SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Jake Allen made 45 saves, Mike Hoffman scored for the third straight game and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Sharks 4-0 Thursday night for their first victory in San Jose in nearly 22 years.
Alexander Romanov, Brendan Gallagher and Josh Anderson also scored as Montreal snapped a 10-game losing streak against the Sharks, who looked flat early in their first game at home after an encouraging five-game road trip.
The Canadiens’ last road victory against the Sharks before Thursday came on Nov. 23, 1999. They hadn’t beat San Jose in any location since March 2015. Montreal, a Stanley Cup finalist last season, entered the night 1-6 and having been outscored 25-11.
“I thought it was a crucial game for our group,” Allen said. “I know it’s early, but we’re obviously in a funk, and I thought it was an important game to get our momentum going so we can finish this trip on the right note.”
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The 31-year-old Allen, serving as the Canadiens’ No. 1 goalie while Carey Price is away from the team for personal reasons, notched his 22nd career shutout.
“Jakey has been playing unbelievable lately,” Anderson said. “We just haven’t played good enough in front of him. He really deserved this one tonight. Jake’s a good goalie, a really good goalie.”
Adin Hill made 28 saves for San Jose, which went 0 for 4 on the power play and missed a few prime scoring chances in the opener of a five-game homestand. After winning their season opener at home, the Sharks, playing without suspended star forward Evander Kane, went 3-2 on their recent five-game road swing.
“I thought we were sloppy at the beginning of the game,” Sharks coach Bob Boughner said. “You’re always in that ‘catch’ game when you’re coming back out West. I was wondering how we were going to come out. It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t our best.”
Hoffman broke a scoreless tie with a put-back of Brett Kulak’s shot with 7:51 remaining in the first. Montreal increased its lead on Romanov’s one-timer at 8:53 of the second period. A few minutes after that, Gallagher scored a power-play goal to make it 3-0 when he deposited a pass from Anderson while camped to the left of the net.
Anderson added an empty-net goal with about two minutes remaining.
The Sharks were without forward Matt Nieto, who is day to day with a lower body injury suffered while blocking a shot Tuesday against Nashville. Nieto notched just one point, on an assist, in San Jose’s first six games.
When Hoffman scored the game’s first goal with 7:51 remaining in the opening period, it marked just the second time in eight games this season that Montreal scored first.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
Gallagher’s second-period goal was his first of the season and the 188th of his career. With three more, he’ll tie Saku Koivu for 27th on Montreal’s all-time list.
Canadiens: Visit the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday in the third game of their four-game West Coast swing.
Sharks: Host Winnipeg on Saturday to continue a five-game homestand.
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