SAN JOSE – Three combined goals from Joonas Donskoi and Tomas Hertl, coupled with 24 saves from Martin Jones, pushed the Sharks to a 3-1 win over Columbus on Thursday at SAP Center.
Both of the Sharks’ goals before a late empty netter came from the second power play unit.
In the first period, David Schlemko found Joonas Donskoi wide open in the circle with a cross-ice pass, and Donskoi squeezed a wrist shot through Sergei Bobrovsky at 12:59. The goal was Donskoi’s first of the season.
Hertl increased it to 2-0 with 7:55 to go in regulation, with Jack Johnson in the box for tripping Patrick Marleau. A Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot hit Hertl in front of the net, and Hertl spun around and swept the loose puck through for what stood as the game-winner.
Schlemko assisted on both goals for his first two points in a Sharks sweater.
Scott Hartnell brought the Blue Jackets back to within 2-1 with 2:50 to go, when he redirected a Lukas Sedlak rebound over the line, but that was as close as the Blue Jackets would get. Hertl’s empty net goal with one second left capped the scoring.
The Sharks (5-3-0) improved to a perfect 3-0 at home, and swept the two-game season series with Columbus, including a 3-2 win at Nationwide Arena on Oct. 15.
Bobrovsky kept it 1-0 deficit for his club in the second period. He denied Joel Ward on a breakaway in the first minute of the middle frame after Justin Braun found him wide open at the blue line, and later robbed Brent Burns cutting towards the net when Chris Tierney’s pass through the slot gave the Sharks defenseman a glorious scoring chance with 12:16 to go.
Columbus’ best chance to tie it came with about six minutes left, when Hartnell missed a tap in after Burns gave it away to Sam Gagner in the defensive zone.
The Sharks seemingly increased their lead to 2-0 a little more than six minutes into the third period when Brenden Dillon’s heavy blast from high in the zone found its way in through traffic. A lengthy review showed that Chris Tierney was offside just before Marleau brought the puck over the blue line, however.
With the Sharks up 1-0, the teams went to their dressing rooms with 2:42 remaining in the second period after the lights illuminating the ice surface went dark. Power was restored, and they played the end of the second and the third period after the early intermission.
San Jose is 21-4-2 all-time against the Blue Jackets in San Jose.
For the second straight game, the Sharks failed to score an even strength goal into a manned net in regulation, but won anyway. They were a perfect 2-for-2 on the power play.
Columbus was 0-for-3 on the power play. San Jose is 18-for-19 on the PK over its last five games.
Jones was making his fourth straight start, and has played in seven of the first eight games. He is 4-3 on the season, and 2-2 in his career against Columbus.
Bobrovsky dropped to 5-4-2 in his career against San Jose. The former Vezina Trophy winner has played every game for the Blue Jackets.
Micheal Haley skated in his second straight game in place of Matt Nieto, who was again a healthy scratch.
The Sharks close out their homestand with Nashville on Saturday. It will be the first meeting since San Jose eliminated the Predators in seven games in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last May.