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Sharks get Erik Karlsson a win in rematch with Senators

SAN JOSE — Erik Karlsson got his bragging rights, albeit six weeks late.
After getting humiliated in Karlsson’s return game to Ottawa on Dec. 1, the Sharks made sure they got the two-time Norris Trophy winner two points in the rematch, beating the Senators 4-1 at SAP Center Saturday.
In doing so, the Sharks extended their winning streak to six games, improving to 8-1 since the Christmas break.
But the win came at a cost. Joonas Donskoi missed the last two periods after suffering an injury on a hit from Mark Borowiecki in the middle of the first. Donskoi, who’s been red hot since the Christmas break with eight goals in seven games, returned for a shift at the end of the first before he sat out the last 40 minutes of the game.
Joe Pavelski opened the scoring at 17:57 of the second, scoring his team-leading 26th goal by sniping the puck into the top-right corner with a shot from the left circle. Tomas Hertl and Brenden Dillon collected assists on the play.
Burns scored an insurance goal at 6:17 of the third, banking the puck in off Senators defenseman Christian Jaros off a pass from Kevin Labanc. The Senators got the goal back just 27 seconds later when Ryan Dzingel scored from the slot.
Joe Thornton scored his ninth of the year at 15:44 of final stanza, tapping in a Brent Burns shot that hit Timo Meier in front. Melker Karlsson iced the game by scoring an empty-net goal with 1:21 left in regulation.
Martin Jones picked up where he left off in Vegas Thursday, stopping 26 pucks to secure the win. Jones made several dazzling saves, including a kick save on Rudolfs Balcers shot from the slot in the first, a blocker save on Mark Stone’s breakaway later in the frame and a left-toe stop on Brady Tkachuk’s look from in close in the second.
Justin Braun returned to the lineup after missing four games with a right-knee injury, skating on the Sharks third-defensive pairing with Tim Heed. Braun picked up the secondary assist on Burns’ goal.
The Sharks will return to action Tuesday, completing a two-game homestand with a 2016 Stanley Cup Final rematch against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
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