Mike Hoffman scores 2 goals as San Jose Sharks beat St. Louis Blues 5-1
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Mike Hoffman scored two goals, and the San Jose Sharks beat the St. Louis Blues 5-1 on Thursday night.
Givani Smith had a goal and an assist for San Jose, which had dropped three in a row. William Eklund and Luke Kunin also scored in the Sharks’ highest-scoring game of the season.
San Jose is 3-3 in its last six games after dropping its first 11 games of the season.
“I think we’ve been pretty passive lately, and I think that can happen when you’ve been losing the way we have,” Sharks coach David Quinn said. “I think you play with a little bit of fear, and I thought we played fearless tonight. When you do that, good things happen.”
Pavel Buchnevich scored for St. Louis, which had won three in a row. Joel Hofer stopped 17 of 21 shots before he was replaced by Jordan Binnington in the second period.
The Blues had won their last eight games against the Sharks.
San Jose jumped in front on Hoffman’s second goal of the season 2:02 into the first. The Sharks grabbed control in the second.
Eklund, Smith and Kunin scored in the first 3:25 of the period, chasing Hofer and lifting San Jose to a 4-0 lead.
Blues captain Brayden Schenn said the team didn’t respond to the Sharks’ intensity.
“They’re a proud group over there.,” Schenn said. “It’s the NHL and guys are proud to be in this league. We weren’t ready to start the game and weren’t ready to start the second period, and it’s 5-0 before we knew it.”
Kaapo Kahkonen was working on a shutout for the Sharks before Buchnevich scored 13:55 into the third. Kahkonen finished with a season-high 45 saves.
“We’re all disappointed,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “Coming in here, have a chance to keep building and gain points in the standings and it didn’t happen. ... We weren’t good enough.”
Six players had multipoint games for the Sharks for the first time since 2019. Smith said the team’s quick start is a blueprint for how they can approach the rest of the season.
“As we get going, I feel like we got to learn how to win games,” Smith said. “And every night, we learn: Every day, every practice, every game. So it’s big for myself, the team and all the young guys that are here.”
Hoffman’s second goal came on a breakaway off a pass by Filip Zadina, extending the lead to 5-0 at 13:45 of the second period.
The Sharks also got a lift from the return of Anthony Duclair, who missed the last three games with strep throat.
Blues: At Los Angeles on Saturday night.
Sharks: At Vancouver on Monday night.
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