Sharks Stumble to Lopsided Loss Against Jets

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NHLI via Getty Images

The San Jose Sharks struck first Wednesday night but then never found the net again in a 5-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets at SAP Center. 

San Jose led early on Melker Karlsson's goal nine minutes into the game, but Winnipeg struck twice to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

Winnipeg scored two goals in each of the first two periods to open up a comfortable lead and slow down the Sharks (13-12-1), who had won 10 of their past 11 games to begin a climb up the Pacific Division standings.

David Gustafsson scored his first NHL goal and Kyle Connor added a goal and assist for Winnipeg.

The Jets (15-9-1) began their three-game road swing through California in style and improved to 9-2-1 over their past 12 games.

The Jets came in with the league's 29th-ranked penalty-kill unit, but held the Sharks scoreless on seven chances with the man advantage.

Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck, who made 51 saves in a Nov. 1 victory in San Jose, was terrific again Wednesday, stopping 32 of 33 shots.

Patrik Laine buried a power-play goal on a cross-ice pass from Wheeler to tie it 1-1. Just two minutes before the break, the 19-year-old Gustafsson notched his first career goal in impressive fashion.

He maneuvered past San Jose's Erik Karlsson at his own blue line, then took the puck all the way down and fired a wrist shot past goalie Aaron Dell and into the net for a 2-1 Jets lead.

Mark Scheifele and Jack Roslovic padded that cushion with goals in the second period and Connor scored at the 14:47 mark to cap the scoring.

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