Jones celebrates his birthday with a Sharks win over Golden Knights

Paul Gackle, The Mercury News on

Published in Hockey

LAS VEGAS -- Martin Jones celebrated his 29th birthday in style, putting together arguably his best performance of the season to earn the San Jose Sharks' 1,000th franchise win.

Jones made 36 saves in the Sharks' 3-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights Thursday, outdueling Marc-Andre Fleury to catapult his team into second place in the Pacific Division. The win snapped the Golden Knights' seven-game winning streak and 12-game home point streak while extending the Sharks' winning streak to five games.

The Sharks netminder entered the game ranked 39th in save percentage (.899).

The win was just the Sharks' second in Las Vegas and their first during the regular season. The Sharks also improved to 4-0 without their top-shutdown pairing of Justin Braun and Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who are both sidelined by injuries. They trail the first-place Calgary Flames by one point in the Pacific Division.

Joonas Donskoi scored the game-winning goal at 8:03 of the third, just 39 seconds after Melker Karlsson tied it at 2-2 with his seventh goal of the year. Donskoi recorded his seventh goal in eight games after a Tomas Hertl shot hit him in the upper body and redirected into the net. Karlsson scored his goal off the rebound of a Brent Burns shot, the defenseman's 15th point in eight games.

Hertl earned his first point of the night by scoring off the rush at 14:05 of the second, his 16th goal of the season.

Jon Merrill broke a 1-1 tie at 2:16 of the third stanza, beating Jones with a shot through traffic from the left point.

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After spending the morning preaching about the importance of putting together a strong start, the Sharks surrendered the opening goal just 94 seconds into the game. Tomas Nosek buried the rebound of a Ryan Reaves shot, triggering flashbacks of the Sharks' first trip to Las Vegas on Nov. 24 when William Karlsson scored 14 seconds into the game and the Golden Knights carried a 4-0 lead into the first intermission.

The Sharks also coughed up four first-period goals to the Golden Knights in Game 1 of last year's second-round playoff series and they fell behind 4-1 in their first-ever meeting with their Pacific Division rivals at T-Mobile Arena on Nov. 24, 2017.

Erik Karlsson's 14-game points streak came to an end in the Sharks win.

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