DETROIT – The Sharks organization made some good memories over the years at Joe Louis Arena. Saturday’s game, their final regular season game ever in the storied Detroit arena, wasn’t one of them.
Gustav Nyquist scored twice and Jimmy Howard made 30 saves in leading the Red Wings to a 3-0 blanking of the Sharks. San Jose’s record stands at an even 3-3-0 after it lost three of five games on its road trip, including the final two.
The Sharks open a three-game homestand with the Ducks on Tuesday.
Both of Nyquist’s goals came in the second period as Detroit opened up a 2-0 edge.
His first came on a two-on-one rush. Nyquist skated the puck into the Sharks’ zone, slammed on the breaks in the faceoff circle, and buzzed a wrist shot past Martin Jones at 4:14 of the middle frame.
On his second score, Nyquist squeezed a wrist shot through Jones from the slot at 15:10 shortly after Matt Nieto lost his footing – and the puck – in the Sharks’ defensive zone.
The Red Wings put the game out of reach when Andreas Athanasiou teed off on a slap shot from the circle at 6:05 of the third period, beating the Sharks’ starting goalie high to the far side.
San Jose was unable to score despite pulling Jones for an extra attacker with more than three minutes to go.
The Sharks again struggled on the power play taking an 0-for-4, and are 0-for-8 over the last three games.
Detroit will open Little Ceasar’s Arena at the start of next season. The Sharks finished with a 12-28-4 record all-time at The Joe.
If there was one bright spot for the Sharks it was their penalty kill, which fought off all seven Red Wings power plays.
The power play, though, remains ice cold, as San Jose has scored just one power play goal this season during a standard five-on-four advantage. Overall, the Sharks are 3-for-20 on the season, including an empty net goal and another on a two-man advantage.
A bit of nastiness ensued shortly after the Red Wings’ third goal, as Joe Pavelski was given a double-minor for “attempting to spear” Steve Ott, who got an unsportsmanlike conduct minor.
Jones dropped to 2-3 on the season, losing his third straight start after beginning the season with a pair of wins. He allowed three goals on 32 shots.
Howard won for the second time in as many starts. He improved to 5-7-4 all-time against San Jose.
Brent Burns, who entered the game tied for the league lead in scoring with nine points, saw his five-game point streak to start the season come to an end.
Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader was scratched, so Athanasiou was inserted back into the lineup.
San Jose reassigned forward Ryan Carpenter to the Barracuda on Friday. He did not play at all on the trip.
The Sharks will play just their second home game on Tuesday against Anaheim. The Blue Jackets visit SAP Center on Thursday, and the Predators next Saturday.
Overall, five of the Sharks’ next six games are in San Jose.