SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) John Leonard scored the first goal of his career and the San Jose Sharks earned their second regulation victory of the season with a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.
“It means a lot, obviously,” Leonard said. ”It is a dream come true. You dream as a kid scoring a goal in the NHL. Fortunately, 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 first minute, but the Ducks weren’t able to seize the good chances later in the period and didn’t score again until Max Comtois’ goal in the third.
“The possibilities were there,” coach Dallas Eakins said. ” We couldn’t finish, or there were a couple there where I don’t think the goalkeeper knew he had it. It hit him by accident. We certainly played a solid first period. We had very good opportunities. ”
John Gibson stopped 26 shots for Anaheim.
The Sharks have had a rocky start to the season, entering the game tied for last in the West Division. Their only previous regulation victory came on Jan. 24 at Minnesota when they opened the season on a 12-game road trip before losing their first home game on Saturday against Las Vegas.
San Jose had been outscored 21-7 in the second period this season, a major factor in the struggles. But sharks reversed that against ducks.
“It was important that we have a rebounding 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, we came back and we had a good second period, which has not been very kind to us this season.”
Labanc ended a 10-game winless streak when he took advantage of a rebound behind Gibson’s goal line and entered the net to give San Jose a 2-1 lead.
Couture added his goal after a poor fumble from Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf to give the Sharks a 3-1 lead.
“At the end of the second period, we got away from the things that were successful early in the game,” Steel said. “ We backtracked and everything, but it wasn’t enough. ”
The Ducks had a lucky rebound to score in the opening minute. Steel skidded into a run to Anaheim and tried to pass a teammate, but the puck bounced off defender Mario Ferraro’s skate and dribbled between Jones’ pads 50 seconds into the game.
The Ducks got another goal off Ferraro’s stick in the third when a cross from Comtois deflected to make it 3-2.
MILESTONE OF THE MINUTES
Leonard tied the game in the first period with a power play goal. The main attendance went to Ferraro, who was Leonard’s college classmate at UMass. The goal was only the third in the Sharks’ power play in their last 11 games.
The Sharks lost two defenses to Radim Simek on injured reserve after injuring himself on two tough controls Saturday by Jonathan Marchessault of Las Vegas.
Erik Karlsson suffered a lower body injury late in that game and was also sidelined.
Fredrik Claesson and Nicolas Meloche played in his place.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Golden Knights: Host the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.
Sharks: Visit the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.