Dell earns first shutout as Sharks beat Flyers 2-0

SAN JOSE — Sharks goalie Aaron Dell might have been making just his fifth career NHL start on Friday. But he demonstrated once again that’s he’s perfectly comfortable in close situations.

Dell finished with 21 saves for his first career shutout and Patrick Marleau’s first period power play goal stood up as the winner as the Sharks beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-0 at SAP Center.

Justin Braun scored in the third period for the Sharks, who won for the eighth time in nine games and now own a 9-3 record in December. The Sharks close out the month and 2016 on Saturday in Los Angeles with a game against the Kings.

The Sharks wanted to respond with a better performance after their 3-2 shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday in which goalie Martin Jones had 34 saves.

“I thought it was a real solid game for us, probably one of our most complete games all year and nice after the Anaheim game,” Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said. “I think we felt like we got away with one and Jones bailed us out.”

The Sharks’ win was tempered after Marc-Edouard Vlasic was injured in a scary moment late in the third period. Standing in front of the Sharks’ crease, Vlasic took a slap shot from Shayne Gostisbehere underneath his visor and he had to be helped off the ice.

DeBoer said initial reports indicated Vlasic’s injury “isn’t that serious,” but he didn’t know for sure whether Vlasic would join the Sharks on its late night flight to Los Angeles.

The shot from Gostisbehere appeared to have a knuckleball-type…

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