San Jose goaltender Aaron Dell made 21 saves to lead the Sharks to a 3-2 win over host Columbus on Saturday afternoon, snapping the Blue Jackets’ league-high 12-game point streak.
The backup to starting netminder Martin Jones, Dell has seen his time increase of late, starting for the sixth time since Bob Boughner was named interim coach on Dec. 11.
Dell won for the second time in his last three starts (2-0-1).
Barclay Goodrow, Evander Kane and Kevin Labanc scored for the Sharks, who have won two straight after losing the opener of their five-game road trip.
Zach Werenski netted two goals, and Elvis Merzlikins took his turn in goal for the third straight game in place of injured No. 1 starter Joonas Korpisalo (knee) and stopped 25 shots.
Columbus’ stretch of points in 12 consecutive games (8-0-4) was the third-longest in franchise history.
San Jose’s Joel Kellman beat Merzlikins at 3:04 of the first period, but Columbus challenged that Sharks winger Stefan Noesen was offside. After a quick review, the officials overturned the call to deny Kellman his second career goal.
Dell made a strong save on Nathan Gerbe’s breakaway in the first five minutes of the second then stuffed Sonny Milano’s putback attempt in the crease, but Goodrow immediately went off for a slashing penalty.
San Jose’s top-ranked penalty-kill unit held Columbus in check for the two minutes, and Goodrow raced out of the box just as a pass left the zone, chasing down the puck as it slid toward the home team’s end.
He skated in from the left, forced Merzlikins to slide through the crease and slipped a backhander between the goalie’s pads at 7:05 for his seventh goal.
Werenski, who had his first career hat trick Tuesday in a win over Florida, knotted the game at 1 when he collected a pass from Boone Jenner and lifted a backhanded shot over Dell for his 12th marker at 8:50.
A poor line change by Columbus led to a San Jose three-on-two, and Kane cut through the slot and buried his 15th goal at 14:40, tying him for the team lead with Tomas Hertl.
Labanc tallied off a slick feed from Thornton at 16:59 of the third, but Werenski scored his second at 17:24 to make it 3-2.
Columbus immediately pulled Merzlikins again for the extra skater, but San Jose defended well in the final minutes to win for the third time in four games.
—Field Level Media