SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks stood pat Monday as the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline passed, then they went out and showed they have a team in place that could be dangerous in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns each had three points in the Sharks’ 6-2 victory against the Montreal Canadiens at SAP Center.
“I love our group,” Thornton said. “We have a great group, and I’m really excited going forward here.”
It was the Sharks’ ninth straight victory against the Canadiens at SAP Center. Montreal hasn’t won in San Jose since Nov. 22, 1999.
Pavelski had two goals and an assist, and Thornton and Burns each had a goal and two assists. Melker Karlsson and Nick Spaling scored for San Jose (34-22-6), and goaltender Martin Jones made 21 saves for his 31st win.
The Sharks are four points behind the first-place Los Angeles Kings and two points behind the second-place Anaheim Ducks in the Pacific Division.
“We’re trying to hunt down the teams above us and push Anaheim and L.A. here to the finish,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said.
Brendan Gallagher and Torrey Mitchell scored for Montreal (30-28-5), and goaltender Mike Condon made 30 saves on 36 shots. The Canadiens had won two straight games and three of four before losing to the Sharks.
“I don’t think we can be happy enough with our effort,” Gallagher said. “We allowed them to have too much time and space, and good players are going to take advantage of it. There’s things we can control every game and our compete level and battle level wasn’t where it needed to be.”
Thornton scored to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead at 3:11 of the first period. Defenseman Justin Braun’s shot from the point deflected off Pavelski to a wide-open Thornton, just to the left of the crease, and he easily beat Condon for his 15th goal.
The Canadiens tied it at 5:26 of the first when Gallagher scored his 18th goal. He sent a sharp-angled wrist shot from the right boards through traffic that banked off Jones and over the goal line. Max Pacioretty and P.K. Subban got the assists.
San Jose went back in front for good at 15:55 of the first on Pavelski’s 28th goal. He took a cross-ice pass in stride from Thornton and beat Condon with a wrist shot. Burns got the secondary assist for the 400th point of his NHL career.
Burns increased San Jose’s lead to 3-1 at 3:11 of the second period on a give-and-go with Thornton. Burns took Thornton’s return pass in the right circle and ripped a shot over Condon’s left shoulder and under the crossbar for his 21st goal.
Mitchell, who played for San Jose from 2007-12, responded at 12:32 of the second with his seventh goal. Paul Byron sent the puck fluttering toward the crease, and Mitchell batted it out of the air and past Jones, cutting San Jose’s lead to 3-2.
“I loved our start,” DeBoer said. “Loved the first period. The second period we looked like some fatigue was setting in, the back-to-back and the schedule lately. I thought we dug deep in the third period. We knew we had a day off tomorrow and it was the end of a long couple of weeks. Guys found a way, and I thought our third was excellent considering the circumstances.”
The Sharks, who were coming off a 4-1 victory at the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, regained a two-goal lead when Karlsson scored at 2:14 of the third period. Chris Tierney sent a pass from below the goal line to Karlsson in the low slot. He batted the puck out of the air and bounced it past Condon.
Spaling made it 5-2 at 3:37 of the third, knocking a rebound past Condon for his third goal of the season and second in four games since coming to the Sharks from the Toronto Maple Leafs in a trade last Monday.
‘I think our defensive squad really had a tough time tonight,” Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. “We got dominated by a good hockey team.”
Pavelski scored his Sharks-leading 29th goal with 5:10 left, increasing San Jose’s lead to 6-2 when he beat Condon with a wrist shot through traffic from the right circle.
The Sharks went 8-4-2 in February and are 14 points ahead of the Vancouver Canucks and Arizona Coyotes in the Pacific. Last season, they went 3-8-2 in February and never recovered.
“I feel like I’m having a lot of fun with this team this year, and the guys are going every night,” Tierney said. “You can just feel the energy that the team brings every night. We’re in a good spot right now and hopefully we build up to the playoffs and try to make a run at it.”
The Sharks rolled four lines throughout the game and got at least one goal from each.
“Any night, it can be another line doing the damage,” Thornton said. “It’s fun to be a part of, and when you’re winning, it’s obviously fun. We’ve got a real deep team, and it’s an exciting team to watch right now.”
Former Sharks forward Mike Brown made his Canadiens debut a few hours after being claimed off waivers from San Jose. Brown skated on the fourth line with Mitchell and Michael McCarron.
The Sharks reassigned defenseman Dylan DeMelo to the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League before the game.