Martin Jones shuts out Wild, Sharks win 2-0
By Brian Hall
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Martin Jones stopped 39 shots for his first shutout of the season, and Dylan Gambrell scored his third goal for the San Jose Sharks in a 2-0 win against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.
Melker Karlsson added an empty-net goal for San Jose, which won for the fourth time in five games after learning earlier in the day it would be without leading scorer Erik Karlsson and leading goal-scorer Evander Kane.
Erik Karlsson, the defenseman who leads the team with 34 assists and 40 points, is out for the rest of the season after breaking his thumb in Friday’s win at Winnipeg. Kane, who has 21 goals, was suspended three games for elbowing Jets defenseman Neal Pionk in the same game.
Alex Stalock made 19 saves for Minnesota, which lost its first game under interim coach Dean Evason a day after firing Bruce Boudreau .
Neither team came out with much fire in a sleepy afternoon contest.
The Sharks played in Winnipeg the previous evening and the Wild, who started the day three points behind Arizona for the final wild card in the Western Conference, hoped the coaching change would spark a run to the playoffs.
General manager Bill Guerin made the move to fire Boudreau, who was 158-110-35 in three-plus seasons with Minnesota, following a shootout loss at home on Thursday to the New York Rangers in which the Wild surrendered a two-goal, third-period lead.
Minnesota had won seven of its past 11 games during a home-heavy stretch under Boudreau. A day later, the Wild finished a stretch of 18 out of 22 games at home with another lackluster effort against San Jose.
The Sharks, who are 11-12-2 under their interim coach Bob Boughner, have started to find their way even as injuries have taken out many key players. Logan Couture has missed 13 games because of a broken left ankle. Now, Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl are out for the season.
Gambrell is trying to make the most of his opportunity as one of the fill-ins.
He scored his first goal since Nov. 30, a span which includes a stint in the minors, just over 3 minutes into the third period. San Jose defenseman Brent Burns flipped a shot on net that deflected off Gambrell and past Stalock.
Jones, who’s seen his playing time diminished behind Aaron Dell, made the goal stand up even as Minnesota outshot the Sharks 39-21
NOTES: Jones had one win in his previous 11 games and had allowed more than three goals in seven of them. … San Jose is 8-7-1 under Boughner since the calendar turned to 2020. … Evason is getting his first opportunity as an NHL coach. He was an assistant under Boudreau the past two seasons after spending six seasons as a coach in the American Hockey League. Evason played two seasons with the Sharks. … San Jose recalled D Jacob Middleton from the AHL after placing Erik Karlsson on injured reserve. … Minnesota was 11-3-2 previously when tied after two periods.
Sharks: Return home against Florida on Monday.
Wild: Get a three-day break and play at Vancouver on Wednesday.