The Sharks fought back from an early hole and Tommy Wingels netted the game-winner in the third period in a 4-2 San Jose win in Florida on Thursday night.
In a 2-2 game, Chris Tierney took an offensive zone faceoff and Wingels corralled the loose puck. He stickhandled through defenseman Michael Matheson and cut to the net before sliding a backhand over the line at 8:53 for his second of the season.
The Sharks (8-6-0) improved to 2-0 on their season long six-game road trip.
Florida took an early two-goal lead, thanks to a couple goals from a former Sharks defenseman.
Jason Demers opened the scoring with a goal a little more than five minutes into the game. Martin Jones turned the puck over behind the net, and puck ended up on Demers’ stick at the top of the circle. His blast nicked Wingels’ stick before fluttering over Jones’ shoulder.
A little more than two minutes later, Demers poked home a rebound of a Jaromir Jagr shot at 7:26. Jagr avoided Paul Martin in the Florida offensive zone and put the puck off of Jones’ pad before Demers increased the Panthers’ lead to 2-0.
A great effort by Brent Burns cut the Florida lead in half. The defenseman got in front of a Keith Yandle slap shot, and tracked down the loose puck while plowing ahead. He held off Demers and drove the net, flipping it past James Reimer at 16:18 for his team-leading sixth of the year.
San Jose scored the only goal of the middle frame, courtesy of Joe Pavelski. Joel Ward hustled to a loose puck along the wall, shoveled it to Pavelski, and the captain flipped it over Remier’s glove hand at 1:53 to knot the score at 2-2.
San Jose improved to 6-5-5 all-time in Florida. The Sharks and Panthers meet once more on Feb. 15 in San Jose.
Logan Couture added an empty net marker with 56 seconds remaining in the game. It was his first goal in 11 games.
The Sharks’ penalty kill remained strong, but their power play continues to scuffle in what was a limited special teams game.
San Jose was 0-for-2 with a man advantage, including 34 seconds of five-on-three time after consecutive penalties to Demers and Aaron Ekblad in the second period. The Sharks are 1-for-16 over their last five games on the power play.
Florida failed on its only advantage. The Sharks are 22-for-22 over their last nine games, and 28-for-29 in their last 11 on the PK.
Coming off of his first shutout of the season on Tuesday in Washington, Jones made 22 saves. He has started 13 of the Sharks’ 14 games.
Reimer took the loss with three goals allowed on 28 shot. He was facing the Sharks for the first time since signing a five-year contract with Florida in the offseason.
Reimer played eight games in the second half of last season for the Sharks, posting a 6-2 record, 1.62 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. He’s now 2-2-1 with Florida, sharing the net with Roberto Luongo.
The Sharks made no changes to their lineup from Tuesday’s game in Washington, as rookie Kevin Labanc remained in for his second career game.
Sharks coach Pete DeBoer is 10-3-1 against the team that gave him his first NHL head coaching job in 2008-09.
Florida’s Jussi Jokinen returned after missing nine games with a knee injury.
The Sharks will stay in the state of Florida, where they will play Steven Stamkos the Lightning on Saturday.