Sharks riding three-game winning streak into huge Vegas test

Sharks win

The Sharks went the first two months of the NHL season without putting together a winning streak.

But things changed for San Jose in March.

With a 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night, the Sharks (11-11-3; 25 points) have registered their first three-game winning streak of the season.

It doesn't matter that two of the three wins came against the last-place Ducks (8-15-6; 22 points). A winning streak is a winning streak, and at this point, the Sharks simply need wins against anyone to gain momentum to try and turn their season around.

"It feels good to win, I'll tell you," coach Bob Boughner told reporters after the game on a Zoom conference call. "It feel good to have our first little winning streak, you could call it, three games in a row, especially on the road. Guys played well. It was a tight game and we found a way to get that third goal by the [Dylan] Gambrell line. It was an important goal. The [penalty] kill at the end was important. Jonesy made some big stops when he needed to. It was a complete team win. I thought for a back-to-back, we grinded one out."

Coming off a disappointing 2-4-1 homestand, the Sharks found their footing at the Honda Center, outscoring the Ducks 9-1 in the two games.

"We knew we need to have a good road trip, whatever that looked like," Boughner said. "I really believe if we take our game that we played tonight and our game that we played last night, we can have success against a lot of teams. We're going to be playing next two games against Vegas and after that St. Louis, good teams. But we just gotta bring that same game and give ourselves a real good chance and we will. It was a good start to the road trip, but far from being over."


Now the real test comes as the Sharks head to Sin City for a pair of games against the Vegas Golden Knights, who lead the West Division with an 18-6-1 record, good for 37 points.

The Sharks and Golden Knights have played three times this season -- all at SAP Center in San Jose -- with Vegas coming away victorious in all three meetings.

"It's a huge test for us," forward Matt Nieto told reporters after Saturday's game. "We're playing great hockey these last three games. We really had four lines going and all of our [defense]. Everyone's buying into the system here. We're not giving up as many chances as we were. We're playing tight defense and we're really not going up much. So we're going against a really good team coming up and it would be huge for us to come out of there with some wins, and like you said, they're probably the best team in the division and they can create a ton of offense, so it's going to be a huge test for us."

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The Sharks open their two-game set against Vegas on Monday night, and conclude their four-game road trip on Wednesday.