When you can’t score on the power play, a shorthanded goal is a welcome development.
Mikkel Boedker’s breakaway conversion in the third period, with the Sharks down a man, put them up to stay in a 3-2 win over the Jets at MTS Centre on Monday night.
Joe Thornton recorded his 1,000th career assist on a late empty net goal by Joe Pavelski, just the 13th player in NHL history to reach the mark.
With the game tied at 1-1 in the third period, Logan Couture broke up a Jets pass high in the zone, and Boedker scooped up the loose puck and charged the other way. He flipped it high over Hellebuyck for his ninth of the season at 7:26.
The Jets pulled their goalie looking for the equalizer, but instead Thornton pushed the puck ahead to Pavelski, who managed to deposit it into the empty net -- his second goal of the night.
Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele scored with just seven seconds to go in regulation on the power play, capping the scoring.
San Jose improved to 6-1-3 in its last 10 games, and has not lost consecutive games in regulation since Jan. 11-14. The Sharks swept the three-game season series against the Jets.
The Jets, making a late push for the playoffs, lost for just the second time in regulation in the last nine games (5-2-2). They had scored at least three goals in their previous eight games.
The Sharks split their brief two-game back-to-back road trip after losing in Minnesota on Sunday, 3-1.
The teams split first period scores.
Pavelski’s 22nd goal gave the Sharks the lead. Brenden Dillon’s slap shot led to a scramble in front of the crease, and the captain knocked it into a vacated net at 9:45.
The goal was Pavelski’s first in a manned net since Feb. 15 against Florida.
Winnipeg quickly responded, when Josh Morrissey’s shot cleanly beat Aaron Dell, who may have been screened by Joel Ward at 11:27.
The Sharks outshot the Jets 16-7 in the second period, but the game remained deadlocked headed into the third.
The Sharks welcomed Joonas Donskoi back to the lineup after the forward had been out since Jan. 23 with what was believed to be a shoulder injury. He started on the third line with Tomas Hertl and Ward.
The Sharks went 0-for-3 on the power play, and have just two power play goals in their last 11 games (2-for-23). Since Nov. 1, San Jose is 26-for-169 with a man advantage (15.3 percent).
Boedker’s score was the Sharks’ fifth shorthanded goal of the season, three of which have come against Winnipeg, which has allowed eight. It was Boedker’s first career shortie.
The Jets were 1-for-4 on the power play. The Sharks have allowed one power play goal against in each of the last four games.
Starting for the second time in the last three games, Dell improved to 9-3-1 on the season with 31 saves. He has allowed two or fewer goals in nine of his 12 starts.
Hellebucyk was the third Jets goalie to start a game against the Sharks this season, and allowed two goals on 29 shots.
David Schlemko missed his second straight game with a lower body injury, while rookie Kevin Labanc -- who is without a goal in the last 25 games -- was scratched. Melker Karlsson took Labanc’s place on the top line.
Dylan DeMelo played his second straight game on the third defense pair.
The Sharks open up their longest homestand of the season on Thursday with Washington. In the first meeting at Verizon Center back on Nov. 8, Martin Jones made 24 saves in a 3-0 shutout.
Nashville, Dallas, Buffalo, St. Louis and Anaheim also visit San Jose over the next two weeks.