The Sharks won the Presidents' Trophy last season but lost to Anaheim in the opening round of the playoffs, then dropped their season-opener in Colorado on Thursday. But they took all the excitement out of the crowd this time with a three-goal blitz in the first period, then controlled the middle period while looking like the team that won the NHL regular-season championship in '08-09.
Rookie Benn Ferreiro opened the scoring at 7:30 with his first NHL goal, swatting home a rebound that Jonas Hiller left lying around the crease. Patrick Marleau made it 2-0 with a shorthanded goal on a breakaway backhander at 16:46, and Joe Thornton added the third goal at 18:23.
Sharks rookies Benn Ferreiro and Jason Demers looked good in their second NHL game. Ferreiro got his first NHL goal 7:30 into the game by swatting home Demers' rebound.
Second-year coach Todd McLellan was pleased with his rookies.
“I thought they really left their mark on the game,” McLellan said. “They contributed in a lot of different areas – they used penalty killing and even got a little power play time at the end. If they do that again, they will get a chance to stay in the NHL and if they keep doing that they will never leave.”
Ferreiro was thrilled to get his first goal, but even happier with the win.
"It was huge for us to get that first goal," the former Boston College star said. "I think it helped build momentum in our favor. We just responded after that."
The Sharks spent most of the second period in Anaheim's zone and made it 4-0 at 4:32 on Devin Setoguchi's power-play goal. Only some superb play by Hiller kept the game from becoming a rout -- San Jose outshot Anaheim 17-2 in the middle 20 minutes.
“We made some bad plays and gave the puck basically to them to get chances,” captain Scott Niedermayer said. “They made us pay. It got sloppy after that. We didn’t have sustained pressure in their end. We have to be better.”
Newcomer Dany Heatley assisted on the goals by Thornton and Setoguchi for his first two points as a Shark. San Jose acquired the two-time 50-goal scorer from Ottawa last month.Evgeni Nabokov, who wasn't sharp in the 5-2 loss at Colorado on Thursday, made 24 saves for his 250th career win. He lost his shutout bid midway through the third period on Ryan Whitney's power-play goal.
"The Colorado game -- we would like to leave it behind,” McLellan said. "The thing I liked about tonight’s game was that I thought we played fast. We were looking for that tempo out of our team. When we do that, we are a lot more effective."
They were plenty effective on this night.
"They played a simple, solid game and made us pay for the mistakes we made," Niedermayer said. "It’s the first game of the season coming in. Everyone has ideas of how they want it to go. The next thing you know, they get a couple of goals and it changes the plan. We probably didn’t respond as well as we could have when that happened. We have to be better."