SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Ben Smith scored just hours after being acquired by San Jose in a deadline deal and the Sharks shut out Montreal for the third straight meeting in a 4-0 win over the Canadiens on Monday night.
Joe Pavelski, Matt Irwin and Patrick Marleau also scored for the Sharks, who snapped an eight-game home losing streak by beating the top team in the Eastern Conference.
Alex Stalock made 20 saves for his fourth career shutout and first win of any kind since Jan. 6 at Minnesota. That performance followed Antti Niemi’s two shutouts against the Canadiens last year, giving San Jose three straight shutouts against a single opponent for the second time in team history. They also did it against Phoenix in 2007-08 season.
The Canadiens got off to a bad start on their four-game West Coast trip as they were outplayed from the start against San Jose. Carey Price made 33 saves and had his franchise record 10-game road winning streak snapped.
It was a busy day for both teams, who were active at the trade deadline. Montreal plugged several needs by acquiring defenseman Jeff Petry from Edmonton, and making two separate deals with Buffalo to land forwards Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn. Petry arrived in time to play against the Sharks.
San Jose dealt away three forwards in the 24 hours leading up to the trade deadline, sending James Sheppard to the New York Rangers and Tyler Kennedy to the Islanders for draft picks and sending Andrew Desjardins to Chicago for Smith.
Despite the flurry of trades and recent slump, the Sharks still believed they had a shot at an 11th straight playoff berth. The win moved them into a three-way tie for third in the Pacific Division, although Calgary and Los Angeles each have two games in hand.
Smith arrived just before game time and didn’t even take part in the pregame skate. But he made an immediate impact, deflecting a shot from Marc-Edouard Vlasic past Price less than 7 minutes into the game to give San Jose the lead. It was Smith’s first point in 26 games and earned a loud ovation from the home crowd.
San Jose added to the lead in the final minute of the period. Pavelski deflected a point shot from Brent Burns that hit the post and was kicked in accidentally by Price.
Irwin’s point shot through a screen by Smith made it 3-0 early in the second and the Sharks went on to their eighth straight home win against Montreal.
The only drama was whether the Sharks would get the shutout and Burns helped preserve it when he batted a shot out by David Desharnais just before it crossed the goal line after his own turnover set up the scoring chance.
NOTES: Smith assisted on Irwin’s goal for the fourth two-point game of his career. … Montreal was last shut out by one team in three straight games from 2011-12. … Marleau scored a power-play goal late in the third to give him goals on the man advantage in three straight games for the first time since March 2011.
This article was written by Josh Dubow from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.