Meier charges Sharks win in return from injury

SAN JOSE — Timo Meier rejoined the Sharks lineup and offered a quick reminder of why he’s so important to the Sharks forward group.

Meier scored a goal and picked up two assists as the Sharks earned a 5-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes at SAP Center Wednesday night.

With Meier sidelined for three games with an upper-body injury last week, the Sharks produced a 1-2 record, scoring just four five-on-five goals. On Tuesday, the Sharks found the net three times in five-on-five situations, including Meier’s redirection of a Radim Simek shot at 8:42 of the second that gave the team a 3-0 lead.

The assist represented Simek’s first NHL point.

Meier also recorded the primary assist on Joe Pavelski’s team-leading 18th goal at 15:02 of the middle frame. The Swiss forward flew down the left wing, skated around the net and found Pavelski, who threw a pass into the slot and bounced the puck in off a pair of Hurricanes. Then, he earned a second assist with 4:17 left in the third, redirecting a Joe Thornton pass over to Marcus Sorensen, who buried his 5th of the season.

Kevin Labanc also recorded a two-point night for the Sharks in his first game after being demoted to the fourth line. Labanc set up Barclay Goodrow’s opening goal at 3:44 of the first and Tomas Hertl’s power play goal later in the frame. Joe Thornton also recorded a multi-point night with a trio of assists.

Martin Jones followed up his 40-save performance in Montreal Sunday with one of his best games of the season. Jones earned the win with 39 saves on 40 shots, several of which were of the grade-A variety.

After returning from a five-game road trip out east for a quick one gamer at the Tank, the Sharks will return to action in Dallas on Friday before heading off to Arizona Saturday.