Raleigh, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Sharks played more like passengers than Pacific Division contenders on Sunday. Good thing Troy Grosenick showed no fear in his first NHL appearance.
Grosenick stopped all 45 shots he faced to record his first career shutout in his first-ever start, while Tomas Hertl supplied all the offense the rookie netminder needed, as San Jose claimed a 2-0 victory over Carolina
Grosenick, 25, who helped lead Union College to the Frozen Four in 2012, had gone 7-2-1 with a 2.73 goals-against average in 10 games for Worcester of the American Hockey League. He was recalled on Nov. 12 due to an injury to backup Alex Stalock.
"It's going to be really special to go back on it," Grosenick said.
Joe Thornton notched a late empty-net tally for the Sharks, who improved to 3-3-0 on their current seven-game road trip which ends on Tuesday in Buffalo.
Anton Khudobin made 17 saves for the Hurricanes, who have lost three in a row and have scored just two goals during the skid.
"Tonight it was everything but the goals and that can be frustrating," Carolina's Eric Staal said.
Carolina peppered Grosenick with 16 shots in the first period, but it was San Jose which potted the game's opening goal as Hertl managed to sneak one through Khudobin's pads with 1:14 left during a failed 2-on-1 break.
Victor Rask had the best pair of opportunities, but Grosenick denied both at the right post.
Grosenick robbed Elias Lindholm just after the midway point of regulation on the Hurricanes' 26th shot of the contest, then turned away Zach Boychuk minutes later from in front and Jeff Skinner once at the right post just before intermission. That was the last of his 15 second-period stops.
Khudobin was sent off for an extra attacker with 1:04 remaining, and Grosenick had to be alert to smother a flip from the right-wing boards by Jiri Tlusty with 29.6 to play.
Thornton emerged from a scramble near the blue line with the puck, and soloed to the empty net in the final eight seconds.
Grosenick is the first Sharks goaltender to hold the opposition scoreless in his debut and the 45 saves are the most in franchise history in a debut ... Wade Flaherty held the record since making 43 saves on Apr. 12, 1992 in a 6-4 loss to Edmonton ... The Wisconsin native is also the first netminder since Vancouver's Mike Fountain (3-0 win 11/14/96 vs. New Jersey) to stop at least 40 pucks in a shutout during an NHL debut ... San Jose's Barclay Goodrow earned his first career point with the lone assist on Hertl's marker.