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Sharks top Devils in shootout to remain unbeaten

by Mike G. Morreale

NEWARK, N.J. -- Peter DeBoer will always remember how great a challenge it was to win shootouts during his three-plus seasons as coach of the New Jersey Devils.

DeBoer was able to wipe the slate clean in his return to Prudential Center on Friday as the coach of the San Jose Sharks when Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns scored in the tiebreaker to give the unbeaten Sharks a 2-1 victory.

"The irony of us winning a shootout in this building isn't lost on me," DeBoer said with a grin. "Especially after the last few years."

The Devils were 16-30 in shootouts during DeBoer's time as coach. He is 1-0 in tiebreakers as coach of the Sharks.

"The guys wanted to win this game," DeBoer said. "This was a little bit of a trap game for us after starting out 3-0, and we didn't fall into the trap. We came out and recognized how important the two points were against a scrappy, desperate team and found a way to win."

Burns' backhander beat Cory Schneider in the second round of the shootout after New Jersey's Adam Henrique and Pavelski scored in the first round, giving the Sharks their fourth win in as many games.

The point was the first for New Jersey (0-3-1) under new coach John Hynes.

"That was a desperate team over there," DeBoer said. "Schneider was outstanding, as was Jones for us; both goalies were great. We knew they would be desperate because they hadn't won a game yet."

Jones, who came into the game with back-to-back shutouts, saw his scoreless streak end at 234 minutes, 33 seconds when Henrique scored on a power-play tip-in with 3:38 remaining in the third period. Jones broke Alex Stalock's team-record scoreless streak of 178:55, set from Jan. 5-27, 2014.

Jones finished with 31 saves through overtime, and denied Jacob Josefson and Mike Cammalleri in the shootout.

"It's been a good start," Jones said. "The thing we have to remember is it's a long season, it's 82 games, and we've got to make sure we continue with the stuff we've been doing and the detail we've had in our game. It's a good start, but we want to move forward here."

Cory Schneider made 33 saves in 65 minutes for the Devils, including a left-pad stop of a shot by Burns with 31 seconds remaining in the 3-on-3 overtime.

Henrique's game-tying goal came on the last of New Jersey's four third-period power plays. Damon Severson took the initial shot from the left point, and Henrique was able to deflect it past Jones.

"The effort was there tonight, I thought, throughout the game," Henrique said. "We've just got to find a way to get that first one."

Hynes was especially happy with Henrique's play.

"I thought Adam Henrique really took a step," he said. "He's a guy we were really looking to take a step and get into that role and, a credit to him, he was a difference-maker in this game."

New Jersey finished 1-for-6 on the power play.

"It's definitely a game we can build off of," Hynes said. "There was a lot more positives than negatives and I liked the way we competed."

San Jose got off to a fast start. Forward Patrick Marleau put the Sharks ahead 2:01 into the game when he beat Schneider from the slot. The Devils were outshot 10-5 and had two quality attempts during the period.

"I thought I played pretty good but you never want to give up [a goal] on the second shot of the game," Schneider said.

Marleau's goal enabled the Sharks to play with the lead and make the Devils play catch-up.

"We wanted to get the first goal," DeBoer said. "We knew they had a little trouble since they hadn't played with a lead. We wanted to stick them in a hole early if we could and we did. Other than the penalty trouble in the end, the game might have ended that way."

Marleau had a chance for his second goal of the night when he was awarded a penalty shot at 13:42 of the second period after being hooked by Devils defenseman Andy Greene on a breakaway, but Schneider stopped his snap shot from the slot.

The Devils thought they had tied the game with 48 seconds remaining in the second when Josefson jammed a rebound past Jones from the slot with his team shorthanded. However, the goal was waved off by referee Evgeny Romasko because Devils forward Stephen Gionta ran into Jones in the crease. Hynes elected not to use his challenge, and the Sharks' lead stood.

"There's contact with the goaltender in the crease without [Gionta] being pushed in so the way the rule it written, we reviewed it with the guys upstairs and it was a situation where it was the right call on the ice," Hynes said. "[Gionta] was not pushed.

"We went through our due diligence for sure in reviewing the play, but the right call was made on the ice."

The Sharks' penalty-killers came up big early in the third period. San Jose was shorthanded for a total of 5:01, beginning when Justin Braun was called for hooking at 1:35 and continuing because Brenden Dillon and Marc-Edouard Vlasic each was called for delay of game for shooting the puck into the crowd. The Sharks killed off a total of 5:01 in power-play time, including two-man advantages of 43 and 17 seconds.

"[Assistant coach] Bob Boughner has done a good job of putting a plan in place on the penalty kill and, like the rest of our game, we're trying to be aggressive on the entries in the zone," DeBoer said. "Guys are moving around as a four-man unit and we're getting good saves at the right time. Your goalie is always your key guy on the penalty kill."

San Jose was without center Logan Couture, who will miss 4-6 weeks because of a fractured right fibula at the ankle sustained at practice Thursday.

The Sharks continue their four-game road trip against the New York Islanders on Saturday. The Devils visit the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday afternoon.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mikemorrealeNHL

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