Bobrovsky's 36 saves help Blue Jackets beat Sharks
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- David Savard and Cam Atkinson scored goals and Sergei Bobrovsky had 36 saves in his return from the injured list to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.
Bobrovsky, the 2013 Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL's top goaltender, missed the previous eight games with a broken finger in his left hand.
Joe Pavelski had the goal for the Sharks, while Antti Niemi stopped 26 shots.
The Sharks, down a goal, had a prime chance to tie it. Columbus forward Alexander Wennberg went off for a double-minor for high-sticking Scott Hannah with 5 minutes left in regulation, giving San Jose 4 minutes with a man advantage. The Sharks pulled Niemi with 20 seconds left in the penalty for an extra attacker, but Bobrovsky and his defense, scrambling at times, were able to kill the penalty.
Bobrovsky stopped Tomas Hertl on a hard shot from the right wing and also muffled a shot by Marc-Edouard Vlasic during the power play.
The Blue Jackets got what would be the winning goal on a second-period power play.
Defenseman Jack Johnson carried the puck down the right flank, then slid a centering pass into traffic in front. With two Sharks players battling Brian Gibbons in the crease, the puck bounced through to Atkinson who had an open net from the left doorstep.
Bobrovsky was at his best midway through the period. He stoned Joe Thornton on a man-advantage wrister from the right dot and later blocked Tyler Kennedy as he muscled near the cage.
The Sharks finally broke through in the final minute, however.
Pavelski circled with the puck in the high slot, with Columbus' Boone Jenner unable to clear when he got a stick on the puck. Pavelski regained control and wristed a rising shot over a lunging Bobrovsky.
The Blue Jackets got on the board first late in the initial period.
Adam Cracknell was prevented from unloading a shot on a wraparound, instead feeding Savard whose hard one-timer from the top of the right circle gave him his fourth goal of the year. Artem Anisimov assisted in his first game back after missing seven games with a concussion. Cracknell collected his first point with Columbus since being claimed off waivers from the New York Islanders on Oct. 7.
NOTES: The injury-saddled Blue Jackets put D Fedor Tyutin (sprained left knee) on the injured list earlier in the day. He'll be out four to six weeks. ... To bolster a blue line already missing Ryan Murray and Cody Goloubef, Columbus dealt a fifth-round pick in the 2016 draft to St. Louis for veteran D Jordan Leopold. Arriving in the afternoon, he saw substantial playing time. ... RW Mike Brown is practicing with the Sharks. He's been out (broken left hand) since Oct. 11. ... The Sharks are 2-3-0 on a seven-game road swing.