SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — James Reimer earned his third shutout of the season and the San Jose Sharks snapped a nine-game losing streak Tuesday night with a 3-0 victory over Winnipeg, handing the Jets a costly defeat as they try to secure a playoff spot.
“When you get a shutout, it's nice," Reimer said. “Usually, whenever you get a shutout, you get all the bounces and tonight was one of those.”
Reimer stopped 41 shots, including a diving paddle save with 3:40 left in the second period. Noah Gregor, Kevin Labanc and Martin Kaut scored for the struggling Sharks, who had dropped 14 of 15.
The only victory in that stretch also came against the Jets, a 3-2 overtime win at Winnipeg on March 6.
“It’s as solid of a win as we’ve had in a while, and we haven’t had a win in a while. So it was a good win," San Jose coach David Quinn said. "Obviously, Reims played great. But they were opportunistic, and it was a gutty performance in a lot of ways against a team that’s fighting for a playoff spot.”
Connor Hellebuyck made 26 saves for the Jets, who went 0-for-3 on the power play.
“They scored more than we did, I guess. A lot of looks. A lot of chances. I don’t know if we’re gripping it right now," Jets defenceman Dylan DeMelo said. "Tough to win when you can’t score or are not able to pot ’em in.
"We’re working. Guys are trying. We had net-front traffic and tips and scrambles off that, backdoor passes, stuff like that. We’re getting quality looks. We had quality looks today, for sure. They’re just not going in for us.”
Winnipeg holds the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference by two points over Calgary and three over Nashville, which has two games in hand.
“We've got to be a desperate team. It’s a big-time right now. It’s down to crunch time," Jets coach Rick Bowness said. "We’ve just got to embrace that fight and embrace it together as a group. And keep fighting. Fight with each other and put it all out there. That’s all we can do.”
Sharks forward Jacob Peterson made a nice play behind the net by faking one way and going back the other to find Gregor in front. It was Gregor's fifth goal of the season, and he extended his point streak to three games.
Labanc added his 13th goal 2:23 into the third period. Gregor got an assist on the play as well.
Kaut iced the game with 2:03 to go with his fourth goal of the season. Erik Karlsson earned an assist, giving him 91 points.
Jets: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Friday.
Sharks: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday.
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Max Miller, The Associated Press