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Jets shut out by Sharks to wrap up road trip

Mason leaves game with upper-body injury after opening period

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

SAN JOSE, California - Heading into Saturday night, the 49 goals the San Jose Sharks had allowed this season were the fewest in the NHL.

Try as they might, the Winnipeg Jets couldn't increase that number.

The Jets fired 38 shots at the Sharks net, but Martin Jones stopped every one of them, handing Winnipeg a 4-0 loss to end the four-game road trip.

Video: POSTGAME | JetsTV Road Report

"I think we just left a lot there. We had a three-on-one that we don't get to the net, a couple of two-on-ones, there were an awful lot of plays that we didn't execute smooth or clean," said head coach Paul Maurice. "So we couldn't put any real pressure in terms of scoring a goal and changing that momentum a little bit.

"It was a bit of a grinder for us."

Video: POSTGAME | Josh Morrissey

Logan Couture scored twice to bring his season total to 13, while Tim Heed and Tomas Hertl added singles to help the Sharks improve their record to 12-8-2.

The defeat means the Jets head home with four of a possible eight points on the trip, and fall to 1-1-1 in the back half of back-to-back games.

"I think there were games that we stuck with it," said captain Blake Wheeler. "(There is) a lot of frustration with the game tonight. Overall, I still thought in the third period we were pushing and had some opportunities. Their goalie made some big saves."

San Jose took advantage of a Dustin Byfuglien interference penalty to open the scoring. After hitting the cross bar earlier on the play, the Sharks regained possession, and after some quick puck movement at the top of the circles, Tim Heed's point shot beat Steve Mason through traffic.

The Sharks would add to the lead with 15.4 seconds left in the first, when a Justin Braun shot went off Kyle Connor and changed direction on its way to Mason. The Jets goaltender made the initial stop, but the rebound was left in front of the crease, and Logan Couture lifted it in the top corner for his 12th of the season.

Video: POSTGAME | Blake Wheeler

The Jets (14-6-3) were down 2-0 after 20 minutes, and to add to the situation, Mason didn't return to the game after the first period due to an upper-body injury.

"We pulled him as a precaution. We'll get him looked at tomorrow and get a real good idea of how he's feeling," said Maurice, who couldn't be certain if it was Jannik Hansen's high one-timer that caught Mason in the mask that was the culprit for the goaltender's symptoms.

"He stayed in and said he was OK after that. We talked to him at the time-out. By the time he got off the ice he got off that ice, he was not feeling right. For us, that's enough, he's got to come out."

Connor Hellebuyck came on in relief in the second period, and would make 20 saves on 21 shots the rest of the way.

Couture's second of the night came shorthanded, and was the only one Hellebuyck couldn't keep out. San Jose's second ranked penalty kill forced a turnover at their own blue line. And Couture then won the footrace to the puck, and slid a backhand past Hellebuyck to make it 3-0 Sharks.

"You've got an opportunity on the power play to make it 2-1, and it goes the other way, it takes the wind out of your sails," said Wheeler.

"It hurt a lot. We had a couple chances on the power play before that… 2-1, momentum is in our favour. Even if the period ends 2-1, we know it's a hockey game we like to play."

Video: POSTGAME | Ben Chiarot

Maurice shuffled the lines late in the second period, reuniting the line of Nikolaj Ehlers, Mark Scheifele, and Blake Wheeler, and also moved Mathieu Perreault to the left wing with Bryan Little and Patrik Laine.

"The idea wasn't to shake everything up because you didn't like it. There wasn't a lot of connection between the forwards I thought," Maurice said. "Sometimes you're just looking for a change. Shortening our bench at a certain point in a game like that to chase back. We have some offensive players playing on that fourth line, so we just moved them up."

The only goal of the third period came on an empty netter from Hertl, his fifth of the season.

In the mind of Josh Morrissey, who played 19:53 in the game and blocked three shots, said the loss is a tough way to end the road trip after picking up wins in Los Angeles and Anaheim in the last two outings.

"They took advantage of some mistakes we made. I liked our pushback in the third," said Morrissey.

"It wasn't the game we wanted. We had bigger aspirations for the end of that road trip."

Next up for the Jets is a return to Bell MTS Place, where they take on the Minnesota Wild on Hockey Fights Cancer night in Winnipeg.

"We're going to be on an airplane every second day now for a week, then come home and play Vegas (on December 1). This is the grinder for us," said Maurice.

"Get as much rest as you possibly can, get as much sleep as you can. Keep your shifts short, and keep your game simple."

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