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National Hockey League
San Jose 5, Montreal 2
When: 10:30 PM ET, Thursday, March 7, 2019
Where: SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California
Referees: Chris Lee, Kyle Rehman
Linesmen: Steve Miller, Brian Murphy
Attendance: 17471

Marcus Sorensen and Kevin Labanc each had two points to lead the San Jose Sharks to a 5-2 win over the visiting Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

The victory brings the Sharks within one point of the Calgary Flames for first place in both the Pacific Division and the Western Conference as a whole. The Canadiens, meanwhile, remain tied with the Carolina Hurricanes for the two Eastern Conference wild-card slots.

Labanc had two assists while Sorensen had an assist and also scored his 15th goal of the season. Four of Sorensen's goals have come in the Swedish forward's past three games.

Though the Canadiens outshot the Sharks by a 39-25 margin in the game, Martin Jones delivered a big game to keep his team on top. The Sharks goalie made 37 saves to record his 18th win in his past 24 games.

Antti Niemi stopped 20 of 24 shots for the Canadiens. Niemi got a rare start in place of Carey Price, who had played in Montreal's 15 previous games. Over that stretch from Feb. 3 to March 15, Niemi amassed less than 14 minutes of ice time.

Perhaps this rust accounted for Niemi's slow start, as both Tomas Hertl and Sorensen squeezed pucks between Niemi and the post in the game's first 10 minutes. Hertl opened the scoring on a wraparound 6:55 into the first period, and Sorensen quickly added to the lead with a nice puck-handling move at close range in front of the net.

The Canadiens, which outshot San Jose 16-5 in the period, got something for their efforts when Artturi Lehkonen scored at the 17:56 mark.

Joe Thornton restored San Jose's two-goal lead 7:46 into the second period, only to have the Canadiens again narrow the margin. At 15:18, Andrew Shaw put the final touch on a deflected shot for his 17th goal of the season.

Timo Meier and Gustav Nyquist (empty net) scored for the Sharks in the third period.

The Sharks are 17-4-0 in their past 21 games against Montreal. That dominant run includes 12 straight wins on home ice, as the Canadiens haven't won in San Jose since Nov. 23, 1999.

Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski both suited up for the Sharks despite missing practice Wednesday due to the flu. Erik Karlsson (groin) and Evander Kane (mid-body injury) weren't in San Jose's lineup.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
 
Montreal   San Jose
Artturi Lehkonen 1 Points Marcus Sorensen 2
Artturi Lehkonen 1 Goals Marcus Sorensen 1
Paul Byron 1 Assists Kevin Labanc 2
N/A Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Antti Niemi .833 Save Percentage Martin Jones .949
Antti Niemi 20 Saves Martin Jones 37
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Montreal 39 2 0-1 0-0 0 27
San Jose 25 5 0-0 1-1 2 25
Upcoming Games
  • San Jose will play their next game at home against St. Louis. The Sharks have a W/L % of .590 after a win and .607 after a loss.
  • Montreal will play their next game on the road against Anaheim. The Canadiens have a W/L % of .444 after a win and .625 after a loss.