Sharks end seven-game losing streak with win over Blues
ST. LOUIS -- San Jose coach Todd McLellan could finally breathe a sigh of relief on Tuesday night.
Tim Kennedy scored with just under seven minutes left to lift the San Jose Sharks to a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Blues that snapped a lengthy seven-game winless streak.
The Sharks recorded their first win in February, ending a difficult stretch.
"It's over," McLellan said. "Now, we can't let our game slip."
Joe Thornton also scored for San Jose, which began the season by winning its first seven games, a franchise record.
Patrik Berglund scored for the fourth game in a row for St. Louis, which had a three-game winning streak snapped. The Blues have lost their last five home games, their longest skid since dropping five in a row Dec. 18, 2009-Jan 2, 2010.
The Sharks' winless skid was their longest since a 10-game skid Nov. 5-30, 2005.
Goalie Antti Niemi made 24 saves to improve to 7-2-3.
Kennedy blasted a wobbly shot from the left faceoff circle for the game-winner. It was his second goal in just three games this season.
"I don't know how that quite went in there - but it's a goal," Kennedy said. "The puck came off the wall. You can't score if you don't shoot."
St. Louis goalie Jake Allen suffered the first loss of his career after winning three games on the Blues recent 3-0 road swing through Detroit, Calgary and Vancouver.
Allen admitted that he was surprised by the flight of the shot.
"It was kind of a knuckler, it sort of wobbled on me," Allen said. "I don't know how it squeaked through."
The goal gave the Sharks their first win since a 3-2 triumph over Edmonton on Jan. 31. San Jose lost four heart breakers during the streak and Thornton felt it was time his club caught a break.
"Finally got a fluke goal that went our way,' he said. "It was sure nice to get out of a streak like that."
Niemi agreed, "It's been a long time, but we battled hard. It was a gritty game."
Berglund put his team on top by converting from in front of the net off a pass from Vladimir Sobotka at 12:54 of the first period. Berglund leads St. Louis with nine goals.
Thornton tied the game early in the second period. He pounced on a rebound for his fourth goal and 16th point of the season.
The Blues arrived in St. Louis at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday after a 14-hour travel delay in Vancouver. San Jose last played on Friday.
Still, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock would not use fatigue as an excuse.
"This is exactly what we've been doing the last four or five games at home," he said. "Too many people not pulling their weight. Too many passengers."
NOTES: The Sharks went the final 10:20 of the first period without a shot on goal. ... San Jose was playing the fourth game of a six-game road trip. The Sharks return home to face Colorado on Feb. 26. ... St. Louis has a league-leading 10 players with 10 or more points. ... This is the first of three meetings between the teams. ... The Blues beat San Jose in five games in the opening round of the 2012 Western Conference playoffs, outscoring the Sharks 14-8. ... St. Louis D Barret Jackman appeared in his 614th game with the team tying Bob Plager for seventh on the all-time list among defensemen. ... McLellan has 203 wins three shy of franchise leader Ron Wilson (206).
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