SAN JOSE- Sharks coach Peter DeBoer wanted a lot more out of his team following a lacklustre shutout loss to St. Louis.
Joel Ward more than delivered.
Ward had a short-handed goal and took a hard hit to assist on Timo Meier’s score, helping San Jose beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-2 on Monday for just its third win in eight games.
The Sharks broke open a close game with two goals in the first half of the second period, starting when Mark Stuart jumped up into the play and flattened Ward on a clean hit in front of the Jets bench.
Ward’s head slammed against the ice but the Sharks took advantage of Stuart’s aggressiveness with a breakaway when Chris Tierney played the puck ahead to Meier, who beat Hutchinson for his second career goal.
“It was a hockey play. It was a good hit,” Ward said. “I tried to get the puck out obviously, and next thing I knew I was on my back and heard the horn go off. I wasn’t too sure what happened after that.”
Winnipeg is sliding down the standings quickly.
Michael Hutchinson made 27 saves for the Jets, who have dropped four in a row.
The Jets had some good chances early but Jones robbed Shawn Matthias twice in the opening minutes of the first period and Blake Wheeler hit a post later in the first.
Winnipeg also got the first power-play chance when David Schlemko was called for a high stick, but the Sharks scored when
Dustin Byfuglien couldn’t keep the puck in the offensive zone.
Ward went in on a partial breakaway and beat Hutchinson with a shot from the top of the circle to make it 1-0 just 15 seconds into the man advantage.
“You can’t give up so many grade-A chances and expect them all to be saved, we have to help our goaltenders,” Scheifele said. “We’re just getting away from our game.”
Tierney took another high-sticking penalty for the Sharks, but the Jets couldn’t score on the 15-second two-man advantage or either power play.
Josh Morrissey broke up the shutout for the Jets with less than three minutes to play and Mark Scheifele added a goal in the final minute.
That makes it four straight losses for Winnipeg.
Next up for the Jets will be a home game versus Arizona on Wednesday.