On a night where goals were hard to come by, Ryane Clowe
game across two of them, marking his first two-goal game of the season and extending his point streak to four games. Prior to the contest he was honored as the club’s player of the month for November and he showed he was not stopping in December.
“We were trying to get a lot of shots,” Clowe said. “They were really tight in the D zone and it was hard to generate good opportunities. There wasn’t a lot of sustained pressure by either team.”
Clowe scored a picture perfect goal to win the contest, but did not see things developing that way in the last period.
“I had a feeling if it was going to be over in the third, it was going to be one of those goals that was kind of ugly,” Clowe said. “A bad bounce off a turnover or something.”
Clowe was happy to put the icing on the cake with his sudden death winner.
“My first goal was a hard save to make because it got up quick and it was kind of a bang-bang play,” Clowe said. “Benny made a nice play to me to start (the winner) off, he turned a three-on-two into a good scoring chance. That was a hell of a pass (from Vlasic). I got some on it, but it was kind of in the middle of the net. More of a get it off quick. Pickles did a good job of selling him because he was still on the back post. It was nice it went in.”
Looking from his goal crease Antti Niemi
saw the play develop perfectly.
“It was great,” Niemi said. “It was going to end soon and possibly be a shootout. I saw Clowe coming on the other side and hoping there would be a pass.”
Clowe and his linemates played another strong game.
“I liked that line (Ryane Clowe
-Logan Couture- Benn Ferriero
) again,” McLellan said. “Clowe did a lot of the grunt work. (Couture) looked very sharp and had strong legs skating. (Ferriero) was very effective, better than he has been the last two games. It was nice to see Clowe get the goals. He’s done a lot of work for out club and it’s nice for him to be rewarded.”
Niemi won again at HP Pavilion against his former club and has now won three of his last four games. He posted a first as a Sharks players during the contest.
“It’s the first overtime win of the season for me,” Niemi said. “It’s a great atmosphere.”
That he beat Chicago was not lost on the summer netminding pickup.
“Even better,” Niemi quipped. “I felt pretty good before the game, not over excited like last time.”
“He was sound the last time we played Chicago and he was good tonight,” Clowe said. “I thought we did a pretty good job around him.”
OFFENSIVE CHARGEMarc-Edouard Vlasic
had zero assists on the season prior to the contest, but he helped set up both tallies Saturday night and it made for his first multi-point game of the season.
HELPING OUTJustin Braun
earned an assist on Clowe’s game-winner. He now has points in six of his last eight games (1+6=7). Braun’s seven points in his first nine games places him fifth in the NHL in rookie defenseman scoring.
Sharks Coach Todd McLellan liked how his club pushed through in a difficult game.
“It was one of those nights where I don’t think they were as sharp as they wanted to be, I know our team wasn’t,” McLellan said. “The good sign is we found our legs a little bit later in the game and found a way to win a game that was tough to play.”
McLellan played a bit of gamesmanship as his game time lines were different from that of the morning skate.
“They are a very good matching team, our lines weren’t even the same at the end of the game as they were in the begging on the night,” McLellan said. “We made a change on a whim, trying to find a combination of guys that were going”
BLACKHAWKS HEAD COACH JOEL QUENNEVILLE
“It was one of those plays where sometimes it goes against you. But we can’t really complain because sometimes you get quick whistles.”
“Johnny (Toews)had a big game and Jack (Skille) put it to the net a couple of times. They were dangerous off the rush. Johnny had the puck a lot tonight. He was dangerous one-on-one.”
“I thought he played great. I think you could argue that might have been his best game. He’s the reason we got a point. He made two or three saves that looked like they were empty netters. His anticipation was there. He was sharp and quick and big.”
San Jose will host Dallas Monday at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The game can be found on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and www.sjsharks.com.