John Leonard scored his first career goal and the San Jose Sharks earned just their second regulation win of the season with a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.
“It means a lot, obviously,” Leonard said. “It's a dream come true. You dream as a kid scoring a goal in the NHL. Fortunately enough it happened tonight and even better we got the win.”
San Jose captain Logan Couture and Kevin Labanc added goals in a rare productive second period for the Sharks to help coach Bob Boughner earn his 100th NHL victory. Martin Jones made 26 saves.
Sam Steel scored in the opening minute but the Ducks failed to take advantage of good opportunities later in the period and didn't score again until Max Comtois' goal in the third.
“The chances were there,” coach Dallas Eakins said. “We couldn’t finish, or there were a couple there where I don’t think the goalie knew he had it. It hit him by accident. We certainly played a solid first period. We had really good chances.”
John Gibson stopped 26 shots for Anaheim.
The Sharks have had a rough start to the season, entering the game tied for last in the West Division. Their only previous regulation win came Jan. 24 at Minnesota as they opened the season on a 12-game road trip before losing their home opener Saturday against Vegas.
San Jose had been outscored 21-7 in the second period this season, a major factor in the struggles. But the Sharks reversed that against the Ducks.
“It was important we had a rebound game. I didn’t like our start. We didn’t come out with enough juice in the first few minutes,” Boughner said. “I really liked how we responded and came back and had a good second period, which hasn’t been very kind to us this season.”
Labanc ended a 10-game stretch without a goal when he banked a rebound from behind the goal line off Gibson and into the net to give San Jose a 2-1 lead.
Couture added his goal after a bad turnover by Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf to give the Sharks a 3-1 lead.
“At the end of the second period we got away from things that were successful for us early in the game,” Steel said. “We pushed back and everything, but it wasn’t enough.”
The Ducks got a fortunate bounce to score in the opening minute. Steel skated in on a rush for Anaheim and tried to pass back to a teammate, but the puck bounced off defenseman Mario Ferraro’s skate and trickled between Jones’ pads 50 seconds into the game.
The Ducks got another goal off Ferraro’s stick in the third when Comtois’ centering pass deflected in to make it 3-2.
Leonard tied the game in the first period with a power-play goal. The primary assist went to Ferraro, who was teammates with Leonard in college at UMass. The goal was just the third on the power play for the Sharks in their past 11 games.
The Sharks were down two defensemen with Radim Simek going on injured reserve after getting hurt Saturday on two hard checks by Vegas’ Jonathan Marchessault.
Erik Karlsson tweaked a lower-body injury late in that game and also was sidelined.
Fredrik Claesson and Nicolas Meloche played in their place.
Golden Knights: Host the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.
Sharks: Visit the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.
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