SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The San Jose Sharks had been frequent flyers in recent weeks, playing all but one of their eight previous games on the road. Finally back at home on Monday night, they celebrated with a convincing victory over the New Jersey Devils.
Timo Meier scored twice, Joe Pavelski added his 20th goal of the season and the Sharks beat the Devils 5-2 for their fourth win in five games. Radim Simek scored his first NHL goal, Tomas Hertl added a late power-play score and Martin Jones stopped 22 shots for the Sharks.
“I feel like we’re playing better, we’re on a good streak now,” center Logan Couture said. “We haven’t had the easiest schedule. We’ve been going across time zones recently.”
Andy Greene and Drew Stafford each scored his first goal of the season for the Devils, who are a league-worst 3-11-2 on the road.
“It’s tough to win when you keep finding ways to beat yourselves. We just miss consistently in some areas of the game and that hurt us tonight,” said Devils center Travis Zajac. “We keep finding ways to hurt our game. We can’t consistently string together any momentum.”
Stafford gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead midway through the first period, but the Sharks responded with goals by Meier and Pavelski in a 2:12 span later in the period. Meier’s 15th goal came on a wrist shot over the right shoulder of Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid, and Pavelski gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead by pouncing on a rebound that Kinkaid failed to handle.
Simek, playing in his fifth NHL game, made it 3-1 midway through the second period on a shot from just inside the blue line past a screened Kinkaid.
“It was maybe a little bit lucky, the goalkeeper maybe he not see anything. But I am happy for it,” said Simek, who joined the Sharks earlier this month. “It is a great feeling, I’m very happy for my first NHL goal and I will enjoy it with my girlfriend.”
Greene put a loose puck past Jones less than two minutes later to again pull the Devils within a goal. But Meier’s second goal of the game, on another sailing wrist shot, came with five minutes left in the second period to make it 4-2.
Hertl’s goal with 5:37 left in the game was the Sharks’ first power-play score since Dec. 5.
“We had a really good start for the first 10 minutes or so,” the Devils’ Greene said. “We came out pretty well. We had really good spurts, and all of sudden things begin to happen and we wilt.”
Notes: It was the 10th time that Pavelski has scored at least 20 goals in a season. … The Sharks didn’t get their first shot on goal until 10 ½ minutes into the game, by which time the Devils already had seven shots. By the end of the first period, though, San Jose led 11-9 in shots. … The Sharks have a league-leading 41 goals in the first period this season. … The Devils won the only other game between the teams this season, defeating the Sharks 3-2 in New Jersey on Oct. 14. … Ottawa (3-9-1) is the only team in the league other than the Devils with just three road wins this season. … The Sharks, who entered the game third in the league in penalty killing, held the Devils scoreless on both of their power plays.
Devils: Host Vegas on Friday.
Sharks: Host Dallas on Thursday.
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