: #67 Travis Gawryletz, #91 Ben O'Quinn.

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