Sharks Cut Down on Odd-man Rushes to First Road Victory Since October

If there's one thing that has hurt the Sharks in their losses this season, it's been giving up too many grade-A chances to the opposition.

In their Sunday evening victory over the Montreal Canadiens, Team Teal put up one of their best efforts of the season in keeping those chances to a minimum.

[RELATED: Sharks snap four-game losing streak]

"The odd-man rushes that have been hurting us," goaltender Martin Jones complimented after Sunday's win. "I thought we did a great job tonight."

The Sharks' defense -- not just the blue line, but from the forward lines as well –-- was an ever-present force against the Habs. It was a vast improvement for a team currently ranked second in the league in giving up goals on high-danger chances. On Sunday, they registered 22 blocked shots to accompany the staggering 40-of-41 chances Montreal hurled Jones' way en route to allowing Montreal to score only one goal.

"Guys put their bodies on the line a little bit tonight," Joe Pavelski said. "There were some big blocks ... and when we did have a breakdown (Jones) was great. It all added up to a win tonight."

In a rebound performance all his own, Jones put together a highlight reel of saves in Montreal, and stood particularly tall in the final few minutes when the Habs got a late-game power play opportunity and threatened to capitalize on it. The victory helped him improve to 7-1-0 in his career against Montreal, with a 1.88 goals-against average and .935 save percentage. 

Even with a high number of shots coming his way, Jones told the media Sunday he'll take getting peppered with shots over having too many odd-man rushes coming at him any day.

"That's a much more manageable game," he explained. "I thought we did a great job eliminating those grade-A's and those odd-man rushes that have been causing us some problems."

Of course, the Sharks know they still have some things they want to improve on. After a tough road trip, San Jose has to keep the momentum going past this one game. 

They'll have the opportunity to do that when they return to home ice for a rematch with the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday.

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