TAMPA, Fla. — The San Jose Sharks just keep winning away from home.
Matthew Nieto and Joel Ward both had a goal and an assist as the Sharks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 on Tuesday night. The Sharks improved to 19-8-2 on the road after opening a five-game trip with victory.
“It’s a good start,” said San Jose centre Joe Thornton, who had two assists.
“When you keep losing, you’re not climbing the standings,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “You’re going the wrong way.”
Guys are trying,” Cooper added. “We’re just cheating a little bit now. All the things on the defensive side of the puck we’ve done the past two and half years, we’re going through a stretch here where we’re not doing those things.”
Steven Stamkos was pointless with three shots and finished minus-1 in the Lightning’s first game since general manager Steve Yzerman announced Monday that the team captain won’t be moved before this month’s trade deadline. Stamkos, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, is in the final year of a deal that pays him about $5.5 million this season. He is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in July.
San Jose took a 3-2 lead 1:17 into the third when Nieto beat Ben Bishop from in-close after taking a backhand pass from Patrick Marleau.
Karlsson made it 4-2 with 1:43 to play.
“We kind of eliminated the neutral zone with the turnovers and took away a little bit of their speed,” Pavelski said. “Guys made some plays at the right time. We got the saves as well.”
After Pavelski gave San Jose a 2-1 advantage on his team-best 26th goal at 6:34 of the second, Paquette got the equalizer 2:12 later with his first goal in 22 games.
Callahan skated down the slot and scored off a pass from Alex Killorn to open the scoring at 17:51 of the first. Callahan’s sixth goal this season stopped an 18-game drought and was just his second in his last 42 games.
Ward tied it at 1 1:43 into the second. Marc-Edouard Vlasic assisted on the goal and extended his team defenceman consecutive game assist streak to eight games.
“We’re happy with the win,” Vlasic said.
NOTES: Pavelski ended a six-game goal drought. … Marleau played in his 1,384th NHL game, which ties him for 39th place with Larry Robinson. Thornton (1,340 games) and Dainius Zubrus (1,268 games) are in 51st and 72nd place, respectively. … Thornton has a six-game point streak (six assists, nine points). “For a passer, it’s nice when the guys are finishing the way they are,” said Thronton, who is 15th on the NHL all-time assist list. He has 26 assists and 42 points in 38 games against Tampa Bay… Lightning D Matt Carle played in his 700th NHL game and was minus-3. … Brent Burns had nine of San Jose’s 31 shots.