For the San Jose Sharks, their final home preseason game started slowly, but they quickly ramped it up in the second period and sealed the 4-3 victory in overtime.
Devin Setoguchi was moved up to the top line with Joe Thornton
and Patrick Marleau
for the night and he responded with some very evident hustle and a very important goal. Setoguchi finished third on the Sharks with four shots, but it was his third period wraparound goal that sent things to overtime and allowed Thornton to win it.
“We were fortunate to get a couple in,” said Setoguchi.
“It was good,” said Marleau of Setoguchi stepping up on the line. “He had a lot of jump and a lot of energy. He was first to a lot of pucks. He’s got speed and when he uses it, he’s dangerous.”
Setoguchi enjoyed the time on the top line, but is not resting on the laurels of one night of action.
“If you play with the top guys and you’re not producing, you’re not going to stay for long,” said Setoguchi. “It’s an honor.”
Each member of the trio hit the back of the net in the victory.
“It paid off for everyone,” said Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan. “Devin had a tremendous night. If I’m a player on this team, I’d work real hard to do anything I can to keep that position. That would be Seto right now.”Ryane Clowe
was also effective playing on a different line.
had a really good game in the situation he was in,” said McLellan.
San Jose outshot Phoenix 35-17 on the night and held Phoenix to just two shots in the second period. According to the Captain, the strong defense came from the strong puck possession.
“They go hand-in-hand,” said Marleau. “The guys were skating hard and we didn’t give up too many outnumbered shots.”
Each club scored a goal with a lot of open ice. Phoenix nabbed a tally during a crazy three-on-three situation and the Sharks won the contest playing four-on-four in overtime.
“We haven’t even talked about four-on-four and we sure haven’t talked about three-on-three,” said McLellan. “Sometimes it’s better to not talk about it. They play instead of thinking.”
When the overtime came, McLellan rolled out the duos of Marleau-Thornton and Pavelski-Michalek with the dividends quickly being paid.
Tomas Plihal was able to put the Sharks on the board and begin the rally. He and Jeremy Roenick seemed to click early and Plihal tied Rob Blake for the team lead with five shots.
NOT TOO EXCITED
McLellan enjoyed what he saw Tuesday night, but was very realistic about the opposition’s lineup.
“It was good, but we can’t be too optimistic,” said McLellan. “We had a veteran lineup and they had a younger lineup.”
San Jose trailed by two goals after the first, but they were playing physical. There were three big hits, with one each by Mike Grier, Mike Moore
Those weren’t the only hits as each club rang one off the post in the opening stanza.
The Sharks couldn’t convert on any of their five power play chances, but did create a lot of pressure. McLellan used the night to pair All-Stars Dan Boyle
and Rob Blake on the backend when up a man.
“We really wanted to see what those two can do,” said McLellan. “We liked what we saw. Dan has great vision and Rob is prepared and ready to shoot.”
The Sharks have completed the home section of their preseason schedule and will close things out with a Thursday battle in Vancouver and a Sunday contest against the Kings in Salt Lake City.
“We only have two more left to sharpen things up,” said Marleau.
Phoenix had a goal rightfully waived off with 1:02 left in regulation that likely would have changed the outcome.
The Sharks Foundation will sell Mystery Pucks at HP Pavilion on opening night. For $20, fans will receive a wrapped puck signed by a Sharks player, with the proceeds going to the Sharks Foundation.
VISITING HEAD COACH WAYNE GRETZKY
“We look forward to games like this, it’s a stepping stone for a lot of our young guys.”
“Montoya was playing so well and he’s had such a good training camp that he deserved an opportunity to stay in the net and finish out the game. I thought he was our best player.”
San Jose will visit Vancouver Thursday night in a 7 p.m. contest that will be available on 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.