San Jose has enjoyed their home cooking in the first four games of the current five game run at HP Pavilion. They have accumulated seven of eight points and will conclude the homestand Monday night against arch rival Los Angeles.
“Any time you get two points, it’s a good thing,” Joe Thornton
said. “I think we’ve been playing better. It also helps being at home for so many games like we have been. We’re winning some games and using the home ice to our advantage.”
“It’s a good thing and what we need on any homestand,” Joe Pavelski
said. “No one in here is satisfied because he haven’t done it the way we wanted to.”
On Saturday, it was the line of Logan Couture
, Ryane Clowe
and Pavelski that led the way, with each member recording a goal. Couture contributed a career high three points.
“They’ve been our best line for the last three or four games,” Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan said. “I think it was really evident tonight. If you’ve been playing really hard and doing the right things as they have, eventually you will get rewarded. I give them credit for sticking with it.”
“They played well,” Thornton stated. “They been skating well as of late, but just hadn’t been putting the puck in the back of the net. Tonight they executed and ultimately they won the game for us.”
For Pavelski and Clowe the goals ended eight-game goal less streaks.
“The shot total was up and there were some looks out there. We could have had four or five out there,” Pavelski said. “It’s good to see them go in. I still can’t believe a few more didn’t go in. You get greedy, when you get one you want more. We need to keep creating those opportunities.”
The group has only been together a few games, but they seem like old friends reunited.
“(Logan) definitely brings a lot of speed and makes a lot of plays. Clowe is a big body on the forecheck,” Pavelski said. “It’s been a good thing so far, but it has to be an every night thing.”
“We’ve created chances every game we’ve been together,” Couture said. “They are two gifted players and I’m trying to take advantage of it. Clowe is great on the wall. Pavs is a great playmaker and a goal scorer as well. It was great to see him get on the board tonight.”
Leading the club with six goals apiece are Joe Thornton
, Patrick Marleau
, Dany Heatley and Couture. Great company for the rookie.
“That’s pretty cool to have the same amount of goals as those guys,” Couture said. “Things have been going well for me since the beginning of the year. Hopefully it can continue. I felt like the puck was following us around tonight in the offensive zone. We had a lot of chances, a couple of open nets where we probably should have scored. It’s good to have the games where you get 10 (chances) and nice to score a couple of them.”
Sharks netminder Antti Niemi
goes by the nickname “Nemo” and he found a nice win Saturday, his first since the Sharks opening contest in Sweden.
“It’s been a while, so it feels just great,” Niemi stated. “I think we’ve been trying to train well, the basic things. It has been good for me.”
Niemi hadn’t been blessed with a lot of goal support in every start, but tonight he had the necessary goals to help the cause.
“The last few, we haven’t given those guys the right kind of support and he’s been on the back end of that,” Pavelski said. “The games he has played, he’s given us a chance to win and we haven’t come through with any goals. It was good tonight to get a few for him.”
San Jose had to deal without Douglas Murray
for a portion of the third period.
“I don’t’ know how he is, he missed the last 14-15 minutes of the period and that affected us,” McLellan noted.
The Sharks like about everything from Saturday night except for the seven minor penalties.
“We got in a lot of penalty troubles and that took a lot of guys out of their groove,” Thornton said.
The penalty killers, with Niemi in the crease, helped preserved the victory.
“We did a great job and sometimes when the PK does a great job, it’s easy for a goalie and it keeps you in the game too,” Niemi said.
“I thought the penalty kill did a tremendous job today,” McLellan said. “It had to work far too many times again. Just some not very smart plays that put us in the situation. We’re playing hard enough, we’re competing hard enough, we have to get the frustration out of our game. It comes with doing it right for 60 minutes. We’re a work in progress and we’ll continue on Monday against a very good team.”
With an assist in the first period, Dan Boyle
extended his point streak to four games (1+4=5). Clowe’s first helper of the night was the 100th assist of his career.
FLAMES HEAD COACH BRENT SUTTER
“There were mental mistakes. Mistakes that were made due to a lack of intelligence when playing the game tonight. The other night it cost us in a one goal game where our puck management wasn’t good in certain areas. Then you give up quality scoring chances and the puck goes in the net.”
“Again when games are tight like this you can’t afford to make those mental mistakes like the ones that cost us here in both of the last two games. You can’t have those breakdowns”
San Jose will host Los Angeles Monday night in a Pacific Division showdown at 7:30 p.m. at HP Pavilion and tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The contest will be carried on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and www.sjsharks.com.