- Associated Press - Saturday, December 3, 2016

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Martin Jones came within 80 seconds of a shutout. Sometimes, that’s the sort of stingy performance it takes to beat Canadiens goalie Carey Price.

Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski scored in the first period, Jones stopped 31 shots and the San Jose Sharks extended their mastery of Montreal at home by beating the Canadiens 2-1 on Friday night in a matchup of division leaders.

“You know you’re not going to score four or five goals on him,” Jones said, referring to Price. “You know you’re going to have to play well. There are two teams out there. It’s not just me and him. I thought we defended really well.”

Jones won his third straight and the Sharks improved to 8-0-2 against the Canadiens in San Jose since November 1999.

Pavelski also had an assist, and Joe Thornton got two assists.

Price was efficient after giving up the two early goals, one on a power play and the other on an odd-man rush. He finished with 28 saves for Montreal, and Andrew Lehkonen scored a power-play goal late in the third period.

The Canadiens failed to maintain pressure against Jones, who turned away several point-blank shots early and then was rarely tested.

“He did his job,” Pavelski said. “He always does his job. He shows up. We have a lot of confidence in him, and he showed you why tonight. Guys did a good job in front of him, and it was a really good effort against a good team.”

The Atlantic Division leaders have gone consecutive games without earning a point for the first time this season. Meanwhile, the Pacific Division-leading Sharks have won three straight and six of seven.

Montreal’s Alexander Radulov exited with 4:06 remaining after getting cut over the eye by Logan Couture, who was assessed a double minor for high-sticking.

“I was just going to the net and I think their guy was trying to protect the slot area and not let me in and it’s just part of the game,” Radulov said, sporting a few stitches above his right eye. “Scary, but it’s OK. He tried to lift my stick but I tried to jump in front of him and his stick went up because my stick was not there. It’s just hockey.”

Montreal took advantage of the late penalty to get on the board when Lehkonen scored with a 6-on-4 advantage.

“Kind of an unlucky bounce there in front of the net that just kind of squeaked through my legs there,” Jones said. “But we killed really well tonight. We didn’t let them get set up for the most part. That’s a good power play. They’re going to get some chances.”

Burns scored his 10th goal, most among NHL defensemen, to put the Sharks ahead on the power play 5:22 into the game.

“That was probably more of a lucky one,” Burns said. “Shooting against Price, you know there’s not many holes. It’s good that one found its way back. I was swinging all night and none of the other ones went in.”

Thornton picked up a Canadiens turnover in the final minute of the first period and fed Pavelski in front of the net.

NOTES: Thornton has 1,356 points, 25th on the NHL’s career list. … Burns has eight points in his past seven games. … The Canadiens are 0-7-2 in California since March 2014. … The Canadiens have allowed 12 power-play goals in 38 chances to San Jose since 1999. … Montreal’s past seven games have been decided by one goal.


Canadiens: Continue their road trip at the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday.

Sharks: Host the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.

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