DETROIT All those goals the Sharks have been scoring this season suddenly were in short supply Monday night.
But San Jose still skated out of Joe Louis Arena with a 1-0 shootout victory over the Detroit Red Wings on a well-thought-out shot by Logan Couture, and the Sharks improved their league-leading record to 8-0-1.
While the game lacked the emotion and high-skill displays of most meetings between San Jose and Detroit, both players and coaches described it as a playoff-style performance between teams that know each other maybe a little too well.
"Similar systems," Couture said. "It was good to get in a tighter game than we've had before. It was good to come out on top."
The Sharks came out on top because goalie Antti Niemi stopped Pavel Datsyuk, Daniel Alfredsson and Todd Bertuzzi the last on a beauty of a save after seemingly being out of position. Detroit's Jimmy Howard denied Patrick Marleau before Couture's shot beat him on the stick side.
Couture remembered he had gone to his backhand in a previous shootout against Howard, faking it this time to freeze the goalie. Then Couture came back with the quick snap shot.
"I was able to get it just above the pad," he said.
San Jose had been averaging 4.9 goals per game a full goal more than any other NHL team and had scored no fewer than three on any night. The Sharks outshot Detroit 27-24 but had nothing to show for it through 65 minutes.
"Not much space out there," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "It was playoff-like, if you will. Both teams played a prevent-type game. It was a chess match, no doubt about it."
The Sharks were without Brent Burns, whose already damaged mouth took another hit Saturday against Calgary. And Dan Boyle went on injured reserve after being illegally checked into the boards last Tuesday against St. Louis.
After the game, the Sharks announced the acquisition of Edmonton forward Mike Brown for a fourth-round 2014 draft pick. Brown has earned a reputation for his gritty play and willingness to drop the gloves.
Avalanche 1, Penguins 0 in Pittsburgh Gabriel Landeskog scored the only goal, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 34 shots as surprising Colorado improved to 8-1.
The Avalanche played without Cody McLeod, who was suspended for five games by the league for his hit along the boards on Detroit's Niklas Kronwall on Thursday.
Islanders Michael Grabner was suspended for two games by the league for an illegal check to the head of Carolina's Nathan Gerbe on Saturday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.