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Niemi, Sharks beat Canadiens 4-0

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 9, 2014 at 12:42 am •  Published: March 9, 2014
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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — When Tommy Wingels scored a fluky, short-handed goal in the opening minutes, it was clear this was going to be San Jose's night.

Wingels scored two goals and Antti Niemi shut Montreal out for the second time this season in the Sharks' 4-0 victory over the Canadiens on Saturday night.

Wingels opened the scoring with a short-handed goal after Peter Budaj misplayed a shot from center ice and added another on a deflection to lead the way for the Sharks.

"That was a fortunate bounce for us," Wingels said of his first goal. "We'll take it. It kind of gave us some momentum in the first there."

Matt Nieto also scored and Logan Couture had a goal and two assists for the Sharks, who have won seven straight home games against Montreal since last losing here to the Canadiens in 1999.

Niemi made 27 saves to follow up his 2-0 victory in Montreal in October with another shutout as San Jose moved within four points of first-place Anaheim in the Pacific Division.

"We want to win our division," Couture said. "That was one of our goals from the start of the year and we're close."

Budaj was knocked out after allowing two goals in less than 22 minutes as Montreal lost for the third time in four games on a road trip to Arizona and California.

"It was a frustrating game and a frustrating road trip," captain Brian Gionta said. "We wanted something better out of it."

San Jose took control of the game in a dominant second period, getting goals from Wingels and Nieto in the first half of the period to go up 3-0.

Wingels' second goal of the game came when a point shot from Matt Nieto hit the inside of his leg on the way into the goal. That led coach Michel Therrien to give an early hook to Budaj, who allowed two goals on the first 11 shots.

The change to Dustin Tokarski failed to generate the spark Therrien was seeking as the Sharks continued to attack with the two-goal lead and expanded it when Patrick Marleau set up Nieto for a one-timer from the slot midway through the period.

Nieto set up Couture for his 18th goal in the opening minute of the third period to put the game out of reach.

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