San Jose won’t quit and pulls Niemi again, but runs out of time and Atlanta wins for the first time in seven tries at HP Pavilion.
Niemi heads to the bench and the Sharks begin circling. A Marleau penalty as he attempted to stop an empty net goal may be the nail in the coffin. Niemi returns to the crease.
A three-on-one Atlanta rush resulted in a goal and a two-goal Thrashers lead, a tough deficit considering the four goals came unanswered. Very little time for the Sharks to rally.
Atlanta will enjoy a power play as Heatley was whistled for interference. The penalty proved costly as Byfuglien wristed home a rebound. The Sharks trail for the first time in the game and have less than six minutes to find the tying tally.
A great blocked shot by Couture bounced just right and created a breakaway. The rookie skated in and wristed a shot, but Mason was able to make the key stop.
The Sharks are winning better than 60 percent of their faceoffs, a nice return to form from last season.
A funny moment as Marleau seemed to view an opening to enter the zone, but it closed up with too many Thrashers (literally). A too many men penalty was called giving the Sharks an early third period power play. Mason brilliantly uses his pads to prevent Marleau from jamming one in on the door step and the power play expired.
Early in the third, Atlanta is forcing some of their best sustained pressure. Not an ideal start, but still lots of time to go.
Despite the 17 extra shots, the game is even at two with 40 minutes in the books.
Murray lined up a puck moving Byfuglien, but the Atlanta blueliner pulled up at the last minute or the collision of mass may have registered on the Richter scale.
With Kane driving the net, Murray forced him to the ice to the roar of the HP Pavilion faithful.
Atlanta has tied it at two. A perfectly placed shot by Stewart rang off the inside of the pipe and in. The shots are 25-11, but it’s even on the scoreboard.
Clowe sets up Couture below the faceoff circle, but the quick shot is just off track.
There was a nice acknowledgement of Round Table Pizza’s 20 years of partnering with the Sharks at the intermission. Right now the Sharks are outshooting the Thrashers 19-8 and are completely controlling play.
Atlanta gets on the board when a Niemi save rebounds off Boyle’s skate right to Ladd who pushed it in. It was a shortie for the visitors.
McLaren and Eager drop the gloves early in the second. Not a lot of punches landed, but McLaren took him to the ice. The Sharks also went on the power play.
San Jose has a 2-0 lead at the break and leads 12-4 on the shot clock. A nice start of the season for the home fans. Now the team just has to keep it up for 40 more minutes.
The fans are showing their bad memories from last season’s playoffs and are booing Dustin Byfuglien when he skates with the puck. The hulking Byfuglien is skating as a blueliner for the Thrashers.
Heatley gets a short breakaway, but with a d-man closing fast, his efforts for a second sail just wide.
With the clubs skating four-on-four, Mitchell fired one on net with Clowe driving in front and the puck went top shelf after Clowe redirected it.
The Sharks are getting 48 seconds of four-on-three time. It would have been five-on-three, but the ref whistled Setoguchi for diving. Then another Atlanta penalty did provide the five-on-three and with just three seconds remaining the Sharks power play scored its fifth tally of the season. This time it was Heatley hammering away in front for his first of the year.
The Giants just finished off Game 1 and you can tell as there is a buzz going through the building while Atlanta has the puck. The crowd truly gave their approval when all saw the score on the video board.
A blind, between the legs backhand pass by Mitchell somehow found Pavelski at the side of the net. Pavs could quite get all off it and the save was made, but it would have been on the highlight real all year and Thornton would have had a hard time topping the assist.
A Setoguchi shot went wide and hammered McGinn behind the net, but McGinn was able to skate through it.
Only one shot apiece recorded in the early going, but Mitchell and Pavelski just missed converting on a play where both drove the net.
The Game is underway and Thornton’s line gets the start with Boyle and Murray on the blueline.
Jumbo gets introduced to the home fans for the first time as the captain and he gets a well deserved cheer. When they were done introducing the players the banners for last year’s regular season Pacific Division and Western Conference champions were unveiled.Antti Niemi
leads the Sharks out of the Sharks head for the first time in a regular season game. The crowd is jacked up to start the 20th anniversary season. The player introductions are about to take place now.
A nice tribute to the 20th anniversary of the Sharks is running now with an impressive array of pictures and clips.
When the pregame video with Joe Thornton
went up on the video screen, the fans began cheering right away. They know what the captain gave them in the latest contract.
is skating in the warmups, but the six regulars are out there.
The Sharks technically have one home game under their belt, but this is the first at HP Pavilion and the fans were a little louder than normal when the club skated out for warmups.