Mackenzie Blackwood stops 32 shots as Sharks blank Kraken

Marc-Edouard Vlasic broke a scoreless tie in the third period and Mackenzie Blackwood made 32 saves for his first shutout of the season as the San Jose Sharks defeated the visiting Seattle Kraken 2-0 Tuesday night.

Jan Rutta added an empty-netter with 19.9 seconds remaining as the Sharks won for the fourth time in their past five games and broke a tie with Chicago for the fewest points in the NHL.

Joey Daccord stopped 20 of 21 shots for Seattle, which had a three-game point streak (2-0-1) snapped. The Kraken missed an opportunity to move into a four-way tie with Los Angeles, St. Louis and Nashville atop the Western Conference’s wild-card standings.

The game’s first goal came at 7:27 of the third period. San Jose’s William Eklund skated the puck down the right wing and sent a pass back to Ty Emberson at the point. Emberson immediately swung a cross-ice pass along the blue line to Vlasic, whose wrist shot made its way through a maze of players and into the upper left corner of the net past a screened Daccord.

The Kraken outshot the Sharks 13-3 in a scoreless first period.

The best chance came when Seattle’s Brandon Tanev intercepted a pass in the San Jose zone, but Blackwood made a left leg pad save on Tanev’s wrist shot from the slot.

San Jose’s top opportunity came when Anthony Duclair charged down the right wing and split a pair of defenders to get to the net before sliding a backhander wide of the far post.

Both teams had five shots in the second, which was also without a goal.

The Kraken’s Oliver Bjorkstrand rang a shot from the slot off the right post early in the period after teammate Eeli Tolvanen forced a turnover behind the San Jose net.

The Sharks played much better defensively than they did in the first meeting between the Pacific Division rivals this season, which the Kraken won 7-1 on Nov. 22 in Seattle.

Sharks forward Tomas Hertl, the team’s leading scorer, missed the game after suffering an undisclosed injury in Saturday’s 5-2 loss to visiting Buffalo.