SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Carl Soderberg scored the lone goal with 7:35 remaining, Tuukka Rask bounced back from rough stretch to post his NHL-leading fifth shutout of the season, and the Boston Bruins beat the San Jose Sharks 1-0 on Saturday night.
Soderberg broke the tie at the end of a broken play when Loui Eriksson’s shot was blocked by Scott Hannan. Soderberg got the loose puck and knocked it past Antti Niemi for his sixth goal to salvage the finale of Boston’s three-game California swing.
Rask gave up eight goals on the first two games of the trip as the Bruins were outscored 9-4 in losses at Anaheim and Los Angeles. But they rebounded in San Jose to sweep the season series and hand the Sharks just their second home loss in regulation all season.
Niemi made 21 saves for the Sharks, who had their six-game home winning streak snapped and were shut out at home for the first time since Feb. 9, 2013, in a shootout loss to Phoenix.
Niemi kept the Sharks in the game shortly after Soderberg’s goal when he made a strong stop on a backhand by Brad Marchand but the Sharks couldn’t get anything past Rask on 26 shots.
The game featured a pair of goalies who will be teammates for Finland at the Olympics next month. Rask and Niemi both made a case for the starting gig.
Neither goalie faced too many good scoring chances in a tight opening two periods that featured one power-play chance for each side and a brief fight between Boston’s Kevan Miller and San Jose’s Mike Brown.
The Sharks looked disjointed on their power-play chance in the first period with Carl Soderberg off for boarding, getting only one shot on goal during the man advantage.
San Jose’s best two chances in the opening two periods came from Joe Pavelski, who was stopped by Rask on a redirection in the first period and then again midway through the second right in front of the net following a good pass from Joe Thornton.
The Bruins came the closest to scoring in the first two periods on their power play with Scott Hannan off for holding. Patrice Bergeron got the puck in front and slid a shot past Niemi that hit the post.
Boston put on pressure late in the second but Eriah Hayes blocked a shot from David Krejci, and Niemi made a save against Zdeno Chara.
The Bruins ended the second on the power play when Patrick Marleau was called for high-sticking with 1 second remaining in the period. But Boston couldn’t convert on that chance or another one early in the third when Jason Demers got called for holding. The Bruins fell to 0-for-13 on the power play in their last five games.
NOTES: Bruins D Johnny Boychuk flew home for personal reasons. ... Boston F Shawn Thornton returned from a 15-game suspension for slew-footing Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik to the ice and punching him twice. Thornton was retaliating for a hit on Eriksson, who also returned Saturday after missing 15 games from a concussion in that game. ... San Jose D Matt Irwin missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury.