The Sharks were in a hole before the puck dropped Saturday.
They didn't trail before facing off against the Minnesota Wild, but they might have felt that way on the second night of a back-to-back. Star defenseman Erik Karlsson was ruled out for the rest of the season with a broken thumb and Evander Kane was handed a three-game suspension hours before the game.
San Jose, somehow, found a way to win Saturday night, beating Minnesota 2-0 at Xcel Energy Center. Sharks goaltender Martin Jones stopped all 39 Wild shots, picking up San Jose's first shutout of the season in Dean Evason's first game as Minnesota's interim coach.
Here are three takeaways from the Sharks' second win in fewer than 24 hours.
Feel-good win in absence of good feelings
The Sharks had every reason to lose Saturday. The Kane and Karlsson news would have deflated any team, and playing on the second night of a back-to-back wouldn't bring out their best, either.
San Jose wasn't necessarily at its best against Minnesota, as the Wild pressed their puck-possession advantage from puck drop through the final whistle. But the Sharks largely prevented the Wild from creating any quality chances, hanging around long enough to take the lead on a fortuitous bounce when Brent Burns' third-period shot bounced off Sharks forward Dylan Gambrell and in the net.
1️⃣-0️⃣ Sharks pic.twitter.com/QnAYFoG4qZ— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) February 16, 2020
Melker Karlsson's empty-netter sealed the game with under a minute remaining in regulation. Sometimes, luck is all you need in hockey, and the Sharks will take a feel-good win in a disappointing season devoid of many good feelings -- however they could have gotten it Saturday.
Jones stands tall
Jones must love playing the Wild. He shut out Minnesota on March 11, 2019, and the 30-year-old picked up his first shutout since then -- and his fourth overall against Minnesota -- Saturday.
His first start in over two weeks wasn't the most challenging, but Jones was a steady presence in the Sharks' crease. Saturday's start easily was Jones' best in 2020, after giving up at least four goals in each of his first three starts of the year.
Aaron Dell has seized the Sharks' starting role, but Jones has plenty to play for down the stretch. One shutout isn't enough to prove Jones -- who's under contract for four more years -- has a future in San Jose, but the Sharks' onetime franchise goalie surely hopes it's a start.
Kane and Karlsson lead the Sharks in power-play goals (11) and assists (12), respectively, so San Jose's listless performance on the man advantage Saturday isn't a surprise. The Sharks' power play has recently struggled with both players in the lineup, scoring just three power-play goals in 20 opportunities over the last 10 games entering Saturday.
San Jose didn't generate a single scoring chance on its lone power play, and that's probably going to be the norm with Kane, Karlsson and injured centers Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl, all out of the lineup. You shouldn't expect much from the Sharks' power play when Kane returns to the lineup, either.