Kahkonen makes 37 saves, Sharks defeat Senators

SAN JOSE — Kaapo Kahkonen made 37 saves for the San Jose Sharks in a 5-1 win against the Ottawa Senators at SAP Center on Monday.

Five players scored for the Sharks (7-11-3), who lost their previous two games but pulled away with three goals in the second period. Luke Kunin had three assists.

“Just really proud of our guys,” San Jose coach David Quinn said. “That was a great bounce-back win. I thought we got better and better as the game went on.”

Video: [email protected]: Meier nets the 9th goal of the season in the 2nd period

Tim Stutzle scored for the Senators (6-11-1), who have lost three of their past four games. Anton Forsberg made 22 saves in relief of Cam Talbotwho allowed three goals on seven shots.

“We played really well in the first period, and then we needed to expect that they were going to push back,” Ottawa defenseman Nick Holden said. “All teams are all going to push back on you, so you need to be able to play inside of that as well and weather it a little bit and then get back on them.”

Noah Gregor gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead at 6:22 of the first period on their first shot of the game, a wrister from the edge of the left face-off circle.

It was Gregor’s first goal of the season in his seventh game.

“I have a little weight off my back,” Gregor said. “Sort of a frustrating start for me, so it was really nice to see that one go in.”

Video: [email protected]: Gregor nets 1st goal of the season in 1st period

Stutzle tied it 1-1 at 13:14 after a pass from behind the net by Brady Tkachuk.

“I think we started a little bit sloppy, but we cleaned it up fairly quickly,” Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson said. “And the last 40 minutes, I think we played like the better team and it was a nice, nice win for us to get at home. It’s been a while.”

Timo Meier put San Jose back in front 2-1 at 1:18 of the second period when his shot from a sharp angle got past Talbot, and Matt Nieto made it 3-1 at 4:53 when he redirected a shot by Matt Benning.

“There is lots of game left. There’s no time to feel sorry for yourself,” Senators coach DJ Smith said. “You’ve got to pick it up. We tried, but it just wasn’t our night.”

Thomas Hertl gave the Sharks a 4-1 lead at 15:56 when he tipped Logan Couture‘s shot through traffic.

Video: [email protected]: Hertl nets 5th goal of the season in 2nd period

San Jose outshot Ottawa 21-8 in the second.

“Anytime [the other team] scores a goal, or at the end of a period, I think it’s important for the next shift that you play the way we want to play,” Senators forward Claude Giroux said. “We play in our structure, and we have a good game plan. We just have to execute out there.”

Couture scored an empty-net goal with 59 seconds left in the third period for the 5-1 final.

Kahkonen, who allowed nine goals over his previous two starts, made 17 saves in the third.

“I think his confidence early on, even about a week and a half ago, was not where it needed to be,” Quinn said. “And he’s built his confidence up. He’s worked hard. He’s done a really good job.”

NOTES: Karlsson had an assist and is tied for third in the NHL with 29 points. Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid leads with 35 (16 goals, 19 assists). … Couture has scored in four straight games and has 10 goals this season.

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