SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - Timo Meier’s return to San Jose’s lineup gave the Sharks just the charge they needed after a rough road trip.
Meier had a goal and two assists in his first game back from an injury, Martin Jones made 39 saves and the Sharks responded to a shuffle of duties for their assistant coaches by beating the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 on Wednesday night.
“It felt great,” Meier said. “You don’t want to be sitting out watching games with an injury. For me it was important to get healthy. Obviously I was really excited to keep playing again. I had a lot of energy today and we played a great game overall.”
Barclay Goodrow and Tomas Hertl got San Jose started with goals in the first period, captain Joe Pavelski added his team-leading 18th in the second period and Marcus Sorensen scored in the third to give the Sharks a convincing victory.
Lucas Wallmark scored on the power play for the Hurricanes, who have scored just five goals in the past five games, losing four of them. Curtis McElhinney made 18 saves.
“We’ve had too many like this, that’s the problem,” coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We’ve played good enough to win and we don’t get any results. That’s hard on the guys. It’s been a weird year for this. It was a 5-1 game and you think ‘Wow, that’s a terrible game,’ I didn’t see it that way. Maybe I’m wrong, I have to look at it again, but it certainly didn’t feel like that.”
The Sharks had been outscored 20-7 in losing the first four games on their recent road trip before salvaging it a bit with a 3-1 win in Montreal. Coach Peter DeBoer shuffled the responsibility of his assistants a bit, moving Dave Barr to the bench to work with the forwards, making Rob Zettler the “eye in the sky,” and having Steve Spott shift from overseeing forwards to the defense.
“After a road trip like that you have to look in the mirror,” defenseman Justin Braun said. “You can’t look at other guys. You have to figure out what you need to do to help the team win.”
Ducks 4, Blackhawks 2
In Anaheim, Ondrej Kase scored four minutes into the third period to lift the Ducks over Chicago for their fifth consecutive victory.
Oilers 3, Blues 2 (SO)
In St. Louis, Connor McDavid scored in the shootout after Oscar Klefbom tied it late in the third period, and Edmonton beat the Oilers.