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Sharks' Alex Stalock posts first career shutout

  • Jason Demers (5) and Florida Panthers' Sean Bergenheim (20) watch the puck as Sharks goalie Alex Stalock (32) defends the goal during the second period on Thursday. (LYNNE SLADKY / Associated Press)

SUNRISE, Fla. — A timely save by Alex Stalock helped turned the momentum to the Sharks' favor.

Joe Pavelski, Matt Nieto and Joe Thornton scored and Stalock made 24 saves for his first career shutout and the San Jose Sharks topped the Florida Panthers 3-0 on Thursday night.

Leading 1-0, the Sharks scored two goals in the third period, the first one following a great save by Stalock.

Scottie Upshall took a shot from in front but Stalock stuck his leg out to barely block it.

The Sharks took the puck quickly back the other way and Tyler Kennedy took a shot from the right side of the crease. Tim Thomas stretched to block it, but Nieto was there to sweep in the rebound at 4:44.

"I ended up getting there and sometimes that happens where you make a big save on one end and right away on the other you get a chance like that," Stalock said. "We capitalized and that was a big turning point."

Upshall thought he had a great chance at a goal.

"I pretty much had the whole net to shoot at and he got his leg on it," Upshall said. "It could have been a game-tying play. Unfortunately, it went the other way."

Stalock recorded his first shutout in 14 NHL games.

"A win is a win on the road, but the first shutout is pretty special, something to remember," Stalock said.

Stalock played his 11th game of the season to give starting goalie Antti Niemi a rest and made the most of his opportunity.

"The goaltender was fine. A big save at 1-0, then back the other way for 2. We'll take it," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said.

Thomas made 36 saves for the Panthers.

The Sharks, who defeated Washington 2-1 on Tuesday, won consecutive road games for the first time since taking three straight Nov. 12-15. They beat the Panthers for the first time in five games, dating to the 2008-09 season.

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