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Pavelski helps Sharks defeat Canadiens, end skid

by Sean Farrell /

MONTREAL -- The San Jose Sharks joked about petitioning the NHL to play the rest of their games on the road after starting their current trip on a winning note.

Joe Pavelski had a goal and an assist, Martin Jones made 26 saves, and San Jose ended a six-game losing streak with a 3-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

The Sharks (15-14-1), who began a five-game trip, are 11-5-1 on the road.

"Joking around after the game, we were going to tell the League to play all our games on the road now," San Jose defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic said.

Patrick Marleau scored at 17:34 of the first period, when San Jose was outshot 10-3. Pavelski scored 36 seconds into the second, and then assisted when Dainius Zubrus scored his first goal of the season at 9:19, chasing Montreal goalie Dustin Tokarski, who made saves on nine of 12 shots.

Dale Weise scored at 17:24 of the second to draw the Canadiens within two. Mike Condon, who replaced Tokarksi, made six saves.

Jones jammed out his right pad to stop Montreal defenseman Nathan Beaulieu's shot and preserve the two-goal lead at 4:34 of the third period.

The Canadiens outshot the Sharks 27-18, including 9-2 in the third.

"Getting the first goal for us was important," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "We haven't been getting that and we found a way to score the first goal. And our goaltender, when we got on our heels, we weathered the storm. And I really liked our second period. I thought we could have had a couple more. I thought, actually, Montreal's goalie made some big saves to keep the game close at that point, and then the third period, they poured it on and we found a way to hang on."

The Canadiens (20-9-3), who ended a four-game losing streak with a 3-1 win against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, are 2-4-1 in their past seven games.

"Well, we gave them three goals, and you've got to think we come out with some good energy, but that's a team that lost six in a row and we didn't even make them work for their goals, so that's frustrating," Montreal captain Max Pacioretty said.

The Canadiens, who went 0-for-2 on the power play, have failed to score with the man-advantage in five straight games.

"That's a team with a lot of speed and we were right there with them throughout the game, and we got two points, that's what we wanted," Vlasic said.

Sharks forward Tomas Hertl skated during the warmup with Pavelski and center Joe Thornton but did not play because of a lower-body injury. DeBoer said Hertl is day-to-day.

"[Hertl] had tweaked something last game," DeBoer said. "We thought he was going to be fine, and it kind of flared up after morning skate."

Zubrus, who signed with San Jose on Nov. 24, moved into Hertl's spot on the line.

"I didn't get a word; I just saw it when I went for a snack after my pregame nap," Zubrus said. "I went for a snack and I saw that lineup, and the guys were having a little bit of fun with it because they said I had a good morning skate because I went from the fourth line to the first line."

Barclay Goodrow, who was recalled from the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League earlier Tuesday, dressed in place of Hertl. Goodrow checked Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban in the first, then fought Canadiens center Torrey Mitchell, who came to Subban's defense.

"I think it was a message that we're physically involved, we're here to play, obviously on their best player, got in a scrap after," DeBoer said. "[Goodrow] gave us some real good minutes tonight, some good energy, and we need to continue to get that. I was able to play our fourth line and they contributed, which is important."

Pacioretty hit the post with a shot from the slot in the first, when Jones made 10 saves.

Marleau scored his 12th goal on the Sharks' third shot of the period with 2:26 remaining.

Pavelski made it 2-0 when he tipped defenseman Justin Braun's shot from the right point past Tokarski for his 14th goal, which leads San Jose.

Thornton's line combined their efforts for San Jose's third goal. After stripping the puck off Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov behind the net, Thornton passed to Pavelski, who set up Zubrus for his first goal in nine games with the Sharks.

"Some of those games that we lost, I thought we still created enough chances to score goals, but none were going in," Zubrus said. "It's not easy to stay positive when you're losing like that, but I believe in our game, I believe in our guys and the system, and I think if we play like this, there will be more wins to come."

Weise, who had not scored in 11 games, got his 10th goal to match his NHL career high, which he set last season in 79 games.

"We got off to a really good start," Weise said. "We were playing well, we just couldn't find the back of the net, and we gift them three goals. So that's extremely frustrating, when you're playing really well and you give up goals like that."

Montreal goalie Carey Price, who is sidelined through at least mid-January because of a lower-body injury, received a standing ovation when he was introduced during the first period as the 2015 winner of the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's top athlete.

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