Martin Jones' First-star Game Was Key in Sharks' Victory Over Vegas

Head coach Peter DeBoer summarized it perfectly after the Sharks' win over the Vegas Golden Knights.

"If you're going to win in [T-Mobile Arena], all facets of your game have to be good," he said after the Sharks tallied a hard-fought 3-2 victory. "You're not winning in here unless your goalie's good, unless your special teams are good. You've got to have everybody dialed in."

In Thursday's game, there may not have been a player more dialed in than Martin Jones.

The Sharks starting netminder – who also celebrated his 29th birthday on Thursday – was pivotal in helping the Sharks get their first regular season win in the Vegas Golden Knights' home barn. He made a staggering 36 saves, registering a .947 save percentage in one of the best 60-minute performances he's had so far this season. To add to it, the victory marked Team Teal's 1,000th franchise win.

Jones was given the first star at the end of the game. One could argue he deserved all three.

"He was excellent," DeBoer said. "He was excellent at the right time."

After Vegas tallied the first goal of the game 1:34 into the contest, Jones didn't get frustrated. He buckled down and got aggressive – which was key since the Golden Knights successfully hemmed the Sharks in their own zone for a good portion of the first frame and didn't shy from putting pucks on net.

Jones never appeared to lose his edge or his focus, turning away tricky shots and pucks that were no doubt difficult to see through traffic.

"A couple you could tell he didn't see from the bench, (and) he found a way to get a pad on it," Joe Pavelski complimented. "And that's what you need. There were moments where they were coming right down the slot with good looks and he came out and was aggressive."

When asked about his performance after the game, Jones acknowledged his teammates in front of him put up the same fight he did.

"It was a good, gutsy road win," Jones summarized. "We just stuck with it. We didn't panic."

That sense of calm that Jones possessed against Vegas is reminiscent of how he played down the stretch in season's past. His recent wins against high caliber teams – like the Lightning last weekend and the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday – show he's playing at the high-level San Jose needs to go that extra mile.

DeBoer has seen firsthand how Martin Jones plays late in the season. The coach sounded confident – especially after that impressive win in Vegas – that Jones is going to continue being successful. "You need that kind of goaltending down the stretch, and he's given it to us in my time here," DeBoer said.

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