- Associated Press
Wednesday, January 26, 2022

James Reimer made 32 saves, Jonathan Dahlen scored in one of his dad’s old home arenas and the San Jose Sharks beat the Washington Capitals 4-1 on Wednesday night to snap a two-game losing streak.

Reimer stopped Alex Ovechkin eight times and was San Jose‘s best penalty killer when Washington came up empty on four power plays.

Noah Gregor scored his second goal of the season and Nicolas Meloche had the first of his NHL career to help get the Sharks’ four-game East Coast trip off on the right foot. San Jose kept pace in the Western Conference playoff race, moving within three points of Anaheim, which sits in second place in the Pacific Division.

Dahlen scored to make it 3-1 with 3:09 left, his second goal in 22 games. His father, Ulf Dahlen, played two seasons from 1999-2001 for the Capitals late in his NHL career.

Andrew Cogliano sealed it with an empty-netter with 21 seconds left. San Jose‘s Jonah Gadjovich and Washington‘s Garnet Hathaway dropped the gloves for a lengthy fight at the buzzer.

The Capitals‘ struggles continued, losing back-to-back games in regulation for the first time this season. They’ve lost eight of their past 11, smarting from the absence of top-six winger T.J. Oshie and unable to cash in on quality scoring opportunities.

In his first game back after being a healthy scratch the previous three, Daniel Sprong scored Washington‘s only goal 14 seconds into the third period to cut San Jose‘s lead in half. Ilya Samsonov made 26 saves on 29 shots in his first start since Jan. 15, when he allowed three goals in a loss to Vancouver, and stayed in the game after a collision with 6:22 left in the third.

Reimer was sharp when tested at the other end, and the Sharks were opportunistic offensively. Gregor’s goal came on a tap-in off a spinning pass from No. 1 defenseman Brent Burns, and Meloche scored off the rush following a Capitals turnover in the neutral zone.

Meloche became the sixth Sharks rookie to score his first NHL goal this season. Burns has 16 points in 18 games against Washington while with San Jose.

NOTES: Sharks forward Rudolfs Balcers missed a third consecutive game because he was not yet cleared to return from COVID-19 protocol. … Coach Bob Boughner said defenseman Erik Karlsson could miss anywhere from eight to 12 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a small muscle tear in his left forearm. … Defenseman Ryan Merkley was a healthy scratch for San Jose. … Sprong replaced rookie Connor McMichael in Washington‘s lineup.


Sharks: Visit the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

Capitals: Face 2018 Stanley Cup-winning goalie Braden Holtby for the first time since he left in free agency when they visit the Dallas Stars on Friday.

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