Tomas Hertl converted a power-play opportunity into a tiebreaking goal early in the third period and the San Jose Sharks held on to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in San Jose on Saturday night.
The teams were meeting for just the third time since the Penguins defeated the Sharks 4-2 in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2016.
The Penguins’ final two wins in that series came in San Jose, including 3-1 in Game 6.
Hertl’s game-winner, 1:53 into the final period, came just four seconds after the Penguins’ Jamie Oleksiak was sent to the penalty box for cross-checking Joonas Donskoi.
Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski assisted both San Jose goals, including Hertl‘s, which was his 13th of the season.
The goal was Hertl’s first since notching a pair at Ottawa on Jan. 5. He had assists in each of the Sharks’ previous two games.
Aaron Dell turned aside 31 shots for the Sharks, who began the night with one more point (54) than the Penguins (53).
San Jose held a 36-32 advantage in shots en route to their third win in their last four games.
Casey DeSmith recorded 34 saves for the Penguins, who won 5-0 last season in their only previous return to San Jose since the Stanley Cup Finals.
Pittsburgh completed a 1-2 Western swing, having already lost at Anaheim and won at Los Angeles.
The game had only eight total penalties, four on each team.
The Penguins swept last year’s two-game season series. The club will meet again on Jan. 30 in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh scored first, needing just 3:18 before Conor Sheary converted assists by Dominik Simon and Sidney Crosby into a 1-0 lead. It was Sheary’s 12th goal of the season, his first since Jan. 2 at Philadelphia.
San Jose got even at the 17:44 mark of the period on Timo Meier’s 10th goal of the season. Pavelski and Burns were credited with assists.
The Sharks outshot the Penguins 14-8 in the period.
Neither team scored in the second period, with the Penguins failing on a pair of power-play opportunities. Pittsburgh got the better of the shots in the period, 16-11.
-Field Level Media