Sharks Use Early Lead to Hold Off Jets

The San Jose Sharks used an early lead to beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-2 at SAP Center on Monday afternoon.

All teams are nearing the halfway point of the 2016-17 season, which means the Sharks (26-16-2) and Jets (20-23-4) battled each other in a West Side Story matchup Monday. The last time these two teams played, Winnipeg edged San Jose 5-4 on April 7.

The Sharks took an early lead and never looked back in a win over Jets.

Joel Ward broke into the offensive zone and into the top far corner to bury a short-handed goal past Jets goaltender Michael Hutchinson for his fourth goal of the season, giving the Sharks a 1-0 lead at 8:06 of the opening period.

Stellar goaltending by Sharks goaltender Martin Jones kept the team in the game. Shots on goal were tied at 11, but the Sharks led 1-0 after 20 minutes.

The Sharks built momentum from the third line early in the second period. Joel Ward sent a pass to Chris Tierney, who set up Timo Meier for the breakaway. Meier blasted a wrist shot past Hutchinson for his second goal of the season to make it a 2-0 game just 2:45 into the middle period.

While David Schlemko was sitting in the box for a cross-checking penalty, the Sharks lit the lamp when Brent Burns’ wrist shot from the point hit the boards and went off Hutchinson’s pads for a 3-0 lead at 12:52.

The Sharks outshot the Jets 25-15 and led 3-0 after 40 minutes.

The Sharks continued their dominance, but it wasn’t until the closing minutes when the Jets came through and attempted to tie the game.

Tierney collected the deflected shot from Meier and buried a pinpoint shot from the top of the left circle, extending the Sharks’ lead to 4-0 at 8:19 of the final period.

The Jets finally got on the board with 2:36 left in the period when Josh Morrissey lashed a wrist shot through traffic that found its way into the net for his second goal of the season, reducing the Sharks’ lead to 4-1.

A clearing attempt by Jones backfired when Mark Scheifele knocked the puck down and smacked it into the wide net for his 20th goal of the season to cut the Sharks’ lead in half with 19 seconds left to play.

The Jets’ staged a comeback, but the Sharks held on to seal a 5-2 victory at home. Joe Thornton won the faceoff against Scheifele and immediately buried an empty-net goal from center ice with 10 seconds left to play. With his third goal of the season, Thornton snapped a 30-game goalless drought — dating back to November 7 against the Capitals.

Jones finished with 26 saves in a San Jose victory.

Hutchinson made 27 saves in a losing effort for Winnipeg.

Scratched: None

Injured: Joonas Donskoi (upper body), Tomas Hertl (knee), Dylan DeMelo (broken wrist)

Donskoi skated Sunday, but remains day-to-day.

The Sharks reassigned Tim Heed and Ryan Carpenter to the Barracuda on Monday afternoon.

Up Next
The Sharks head to Staples Center where they will face the Los Angeles Kings (22-18-4) at 7:30 p.m. PST on NBCSN.