WASHINGTON (AP) The San Jose Sharks used a tight-checking defense and solid goaltending to snap a three-game losing streak and get a lengthy road trip off to a positive start.
Martin Jones stopped 24 shots and Brent Burns scored his fifth goal of the season to lead the Sharks past the Washington Capitals 3-0 on Tuesday night.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Burns had second-period goals for the defending Western Conference champions, who scored only four goals during their three-game slide.
“That was a big win for us, just to kind of right the ship a little bit,” Jones said. “We’ve had moments where we’ve been good, and today everything kind of came our way.”
It was Jones’ 14th career shutout and the first of the season for the Sharks, who were coming off a 5-0 loss at home to Pittsburgh.
“We defended really well. We didn’t give up a lot of looks from the middle of the ice, which was huge for us,” Jones said. “That was a good bounce-back game for us.”
The game marked the beginning of a season-long swing through six cities for the Sharks.
“You always want to win that first one on the trip, start it off right, get the good mojo going,” Burns said.
Joe Thornton scored an empty-netter with 1:32 left, but by that time it was evident Washington’s five-game winning streak was done. San Jose blunted three power plays and has killed 27 of the last 28.
“I didn’t think we played poorly at all,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. “They did a really good job defending, so you had to really fight to get in the interior. I don’t think we had the desperation we needed until the third period.”
Washington took 10 shots in the third period, none of which severely challenged Jones.
“We defended well,” Jones said. “The looks that they did get, those are the saves they expect you to make.”
It was the first shutout against Washington during the regular season since April 10.
Vlasic broke the scoreless duel at 12:23 of the second period, notching his second goal of the season with a shot that deflected off Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner and past goaltender Braden Holtby.
Burns made it 2-0 at 17:26 with a wrist shot from the right circle that whizzed inside Holtby’s left shoulder. Burns had an unobstructed view of the net because Washington’s defense crowded low around Logan Couture, who passed to his wide-open teammate.
“The way they were playing, when they got that second goal I thought it would be a tough hole to come out of,” Trotz said.
That was more than enough backing for Jones, who came in with a 5-6 record and a 2.56 goals-against average. His last shutout came against Arizona on April 9.
San Jose outshot the Capitals 9-4 during a first period in which each team failed to convert a power play. It was only the third time in 12 games that Washington didn’t score in the first period.
The Capitals were denied a chance to break on top with 11 minutes gone in the second period. Andre Burakovsky broke free down the right side and fired a wrist shot from the top of the circle that Jones trapped under his right arm.
Holtby’s four-game winning streak ended. He had a 1.98 GAA during the run. He made 20 saves in this one. … San Jose improved to 25-9-2 against Washington. … The Capitals fell to 5-2 against Western Conference foes. … Washington star Alex Ovechkin was limited to four shots on goal. He had 12 points in his previous 14 games against the Sharks.
Sharks: Continue the road trip with a matchup against the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.
Capitals: Hit the road after a three-game homestand to face the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night.