For the Sharks, they started off the second half of their season in the same manner they played the first 41 games, demolishing Tampa Bay 7-1 before another sellout crowd at HP Pavilion.
Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan has spoken of the Sharks putting the petal to the metal when they have the lead and they did exactly that.
“We really just kept it going,” said Joe Thornton
. “After three goals, we said let’s get a fourth, fifth and sixth. No lead is safe in this league.”
“It was fun for everyone,” said Devin Setoguchi.
The Sharks clearly did not want to rub things in the face of the injury depleted Lightning club, using the fourth line for extended power play time in the game, but they still didn’t want to pick up any bad habits with the big lead.
“Good habits are hard to learn and bad habits are hard to get rid of,” said Devin Setoguchi.
Milan Michalek and Joe Thornton
each scored their 10th goals of the season, giving the Sharks seven players with 10 or more goals this season. They are now tied for the league lead with the Detroit Red Wings.
reached the 250 goal plateau with his two tallies on the night.
“I still have a long way to go to catch J.R.,” quipped Thornton of the Sharks 500 goal scorer. “It’s a nice accomplishment, but we have a lot of work to do.”
With his three points against Tampa Bay (2+1=3), Joe Thornton
now has 17 points in the past 10 games.
tied a career high with two assists. He now has three points in the past three games.
“It feels good and it looks a little better (on the scoresheet), but it’s not my main role,” said Murray.
His main role is to play physical and make players look like rag dolls like when Ryan Malone took a run at him and bounced to the ice himself.
“We want to play physical for our fans at home and on the road,” said Murray.
Thirteen different players recorded a point for the Sharks against Tampa Bay.
The Sharks tied their season high for goals in a game with seven, a tally previously reached against Washington and at Philadelphia.
STILL UNBEATEN IN REGULATION
With the victory, the Sharks extended their regulation unbeaten streak at home. The Sharks are now 20-0-2 at HP Pavilion this season and 32-5-5 overall (1st in NHL). The Sharks last home regulation loss was on February 14, 2008 vs. Edmonton.
Milan Michalek made no bones about a goal that was waived off when the referee ruled he kicked the puck in.
“Yeah, I kicked it in, but I tried to hit it with my stick,” laughed Michalek.
Michalek did respond with a legitimate power play goal later by working hard in front.
“My job on the power play is to stand in front of the goalie and get a good shot,” said Michalek.
SHARKS HEAD COACH TODD MCLELLEN
“We were in that same situation many times this year where we didn’t respond (as we did tonight). We didn’t create many bad habits in the third although the game disintegrated. It forced us to use people in situations where we wouldn’t normally, but those guys got rewarded with power play time at the end.”
“We were fortunate to take advantage of a team that was tired and obviously wounded. We thought if we could keep up the pressure that they would get into penalty trouble and we could take advantage of it. And on the other side of the coin we didn’t take very many of our own. It allowed us to stay ahead.”
LIGHTNING HEAD COACH RICK TOCCHET
“You’re asking a lot, playing against Thornton and all these guys. That’s a tall order. We made it to one there, and I thought we were right there. Then, all of a sudden, we had a rash of penalties, four in a row. Then, you know, you give [the Sharks] any kind of momentum with power plays, you’re done. They killed us after that.”
The Sharks will return to HP Pavilion on Thursday night for a 7:30 p.m. clash with the Calgary Flames. The game will be available on CSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and www.sjsharks.com. Tickets may be found at www.ticketmaster.com or at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office.