OTTAWA, Ontario — Alex Stalock's long wait for his first NHL start was well worth it.
The 26-year-old goalie stopped 38 shots and was instrumental in leading the San Jose Sharks to a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night.
Stalock, who had made three previous appearances in relief of Antti Niemi, admitted he was nervous and excited for this one.
"I think it helped a lot being a five o'clock game for me and not having to sit around all night and come to the rink and go through the routine," he said. "It was a little easier than sitting around all day in my hotel room."
Stalock was solid throughout, including making 16 saves in the first period to help the Sharks jump out to a 3-1 lead.
"Maybe it's a good thing that I saw a lot early and was able to feel it," he said. "They were kind of shooting it from everywhere, which I was kind of expecting they would, but not being in a game yet I was lucky enough to make saves."
Stalock's teammates were happy to see him earn the win and were thrilled to give him a few early goals to help with his confidence.
"He's been patiently waiting behind (Niemi), and to come out with a performance like that was huge for us," captain Joe Thornton said.
Tomas Hertl, Andrew Desjardins, Tommy Wingels, James Sheppard and Joe Pavelski scored for the Sharks (10-1-1), who played the fourth game of a five-game road trip.
The Senators (4-5-2) got goals from Erik Karlsson and Marc Methot, who netted his first of the season. Craig Anderson made 24 saves.
The Sharks were outshot for the first time this season.
The Senators had few answers for their recent play, but they realize things have to change soon. For the second straight game, Ottawa fell behind 2-0.