Jason Demers scored two quick goals, but the San Jose Sharks responded with four unanswered goals to beat the Florida Panthers 4-2 at BB&T Center on Thursday night.
The Sharks played the second game of a six-game road trip.
Not only that, Martin Jones faced an old friend James Reimer in net. After a brief stint in San Jose, Reimer signed a five year, $17 million contract with the Panthers on July 1. Since then, Jones has faced an increased workload while Reimer has been taking it easy.
The Sharks were off to a rough start in the first 20 minutes of the game. They weren’t confident in the defensive zone and didn’t receive many offensive chances.
Demers got his first goal of the season when he fired a low shot that deflected off a defender’s stick and found the back of the net. The Panthers got on the board with an early 1-0 lead 5:09 into the first period.
Just 2:17 later, Demers then buried a rebound off a shot from Jaromir Jagr to beat Jones for a 2-0 Panthers lead.
Florida is a good transition team that likes to hold onto the puck in the offensive zone, but San Jose acted fast to reduce the time and space needed to make successful plays.
The Sharks cut the Panthers’ lead in half at 16:18 when Brent Burns collected the loose puck on a fast break and snapped it past Reimer.
Shots were even at 11-11, but the Panthers had a 2-1 lead over the Sharks after the first.
The Sharks tied it 2-2 at 1:53 of the second period, as Joe Pavelski received a pretty pass in the lane from Joel Ward and sniped a wrist shot top shelf over Reimer.
Scoring chances were plentiful on both sides, but the Sharks had a 19-17 edge in shots, and the contest was knotted at 2-2 after two periods.
Tommy Wingels scored a go-ahead goal on a individual play after a faceoff that beat Reimer. The Sharks were up 3-2 at 8:53 of the third period.
Logan Couture scored his first goal in 11 games by shooting the puck into the empty net, extending the Sharks’ lead to 4-2 with just 57 seconds left in regulation.
Jones made 22 saves in the San Jose win. Reimer made 25 saves in the losing effort for Florida.
The Sharks return to action Saturday when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning. Game is set for 7:30 p.m. EST on SunS, CSCA.