Sharks top Wild without Erik Karlsson, Evander Kane

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A Saturday that started with news that Erik Karlsson would miss the rest of the season with a broken thumb and the NHL had suspended Evander Kane for three games ended — perhaps remarkably — with a Sharks victory.

Dylan Gambrell broke a scoreless tie at the 3:08 mark of the third period and goalie Martin Jones made 39 saves for his first shutout of the season to lead the Sharks to a 2-0 win over the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

Brent Burns took a pass from Antti Suomela and fed a shot toward the net that bounced off Gambrell and past Wild goalie Alex Stalock for his third goal of the season.

Melker Karlsson scored an empty-net goal off an assist from Barclay Goodrow with 15 seconds left to seal the victory, the fourth straight for the Sharks away from SAP Center. The Sharks, who beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 on Friday, return home to play the Florida Panthers on Monday afternoon.

“Credit to the players,” Sharks interim coach Bob Boughner said. “Facing the injuries that we’re facing, a little bit of adversity and Jones coming in there and doing the job. I know they wanted to play hard for him and I thought we really defended well.

“We gave up 39 shots and they threw a lot at us. But I thought we played hard down low, I thought Jonesy made the saves that he had to. It’s a heck of a last couple days, in two tough buildings with teams that are fighting hard for a playoff spot.”

Jones, making just his fourth start in 17 games since the start of January, stopped all 24 shots he saw in the first two periods as the Sharks killed penalties to Mario Ferraro and Kevin Labanc. Jones also had 15 saves in the third period as he picked up his first shutout since March 11 of last season against the Wild.

Without Karlsson and Kane, the Sharks managed just 14 shots in the first 40 minutes and missed an opportunity to take an early lead on the power play. The Sharks also failed to cash in on a two-man advantage for 1:52 in the first period, and had another power play after Marcus Foligno took a high sticking penalty at the 16:28 mark of the first.

The Sharks (26-28-4) also killed a delay of game penalty on Suomela with 7:02 left in regulation time.

The Sharks announced Saturday morning that Karlsson would require surgery to repair a broken left thumb that he suffered the night before. In the third period of Friday’s game with the Winnipeg Jets, Karlsson, 29, appeared to be hurt following an awkward collision with center Joe Thornton.

The Sharks expect Karlsson, who leads the team with 40 points in 56 games, to be ready well in advance of training camp in the fall. Karlsson also leads the Sharks with 34 assists and is second among all skaters in average time on ice at 24:31.

Karlsson, in the first season of an eight-year, $92 million contract extension he signed in June, played 19:26 on Friday before he was injured.

Tim Heed dressed in place of Karlsson and started the game alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic as his partner. The Sharks recalled Jacob Middleton from the Barracuda to take Karlsson’s spot on the roster.


©2020 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)