SAN JOSE – The Sharks ended their longest losing streak in over 16 years on Tuesday. But not before the Columbus Blue Jackets made it interesting.
The Sharks allowed two third-period goals to Jack Roslovic, including one at the 13:33 mark, to cut what had been a comfortable three-goal San Jose lead to one. But the Sharks did enough over the final six-plus minutes to hold onto a 3-2 win over the Blue Jackets at SAP Center.
In the win, Scott Reedy scored twice and Thomas Bordeleau once again assisted on a Rudolfs Balcers goal.
Kaapo Kahkonen made 22 saves for his first victory in eight games with the Sharks, who won their first game since March 26 when they beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-1. Since then San Jose had gone 0-6-4, the team’s longest losing streak since Nov. 2005.
Tuesday’s game started a three-game homestand for the Sharks which continues with games against St. Louis on Thursday and Chicago on Saturday.
Despite their lack of recent success, the Sharks felt that they had been playing well enough to win more than they had, as six of the games they had lost in the last three weeks had been by one goal.
The Sharks went 0-2-3 on their recently completed road trip that ended with a 5-4 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild.
Reedy’s first goal came on a Sharks power play at the 4:39 mark of the first period, as he pounced on a rebound given up by Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins after a Noah Gregor shot on net.
Reedy scored his second at the 18:14 mark of the first, again, collecting a rebound and batting it past Merzlickins for his fourth goal of the season and his first career two-point game.
In between, Balcers scored his third goal in four games, and his second one came off a pass from Bordeleau.
Bordeleau won a puck battle inside the Columbus’ zone, then collected the puck below the goal line to the left of Merzlikins before he spun around and found Balcers, who fired it over Merzlikins’ glove for his 11th goal of the season.
Roslovic scored a power-play goal for the Blue Jackets at the 1:32 mark of the third period after the Sharks, for the second time in the game, got called for too many men late in the second period.
Kahkonen, though, had five saves in the final 20 minutes to raise his record as a Shark to 1-4-1. Kahkonen came into Tuesday with a .914 save percentage in seven games with San Jose since he was acquired by the team from the Minnesota Wild on March 21.
Had the Sharks suffered their 11th straight loss Tuesday, it would have marked their longest losing streak since they called the Cow Palace in Daly City home. During the 1992-93 season, the Sharks had some epic losing skids, with the last one before the end of the season being a 13-game slide from March 9 to April 4, 1993.