By BRENDAN McGAIR
BOSTON (AP) — Paval Zacha had a goal and an assist as the Boston Bruins snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.
Danton Heinen and Jake DeBrusk also scored. Jeremy Swayman — pulled during Monday’s 5-2 loss to Columbus — stopped all 28 shots he faced for his second shutout this season.
“I’m just so happy to see everyone take initiative and play Bruins hockey in front of our fans. It’s a good step for us. Now we have to continue it,” Swayman said. “It was exactly what I wanted to do — keep the puck out of the net. It was good, but at the same time, there’s still plenty to work on. You want to use this as a momentum piece moving forward.”
David Pastrnak added two assists for the Bruins, who beat the NHL-worst Sharks for the 13th straight time.
“You give up 17 goals in three games and we didn’t look anything like ourselves. It was good to see us look like ourselves without the puck in all three zones,” Boston coach Jim Montgomery said.
MacKenzie Blackwood made 32 saves for San Jose, which won its previous two games.
After both teams squandered power-play chances in a scoreless first period, the Bruins struck 1:38 into the second as Heinen drilled a shot short side for his third goal of the season. San Jose had an opportunity to clear the puck but Matt Poitras kept the play alive by sliding a backhand feed over to Heinen, who glided through the circle by his lonesome before ripping the puck past Blackwood.
Later in the same period, Boston’s advantage grew to 2-0 when DeBrusk was the recipient of strong puck movement that enabled the forward to walk in and beat Blackwood with a backhand at 8:10. It was DeBrusk’s third goal in the last five games, with assists from Zacha and Pastrnak.
San Jose was awarded a 5-on-3 chance with 25.5 seconds remaining in the second. The power play carried over into the third period, with the Sharks failing to register a single shot after Charlie McAvoy was given a boarding penalty and Brad Marchand received an additional two minutes for instigating a fight.
“They did a great job. Penalty killing has always been one of our strengths … cutting sticks and reading plays and having good sticks,” Marchand said. “It was a huge momentum swing for us to get that kill.”
A give-and-go sequence between Pastrnak and Zacha turned into a power-play goal at 6:37 of the third. Pastrnak has 20 assists.
“There’s still a lot of things we can get better at, but this was a good step forward,” Zacha said. “Swayman played a great game, which helped us out a lot.”
Boston’s dominance in the second translated into an 18-6 advantage in shots. For the game, San Jose was outshot 35-28.
The Sharks are 0-10-0 on the road this season. They opened a six-game trip with the first of three games in four days.
“Psychologically, we get down — especially on the road. We tend to feel sorry for ourselves,” coach David Quinn said.
Sharks forward Tomas Hertl returned to the lineup after missing a game with an upper-body injury. He confirmed afterward he had surgery Monday to remove a kidney stone.
“It was pretty painful, but I felt good enough to jump in,” Hertl said. “Two minutes with a 5-on-3, you have to put one in.”
Sharks: Visit the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.
Bruins: At the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL