December 31, 2016
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Rookie Aaron Dell was more impressed with his teammates congratulating him than he was about his own performance. He even thanked the opposing coach, with who he worked with in the past.
Dell stopped 21 shots to get his first career shutout and the San Jose Sharks beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-0 on Friday night.
"It still feels the same to me," Dell said. "I try to play every game the same way. I think I had an easy night. There was a chance every once in a while. It was big for me to get that congratulations from the guy."
Dell, undrafted, played with the Allen Americans in the Philadelphia organization before signing with the Sharks as a free agent in March of 2015.
"It was nice to get that against guys I know," Dell said. "He (Dave Haktol) was a big part of my career. He did a lot to get me where I am."
Patrick Marleau scored on a power play late in the first period, and the Sharks won their fourth straight and eighth of nine. Justin Braun added a late goal.
"It's always nice to get that first point," Marleau said. "Pickles made a good shot and it was just lying there."
Marleau has now scored a game-winning goal against every NHL team. He has 95 career game-winners, ninth all-time.
"That's insane," Dell said. "That's quite an achievement. I need to congratulate him."
Flyers goalie Steve Mason left following the first period. He was hit by Joe Thornton's stick on an exposed part of his hand. Thornton was skating through the crease and collided with Mason, who saved 11 of 12 shots.
"I didn't think it was deliberate by any means," Flyers Wayne Simmonds said. "He's going to the crease and going through the goalie.
Anthony Stolarz was excellent in relief, keeping the Flyers in the game with 21 saves in 22 chances.
"Stoli did a great job," Flyers Andrew MacDonald said. "He had some challenging saves, a few odd-man rushes, a couple of 2-on-1's and stood tall on a couple of point blank shots."
Dell, appearing in his sixth career game, outshined his counterparts. The Flyers' Dale Weise had a shot ricochet off the post with just under six minutes to play, the closest Philadelphia came to tying it.
Marleau's goal came after a couple of rebounds off Mason. Marc-Edouard Vlasic took a shot that bounced in front of the net, and Kevin Labanc poked at it before Marleau flipped it over Mason's right shoulder.
Vlasic left the game late after taking a puck to the face.
"I told him 'good block,' " Braun said. "It's hard to see a teammate get hit like that."
Braun scored in the final five minutes of the game, slapping it into the top of the net after taking a pass from Joe Pavelski.
The Sharks beat the Flyers for the sixth consecutive game and are 17-1-2 against them since 2002.
NOTES: Mason has started 20 of the past 22 games. ... The Flyers have given up five power-play goals over the last three games. ... Marleau scored the 89th power-play goal of his career. ... Sharks C Tommy Wingels sat for the third straight game.
Flyers: Travel to play the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, the last of four straight road games.
Sharks: Travel for a game at the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night and then return home for three games.