Jones makes 27 saves in Sharks' 2-0 win over Ducks
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) After missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 2003, the San Jose Sharks wanted to make a statement this season while opening with games against their Southern California rivals.
After wins over Anaheim and Los Angeles, consider that statement made.
Martin Jones earned a shutout in his first home start with San Jose, and Patrick Marleau scored twice to lead the Sharks to a 2-0 victory over the Ducks on Saturday night.
''The Sharks are back and we're for real this year,'' new coach Peter DeBoer said. ''We talked about it through training camp. We're only two games in, but we played two tough teams. I think our game is getting better every day.''
San Jose opened with a dominant 5-1 win in Los Angeles and followed that up with a strong effort in the home opener against their other Southern California rival. Jones made 27 saves, and Marleau got his first two goals of the season.
That helped San Jose establish the home dominance that was missing last year when they lost 22 games at the Shark Tank - the most for the team since 1996-97.
''We kind of got better as the game went on,'' captain Joe Pavelski said. ''Second period was a little better, third was definitely our best and it needs to be and I would say last year, that was one of the problems in this rink.''
Frederik Andersen made 42 saves in the season opener for the Ducks, who have lost eight straight games in San Jose.
Anaheim was outshot 17-3 in the final period.
''They were holding us in our zone with puck possession,'' Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. ''Once we got it out, we were dumping it for line changes and couldn't get much pressure on them.''
The Ducks were the last NHL team to play their opener and had a little different look than usual when they took the ice. Longtime linemates Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry were split up for most of the night in hopes of giving Anaheim a more balanced team.
The move didn't lead to any scoring, in large part because of Jones. Acquired in a trade from Boston in the offseason, the former Kings backup has made quite the first impression in San Jose.
He stopped the final 19 shots he faced in beating Los Angeles and followed that up with his eighth career shutout.
Jones robbed Jiri Sekac twice and also stopped a 2-on-1 from Andrew Cogliano and Ryan Kesler late in the second period with help from an aggressive backcheck from Brent Burns.
Then in the final minute of the period, the Sharks broke through when Marleau knocked the rebound of Logan Couture's shot past Andersen for the game's first goal.
Andersen kept the Ducks within one with back-to-back saves midway through the third period. He stoned Joe Thornton on a breakaway and then stopped Joonas Donskoi on a rebound from the slot on the same shift.
But San Jose broke through with the insurance goal when Marleau beat Andersen on a wraparound.
''They had good, sustained possessions, and we weren't able to create many chances,'' Cogliano said. ''They had too many long shifts in our end.''
NOTES: Jakob Silfverberg played for Anaheim after being hurt in the final exhibition game by an illegal hit to the head from San Jose's Raffi Torres. Torres was suspended 41 games for the hit. ... The Sharks raised a banner for the late George Gund III, the team's original owner. ... Marc-Edouard Vlasic played in his 672nd career game, most ever for a Sharks defenseman. ... The Ducks are 5-17 in season openers.