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Sharks score 6 goals on 18 shots to down Devils in 1st road win of season

Elsa / Getty Images Sport / Getty

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Jacob MacDonald and Anthony Duclair each scored twice, and Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 44 shots as the San Jose Sharks beat the New Jersey Devils 6-3 on Friday night for their first road win this season.

Mikael Granlund had a goal and two assists and William Eklund also scored for San Jose, which improved to 6-16-2 overall. The league-worst Sharks came in 0-10-0 away from home with just six goals in those games.

“I’m happy for our guys. It’s been a tough year, especially on the road,″ Sharks coach David Quinn said. ”To find a way to win is a tribute to our team.”

Dawson Mercer, Jack Hughes and Ondrej Palat scored for New Jersey, which had its three-game winning streak snapped. Defenseman Simon Nemec had two assists for the Devils in his NHL debut. Akira Schmid finished with 12 saves.

“Puck management on the goals, no respect to the game,″ Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. ”We knew we would have zone time. You can do all this good work but if you’re going to disrespect the game, which we did, it’s disappointing.”

MacDonald opened the scoring, beating Schmid 2:10 into the contest.

New Jersey tied it on the power play a little more than 11 minutes later when Mercer scored his sixth of the season.

MacDonald the put the Sharks back ahead at 2:51 of the middle period with his second of the night and third of the season. It was the first two-goal game for the 30-year-old MacDonald, who came in with four goals in 109 career games.

“I am glad to contribute any way that I can,’' said MacDonald, a defenseman who was playing up front against the Devils on a line with Nico Sturm and Kevin Labanc. “We started out hot. A quick goal builds confidence right from the start.”.

Duclair increased San Jose’s lead to 3-1 at 9:47 of the second.

Hughes narrowed the deficit to 3-2 with his ninth goal at 2:56 of the third, but Duclair then scored again, his fifth of the season, at 5:07.

Palat made it 4-3 with 7:02 remaining with his third before Granlund restored the two-goal lead for the Sharks 40 seconds later with his second.

“We know if we are good defensively everything else will come for us and we got our first road win,’' Granlund said. ”Hopefully we can keep it going and have a good road trip.”

Eklund scored an empty-net goal for the Sharks in the final minute.

San Jose started the season 0-10-1 before going 5-5-1 in their next 11 games. They scored just three goals in five road losses in November.

“Everybody wants to score goals,” Quinn said. “When you see guys getting rewarded for hard work, it makes you feel good. It gives you a lot more confidence and a little bit of swagger.”

Timo Meier returned to the Devils’ lineup against his former team after missing seven games with a lower-body injury.

The game marked the return of goalie Mackenzie Blackwood, defenseman Nikita Okhotiuk and forward Fabian Zetterlund to New Jersey. They were all part of last season’s trade that brought Meier to New Jersey. Meier, who played parts of seven seasons for the Sharks, signed an eight-year contract extension with the Devils last summer.

“I think you can play all you want on the outside, you’ve just got to get inside,’' Meier said. ”We were trying to outscore the other team and they stayed tight. We just didn’t do a good enough job.”

New Jersey recalled Nemec from AHL Utica to replace injured defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who is out indefinitely after having surgery Friday for a torn left pectoral muscle sustained in Tuesday’s home win over the Islanders. The 19-year-old Nemec, the second overall pick in the 2022 draft by New Jersey, had two goals and six assists in 13 games with Utica.


Sharks: At the New York Rangers on Sunday night to continue a six-game road trip.

Devils: At Vancouver on Tuesday night to start four-game road trip.



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