Boone Jenner scores with 12.9 seconds left as Blue Jackets beat Sharks 4-3

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — Boone Jenner scored with 12.9 seconds left and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the San Jose Sharks 4-3 on Saturday night.

With time running down in the third period, Jenner took a pass at center ice from Johnny Gaudreau and broke in on net, shielding Sharks defenseman Jan Ruuta and beating goaltender Kappo Kahkonen for the winning goal.

“I knew he was waiting for that perfect time to give me the puck and hit me with it, and I was able to just get a shot off backhand and find a way through his pads,” Jenner said.

The game featured a pair of last-place teams — the Sharks in the Pacific Division and the Blue Jackets in the Metropolitan Division. Columbus had lost four of five, while the Sharks were 5-2-1 in their previous eight games.

Zach Werenski, Kirill Marchenko and Dmitri Voronkov also scored for Columbus.

“We’ve always found ways to lose this year, it seems like,” Werenski said. “Tonight we found a way to win with 12 seconds left, which hasn’t happened yet this year. So it definitely feels good to be on the right side of things.”

Anthony Duclair had two goals for San Jose, and Fabian Zetterlund netted his team-leading 15th of the season to tie it 3-all heading into the third period.

“I just didn’t think we were mentally sharp tonight,” Sharks coach David Quinn said. “I don’t think we had a lot of attention to details and we didn’t play with a conscience tonight. It was kind of free-wheeling hockey tonight.”

Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins made 30 saves. Gaudreau had two assists, but came up empty on three breakaways in a span of five minutes during the first period. He also had a goal wiped out after the play was ruled offside upon video review.

Columbus scored twice in 70 seconds late in the first to take a 2-1 lead after one. The Blue Jackets tied it on Werenski’s first goal in 39 games, a wrist shot with Jack Roslovic screening Kahkonen in front. Marchenko then fired a hard wrist shot past Kahkonen’s glove to give Columbus its first lead.

Duclair scored a pair of breakaway goals. In the first period, he took advantage of a turnover at center ice by Sean Kuraly, speeding in on net and beating Merzlikins through the legs. Then in the second, Duclair provided a response 19 seconds after Voronkov gave the Blue Jackets a 3-1 lead seven minutes into the period. This time, Duclair beat Merzlikins with a forehand deke.

Columbus played its first game since firing general manager Jarmo Kakelainen after 11 seasons on the job. Blue Jackets coach Pascal Vincent said before the game he doesn’t believe the decision will necessarily generate a turnaround for the team on the ice.

“I don’t believe that outside influences will spark a team,” Vincent said. “It’s got to come from within. Our way of playing, our process, our way of dealing and preparing for each and every single game. We’ve been trending up as far as how we’ve played the game, and I just want to see consistency in our growth.”

UP NEXT

Blue Jackets: Visit the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

Sharks: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday.

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AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL

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