The San Jose Sharks opened a six-game homestand with a 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals at SAP Center on Thursday night.
The Caps drew first blood, but the Sharks evened out the score less than three minutes later.
Joe Pavelski was called for tripping at 3:18 of the first period. The Sharks managed to kill off the penalty, but former Shark Daniel Winnik used a backhand shot to beat Martin Jones, scoring his ninth goal of the season to open the scoring at 5:26.
Jannik Hansen picked up his first assist as a Shark when he set up Joe Thornton, who fired a wrist shot into the net past Braden Holtby for his sixth goal of the season, tying the score 1-1 at 8:43.
These two teams skated to a 1-1 tie after 20 minutes. Shots were 12-9 in favor of the Caps.
Brooks Orpik received a double minor for high-sticking at 18:32 of the second period. The Sharks took a 2-1 lead 64 seconds later as Pavelski deflected a pass from Brent Burns that beat Holtby’s five-hole for his 24th goal of the season.
Brett Connolly picked up a pass from Kevin Shattenkirk and beat Jones short-side for his 14th goal of the season, tying the score 2-2 at 14:40.
Jay Beagle was called for tripping with 2:02 left in the period. The Sharks capitalized on the man advantage, grabbing a 3-2 lead just six seconds later. Holtby made a save on Burns’ shot, but Logan Couture put the loose puck into the net for his 22nd goal of the season.
Shots were 20-19 in favor of the Caps, but the Sharks led 3-2 after 40 minutes.
Karl Alzner was called for tripping at 7:08 of the third period. The Sharks capitalized on the man advantage as Couture’s deflection trickled into the net for his second of the game and 23rd of the season, expanding the Sharks’ lead to 4-2 less than a minute later.
The Sharks (39-19-7) beat the Capitals (44-14-7) by a score of 4-2. Jones finished with 25 saves.
Holtby made 20 saves in a losing effort.
Scratched: Marcus Sorensen
Injured: David Schlemko (lower body)
Hansen made his debut with the Sharks.
“Obviously excited,” Hansen told reporters during morning skate. “A little nervous, probably, but it’s nice to be here. It’s a lot of preparation. It’s nice to finally be at the end of that road and start over.”
Burns celebrated his 32nd birthday.
The Sharks honored Thornton for his 1,000 NHL assists in a pregame ceremony.
The Sharks host the Nashville Predators (32-24-11) in a Saturday matinee at 1:00 p.m. PST on CSN-CA, FS-TN and SN.