MONTREAL — Logan Couture won't score many easier goals.
Couture got his second goal of the game in the San Jose Sharks' 2-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night when a third-period dump-in took an unexpected bounce off the glass and landed on his stick. Couture made no mistake in front of the gaping net.
“I've gotten a couple of empty-net goals already this year,” a grinning Couture said. “I've been lucky.”
The Sharks were up 1-0 when veteran Patrick Marleau dumped the puck into the Canadiens' zone. Carey Price, who had anticipated retrieving the puck behind his net, couldn't get back in time when it instead fell to Couture.
“It's not the way you want to get scored on,” said Price, who made 35 saves on the night. “It's the way it bounces sometimes. They're a good team. That's what they do. They're a very structured team and they played a perfect road game today.”
Defender Josh Gorges was on the ice when the Sharks doubled their lead. Gorges unsuccessfully sprawled in front of Couture to stop the shot.
“Obviously, it's unfortunate that bounce, but when things like that happen we need to be able to respond the right way. We didn't get it going again after that,” Gorges said.
“You never expect something like that. You're never prepared for something like that. But those are the breaks in the game. Down 2-0, we still had a chance.”
But the Canadiens, who only took six shots on net in the third period, couldn't find an answer to Antti Niemi's play.
Niemi made 22 saves for his second shutout of the season and league-leading ninth win. The Finnish goaltender, who's played every game for the Sharks this year, is allowing an average of less than two goals a game, backed by a cool .933 save percentage.