BY GIDEON RUBIN
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Missing three regular defensemen, the San Jose Sharks got a complete team effort and handed the Tampa Bay Lightning their first regulation loss in 5 1/2 weeks.
Evander Kane scored two goals to reach 200 for his career as the Sharks beat Tampa Bay 5-2 on Saturday night, snapping the NHL-leading Lightning’s 16-game point streak.
Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski and Lukas Radil also scored for San Jose. Brent Burns had three assists, Erik Karlsson added two to extend his assists streak to 12 games, and Martin Jones stopped 19 shots.
“It’s hard to take three guys out of your lineup and survive it,” Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said. “That’s as dangerous a group as there is in the league up front, particularly their top two lines. … We knew coming in that we would need everyone’s best effort in order to have a chance to win tonight, and we got that from everybody.”
The Sharks were without defensemen Justin Braun (knee), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (wrist) and Radim Simek (concussion). Braun was placed on injured reserve.
“We’re fortunate, not a lot of teams have that type of depth where you can have three guys step in and play with a whole new set of pairings,” Kane said. “Credit to them, I thought we did a good job staying tight in our zone and not giving them too many Grade A looks.”
Couture and Pavelski scored 34 seconds apart midway through the first period to set the tone for San Jose.
Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev scored for the Lightning, who had won seven straight and were 15-0-1 since a 3-1 loss to Anaheim on Nov. 27. Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 28 saves.
“I felt we deserved a little better fate, we hit the post three times,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “Tonight was just not our night. For 16 or 17 games it was our night. Give them credit, they skated well. Hitting three posts, when you’re on a streak, those probably go in. Tonight they didn’t. This is still a great group of guys to coach.”
Couture scored his 16th goal at 9:27 of the first period and Pavelski punched in his team-leading 25th just past the midpoint of the period to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead.
Hedman got his fifth with 3:47 left in the opening period to make it a 2-1 game.
Kane scored on a power play at 4:23 of the second period to give the Sharks a two-goal lead again. However, Sergachev got his first of the season in his 40th game just 30 seconds later to pull Tampa Bay within one.
Kane restored the Sharks’ two-goal lead with his 14th at 5:18 of the third, and Radil got his sixth with 7:40 left to cap the scoring.
The Lightning were 0 for 2 on power plays.
“We feel like we’re going to win every game,” Sergachev said. “It was a hell of a ride. We had some chances, but they played a heck of a game. They had their best game in the (penalty kill).”
NOTES:… D Jacob Middleton made his NHL debut for San Jose. … The Sharks scored two goals on four shots in the first period. … San Jose reserve goalie Aaron Dell came in for Jones briefly after Sergachev’s goal in the second period. Dell played 1:09 and had one save. … Stamkos had an assist on Hedman’s goal. He has 21 points (13 goals, eight assists) in his last 12 games. … The Lightings’ Nikita Kucherov and Braydon Point had point streaks of 12 and eight games snapped.
Lightning: Host Columbus on Tuesday night.
Sharks: Host Los Angeles on Monday night.
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