Road ice advantage continued for the San Jose Sharks, who held on for a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Saturday night.
The Sharks led the NHL with 28 road wins last season. Following a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose hit the road, starting in Columbus against the Blue Jackets.
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer would love to repeat last season’s road success, but knows it won’t be easy.
“We’re not going to catch anyone by surprise this year,” he told NHL.com. “Everyone is going to be ready for us.”
The Sharks didn’t make any lineup changes, but Columbus were without defenseman Ryan Murray, who sustained a lower-body injury blocking a shot in a 6-3 loss to the Boston Bruins on Thursday night. Dalton Prout took his place on a pairing with rookie Markus Nutivaara.
Martin Jones faced off against Sergei Bobrovsky in a traditional goaltending duel.
Oliver Bjorkstrand was sent to the box with a double minor for high sticking Brent Burns at 4:19 of the first period, but the Blue Jackets killed off their penalty. Logan Couture ripped a shot that was deflected by a defender, but Mikkel Boedker finished from the left circle for his first career goal, giving the Sharks a 1-0 lead at 9:22.
Joel Ward had 21 goals for San Jose last season, but let’s gravitate to the present. Brent Burns battled for the puck and threw an ideal pass to Ward, who buried a one-timer to make it 2-0 Sharks at 14:54.
The Sharks led 2-0 after 20 minutes, outshooting the Blue Jackets 11-3.
Joonas Donskoi drew an interference penalty on Bobrovsky just 57 seconds into the second period. Zach Werenski was then called for tripping Donskoi at 7:16. However, neither team was able to capitalize on their power plays.
The Sharks held a 2-0 lead through two periods, outshooting the Blue Jackets 29-13.
Werenski fired a shot from the point that deflected in off a defender’s skate on the power play for his first NHL career goal 3:44 into the third period. The Blue Jackets cut the Sharks’ lead in half.
Patrick Marleau backhanded an empty-netter from the neutral zone, putting the Sharks ahead 3-1 with 34 seconds left in the third.
The Blue Jackets pulled within one when Josh Anderson received a pass from behind the net and backhanded a goal past Sharks goalie Martin Jones with 23 seconds left in the third.
Road ice advantage is still in effect, as the Sharks held on for a 3-2 win over the Blue Jackets. Martin Jones made 26 saves for San Jose. Sergei Bobrovsky made 35 saves for Columbus.
“My instinct’s been pretty good I guess,” Boedker told Sharks media. “It’s [still] a learning process.”
“It is what it is,” Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said in his press conference. “Hopefully we learned our lesson. We’ll move on, take the two points and focus on New York.”
The Sharks head to Madison Square Garden to face the New York Rangers on Monday night at 7:00 p.m. EST on CSCA, MSG.