SAN JOSE – Forwards Timo Meier and Matt Nieto scored even-strength goals 3:35 apart in the second period and goalie Kaapo Kahkonen finished with 32 saves as the Sharks beat the Ottawa Senators 5-1 on Monday for just their second victory of the season at SAP Center.
Noah Gregor scored in the first period for his point of the season and Tomas Hertl scored on a second-period power play as the Sharks snapped a six-game losing streak on home ice before an announced crowd of 11,295.
Erik Karlsson, Matt Benning, and Luke Kunin all had two assists for San Jose, which completed its homestand with a 1-2-0 record. Logan Couture added an empty-net goal with 58.3 seconds left in the third period.
The Sharks play the Kraken in Seattle on Wednesday and return home for games against Los Angeles and Vancouver on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
The Sharks are now 2-6-3 at SAP Center this season, with their only other victory on home ice being a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 27. San Jose’s last regulation time win at home before Monday was near the end of last season, when they beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 on April 23.
Kahkonen, the winning goalie last month against the Maple Leafs, needed to be sharp in the first period. The Senators had 12 shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes, with forward Tim Stützle scoring his seventh of the season at the 13:14 mark to tie the game 1-1.
Gregor’s goal at the 6:22 mark came off assists from Luke Kunin and Benning. Gregor was playing in just his seventh game of the season, as he had been a healthy scratch for nine of the previous 11 games.
Sharks coach David Quinn was not happy after his team’s 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday, blasting, in particular, his team’s effort in the third period. The Sharks didn’t take care of the puck, lost races, and allowed too much room to the skilled Rangers.
“It was a step back tonight. (Over) 82 games, you’re going to have nights off,” Quinn said. “OK, let’s see how we respond. That’s the key. We stunk. We sucked. It hasn’t happened in a long time. So let’s see how we respond on Monday.”
Quinn on Monday was eager to see how his team would respond, as they carried a 6-11-3 overall record into their game with the Senators.
“Here’s the deal, it ends after one (game). Don’t let it fester into two games like that, or three, and that’s what we have to do,” Quinn said. “We’ve got to put a stop to it and we’re in a position where we can’t afford to let this thing unravel any further.”
The Sharks entered Monday with a .375 points percentage, second-worst in the 16-team Western Conference.
The last time the Sharks had just 13 points after 20 games was in 1997-98, as they started the season with a 6-13-1 record in Darryl Sutter’s first year as the team’s coach. That year’s Sharks team finished 34-38-10 and made the playoffs
Kahkonen was making his first start since Nov. 10 when he stopped 28 of 32 shots in a 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues. James Reimer started the Sharks’ game the following night, a 5-4 win over the Dallas Stars, and kept the net for the ensuing four games in which San Jose went 2-2-0.