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NHL scores 2016: Sharks keep pace in Pacific with strong win over Blues

San Jose took down a streaking St. Louis squad with a three-goal first period.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe the Sharks should play all of their games away from the SAP Center.

With a 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday, San Jose's road record jumped to second-best in the NHL at 21-9-2. Only the Capitals, with a 21-6-2 record, have had it better on the road than the Sharks, who are in a three-way battle for the top spot in the Pacific with the Ducks and Kings.

San Jose needed this win, especially against a Blues team that had won its last five games coming into Monday's matchup with a 7-2-1 record in its last 10. The Sharks took the St. Louis crowd out early with three goals in the opening 13 minutes of the game and the rest was theirs.

The victory keeps the Sharks afloat -- pun possibly intended -- in the race for first place in the Pacific Division. It's looking like it'll be a dog fight to the very end, with three points separating the three teams and all having 24 games left to play in the season.

It's possible Arizona could make a play for that third spot, as the Coyotes are just nine points behind the Sharks with one more game played. A young team like the Coyotes is hard to predict, especially on the playoff bubble, so San Jose will need all the points it can get to keep the dogs off its heels.

The only down spot for the Sharks? Out of their final 24 games on the season, just nine come on the road. They'll need to do better than their 11-12-3 record at home if they want to keep pace with the Ducks and Kings and hold off the scrappy Coyotes.


Washington Capitals 3, Arizona Coyotes 2
Columbus Blue Jackets 6, Boston Bruins 4
Nashville Predators 2, Montreal Canadiens 1 (SO)
San Jose Sharks 6, St. Louis Blues 3

3 things we learned

1. Mike Richards has his first goal as a Capital

It's been over a year since Richards hit the back of the net with more than a few scenery changes along the way. Since being let go by the Kings in the offseason after drug-related issues, the Capitals signed Richards earlier this season to fill out their veteran presence as they gear up for a Stanley Cup run. In 14 games, the 31-year-old had yet to score, until Monday.

2. Ryan Reaves probably will -- and should -- receive discipline for knockout hit

A reckless play from Blues forward Ryan Reaves will most likely result in a suspension after an illegal boarding play caused Sharks defenseman Matt Tennyson to lose consciousness.

Tennyson was out cold for a good few seconds after his face hit the glass, then did a number on the back of his head by falling to the ice. Reaves was given a major penalty and a game misconduct. The Blues forward will more than likely sit after such a dangerous play.

3. Craig Smith sabotaged his own goal ... with his stick

Sadly, this is not Craig Smith's first rodeo on missed empty net shots.

Thankfully, Smith saved his own bacon by netting the Predators' shootout-winning goal. Just like he drew it up.

Impact Moment

Sticks going up on a Monday.

Stat of the Night