By KEN POWTAK Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — Defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Charlie McAvoy scored highlight-reel goals, Linus Ullmark made 17 saves and the NHL-leading Boston Bruins beat the San Jose Sharks for the 11th straight time, 4-0 on Sunday night.
The Bruins won their fifth straight game and improved to 22-1-3 at home this season, including a victory at Fenway Park as the “home” team in the Winter Classic.
“Our bench was really motivated by it,” Boston’s first-year coach Jim Montgomery said of the McAvoy and Lindholm goals. “When those two guys, you have two studs out there that are making plays like that, not only what it does for our bench, but it deflates the other team.”
Ullmark, named a first-time All Star, improved his record to 25-2-1. He had a relatively easy game before leaving 8:01 into the period with a skate-blade issue, and backup Jeremy Swayman made one stop in relief before Ullmark returned 2:28 later.
“I have no clue,” Ullmark said of what happened to his skate. “I had some skate issues before the game, but we took care of that. … A flat tire, that’s for sure. That was weird. I was just happy they didn’t shoot. It’s so much easier when you’re standing up. Now, you have to sit.”
David Pastrnak had his team-leading 36th goal and Nick Foligno also scored for Boston, which hasn’t lost to the Sharks since falling 3-2 at home on March 15, 2016. Brad Marchand added two assists.
James Reimer stopped 18 shots for the Sharks, who were shut out for the first time this season.
Lindholm took a pass from Marchand near the blue line and cut down the center, shifting around Michael Eyssimont before firing a wrist shot over Reimer’s left shoulder to make it 1-0 at 7:16 of the first period.
In the second, McAvoy charged down the slot, flipped the puck past forward Timo Meier and collected it himself before shifting to his right and slipping it around Reimer at 4:08.
“I thought they were a little flat-footed. I had some speed going through there,” McAvoy said. “Scoring goals is the funnest thing in the game.”
Foligno redirected Lindholm’s shot to make it 3-0 at 6:46 of the second. Pastrnak’s goal came on a power play.
Playing the second of an eight-game trip, the Sharks didn’t reach double digits in shots on goal until late in the second.
“When you’re fishing for pucks against good players, you’re going to pay the price and that’s kind of what happened,” Sharks coach David Quinn said of the goals by Lindholm and McAvoy.
Before the game, the Bruins surprised 10-year-old Tanner Dikan, who was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease, with a one-day contract, making him an honorary team member. He also got to announce the starting lineup to the players in the dressing room before the game and joined Montgomery at the podium for his postgame press conference.
The Bruins had a video tribute with current and former players congratulating assistant equipment manager Matt Falconer, who worked his 1,000th game.
NOTES: Boston forward Tomas Nosek missed his first game with a fractured left foot, sustained the last game. He’s expected to be sidelined four weeks. … Sharks standout defenseman Erik Karlsson was held without a point in the teams’ first meeting too, a 4-2 win by Boston on Jan. 7 in San Jose. … Meier and Boston defenseman Brandon Carlo fought 27 seconds into the game. Carlo headed straight to the locker room after the fight, pointing to his left shoulder area when telling the linesman he needed to leave. He did return shortly and served the rest of his 5-minute major.
Sharks: At the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.
Bruins: Open a five-game trip Tuesday at the Montreal Canadiens.
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