Mikkel Boedker scored twice in the first period as the San Jose Sharks jumped to a huge lead in the opening 17 minutes and cruised to an easy 5-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Sunday at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.
The Sharks found the net on four of their first five shots and eventually led 5-0 while winning for the second straight game. They are 4-1-0 in their past five games while cementing their hold on second place in the NHL’s Pacific Division.
San Jose goalie Martin Jones turned away 26 of the 28 shots he faced to earn the win.
Dallas lost for just the second time in its past eight games and looked throughout the match as if it would rather be anywhere than in the Bay Area.
The last time Stars goalkeeper Ben Bishop saw San Jose, he made 26 saves in a 6-0 Dallas victory on Dec. 31. He was not so proficient this time around, nor did he get as much help from his defense. Bishop was done Sunday after allowing four goals on the five shots he faced.
The Sharks scored just 27 seconds in when Joe Pavelski grabbed the puck off a turnover in the slot and whipped a spinning backhander past Bishop for a 1-0 lead. Timo Meier and Marc-Edouard Vlasic got assists on the goal.
Melker Karlsson doubled San Jose’s advantage at the 5:59 mark of the first period as he skated into the crease and buried a loose puck past Bishop after Meier’s shot bounced off the end boards. Pavelski was granted a point for helping on the play.
About nine minutes later, Boedker fired a wrist shot from the circle that went off a defender’s stick and through Bishop, extending the Sharks’ lead to 3-0. Jannik Hansen and Justin Braun earned assists.
Boedker added his second goal of the night with 2:37 to play in the first period. He teed up a flawless pass from Chris Tierney and found the top shelf past Bishop just as a power play expired.
After the goal, Kari Lehtonen replaced Bishop in the Stars’ net.
If Dallas was going to battle back, it needed to make some big things happen in the first half of the second period. That didn’t happen — if fact, the Stars fell further behind when Braun took a pass from Pavelski at the point and fired a wrist shot past Lehtonen to boost San Jose’s lead to 5-0.
Gemel Smith got the Stars on the scoreboard with 14:25 to play in the third on a goal off assists by Brett Ritchie and Stephen Johns. Tyler Pitlick added Dallas’ second goal 3 1/2 minutes later, but it was far too little, too late.
The Stars continue on their California road trip when they battle Anaheim on Wednesday. San Jose begins a four-games-in-six-days jaunt to the Midwest with a Tuesday contest at St. Louis.
—Field Level Media