After 40 minutes of play, the Sharks seemed like they were in a boat to no where. Sure there were 20 minutes to make up a two goal deficit, but Team Teal had posted just 11 shots in 40 minutes, not exactly something to get everyone ramped up for the third.
However when the third arrived, the Sharks were a completely different team. They scored six times, led by Joe Pavelski
’s four third period points, and won by a final count of 8-5.
The Sharks set a couple of records in blazing to their come from behind victory. From a team standpoint, their six third period goals were a new record (they had scored six in a game back in 1996 against Hartford in a second period). From an NHL standpoint, there is an even more impressive mark. San Jose became the first team to record three consecutive come from behind victories in the third period where the game ended in regulation.
It didn’t start out ideally, but the HP Pavilion faithful all went home ecstatic, at least those who stuck around for the entire game.Joe Pavelski
was the hero of the third, posting two goals and two assists on San Jose’s first four goals of the stanza. When he pulled off a spin-o-rama shot while going down, the crowd was electric and showed their appreciation by chanting U-S-A, U-S-A to honor his Olympic performance.
“There was a lot of improvisation there,” said Pavelski. “You expect the goalie is going to stop that one. It was a pretty eventful Olympics and the fans related to them pretty well. I think there are more Americans (in HP Pavilion.)”
Pavelski scored with Ryan Suter guarding him and the two were roommates at the Olympics.
“He was just being a good roommate. He needed a little help from his (goalie),” said Pavelski.
HAPPY 40Patrick Marleau
scored his 40th goal of the season, a career-high, and is the third Shark to score 40 goals in a season. Owen Nolan scored 44 goals in 1999-00 and Jonathan Cheechoo scored 56 goals in 2005-06.
For as much excitement as there was in the bowl of HP Pavilion following the game, down below there was a lot of thought as to why the comeback was even necessary.
“That is not an acceptable way to come out and play,” said Pavelski. “We’ve got to be a little sharper to start the game Saturday.”
San Jose knows in the long run, continued third period deficits will bite them in the backside, but they are a confident group.
“We never feel like we’re out of a game,” said Joe Thornton
The Sharks were clearly a different team in the final 20 minutes, so was there something said during the intermission that altered the contest?
“There wasn’t much that needed to be said,” answered Malhotra. “It wasn’t a matter of X’s and O’s.”
KEEP IT CLOSE
With Nashville outshooting San Jose by a 3-1 ratio for most of the night, it was all on Evgeni Nabokov to keep the game within reach.
“Nabby kept us in the game and allowed us to come back,” said Pavelski.
“We have to credit Nabby for standing in there and giving us an opportunity,” said Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan.
TO THE BOOTH
Manny Malhotra saw the goal he scored go upstairs to the video goal judge, but the Sharks forward was sure of the outcome.
“I was pretty confident, I knew I was making a stopping motion toward the net,” said Malhotra.
Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray
played just 12:41 and the club had to scramble with five blueliners down the stretch.
“He went to block a shot,” said McLellan. “When you’re down to five you try to get them on the ice and keep them as fresh as possible. (Trent Yawney) takes care of the back end and did a good job getting them on and off.”
FEW SHOTS, BIG RESULTS
With 5:50 to go in the first, the Sharks were being outshot by 15. With one release off his stick , Dany Heatley changed the score though and evened the contest at one. Period one ended with Nashville outshooting San Jose 17-5.
The Sharks are 21-5-6 when getting outshot by their opponents.
With his four points in the third period, Joe Pavelski
tied the Sharks record for most points in a period (4) that was last set by Joe Thornton
against Toronto on Dec. 2, 2008.
With his empty net tally, Jay Leach scored his first career NHL goal.
SHARKS HEAD COACH TODD McLELLAN
“I knew you guys (the media) would want to talk about the great third period. Coming back and scoring six goals. You know we won the game and that’s great but that’s not what I’ll focus on. We were clearly outworked and outhustled for two periods and that’s very disappointing.”
“For us to have success we have to have everybody on board for the first 40 minutes and not just the last 15.”
“At one point I looked up at the scoreboard and saw that we were getting out shot 30-10 three-quarters of the way through the second period. Odds are you have no chance of winning those games. But tonight we found a way.”
NASHVILLE HEAD COACH BARRY TROTZ
“The first two periods I thought we played extremely well. I thought we controlled the puck, and didn’t give San Jose too many opportunities to capitalize. I thought we played very well on both sides of the puck. Then in the third period they got the two goals to tie it up. Then the fifth and sixth goals were some of the most horrendous things that ever happened to me.”
(On the play of the Sharks in the third period)
“They got the two goals and drove the net. They had the momentum. I thought we got the game settled down. I was feeling pretty good. I felt like we got the momentum back. It started with an unnecessary turnover from (Dan) Ellis on the fifth goal. And the sixth goal – you’ve got to save that.”
The Sharks will host Florida in a 1 p.m. game on Saturday and tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The game will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and www.sjsharks.com.