Devan Dubnyk made 34 saves for his 33rd career shutout, Tomas Hertl had a goal and an assist in his return to San Jose’s lineup and the Sharks dominated the Anaheim Ducks 6-0 on Friday night.
“He made a couple good saves and that gave us confidence throughout the game,” San Jose coach Bob Boughner said of Dubnyk. “You saw guys sticking up for him and blocking shots at the end of the game. Instead of forcing plays, we were getting pucks deep.”
The Sharks, who had 10 players with a goal or an assist, won by six or more goals for the first time since an 8-2 win over Philadelphia in October 2018.
Kevin Labanc had a goal and two assists, while Timo Meier and Evander Kane also had a goal and an assist. Erik Karlsson and Fredrik Handemark also had goals.
Dubnyk, acquired from Minnesota during the offseason, got his first shutout since Dec. 23, 2019, against Calgary. He blanked a Ducks squad that is averaging a league-low 2.18 goals per game.
Dubnyk's best stop of the night came early in the second period, when he made a pad save with Max Comtois positioned right in front of the goal. Shortly after Dubnyk's save, Kane got a centering pass from Brent Burns and tipped it into the net to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead.
“It was awesome. We played hard and didn’t sit back,” Dubnyk said. “I was able to move around and saw the puck well. I wanted to give the guys a sense of calm back there and it was nice for them to feel that on the bench.”
Hertl missed six games after being placed on NHL’s COVID-19 list on Feb. 24. He said he experienced headaches and a fever for a couple days after testing positive for the coronavirus.
The Czech center opened the scoring eight minutes in with a power-play goal when his shot hit the short side of the post and then deflected off John Gibson’s back and into the net.
“I felt pretty good out there," Hertl said. “We had a lot of good chances and were getting pucks into the net.”
Gibson allowed five goals on 24 shots before being lifted midway into the third period. It is the third straight game he has given up five goals and only the second time in his career he has allowed five or more in that span.
The Sharks chased Gibson with three goals in a 3:18 span of the third period. Karlsson had a power-play goal in traffic from the point at 5:58, Meier went top shelf from the left faceoff circle eight minutes into the period and Labanc put a wrist shot into an open net after Gibson was caught out of position.
“We chose to play alone and play outside the structure, tried to get two goals at once and you can't do that," coach Dallas Eakins said. "If you don't play together and within the structure and go out there like a subcontractor, it is going to end up like that.”
Handemark went short side on Ryan Miller with five minutes remaining for his first NHL goal. Miller made two saves.
The teams conclude a back-to-back set on Saturday.
FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS
San Jose's Kurtis Gabriel and Anaheim's Nicolas Deslauriers dropped the gloves midway through the first period. The fracas happened after Deslauriers took exception to Gabriel's hard check of Jacob Larsson into the boards near the corner.
Both players received five-minute fighting penalties. It was Gabriel's third fight in five games since being called up from the minors.
San Jose is 0-1-1 on the back end of consecutive games while Anaheim is 2-1.
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