The Sharks are back in action and, officially, back on the scoreboard.
Tomas Hertl scored San Jose's first goal in Thursday's season opener against the Arizona Coyotes, becoming the first Shark of any kind to score a goal in nearly a year.
Timo Meier's tally 6:39 into the third period of the Sharks' 6-2 defeat to Chicago on March 11, 2020 was San Jose's last goal before the NHL suspended its season and, ultimately, ended the Sharks' campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Meier gave the Sharks their first power play of the season, and Hertl needed just 15 seconds on the man advantage to give San Jose its first lead of 2021.
Hertl's goal was his first since Jan. 29, 2020, the same night he sustained a season-ending knee injury. He added a second with 3:09 remaining in the first period Thursday, assisted by rookie winger John Leonard.
After ending the suspended season in last place in the Pacific Division and Western Conference, the Sharks were not one of 24 teams to participate in the NHL's postseason bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton, AB. The 2019-20 season was just the third time this century, and only the second under general manager Doug Wilson, in which the Sharks missed the playoffs.
The Sharks have 55 more games to ensure the playoff drought doesn't extend into a second season, and Hertl's goal Thursday is the first on that path.