San Jose scraped and clawed for any way to find a goal Thursday night and while they may not have been able to score one five-on-five after 38 shots, they did manage a five-on-three power play goal and then a victory via the shootout.
“Two points are two points,” Joe Thornton
said. “It was just a weird fame right from the start. We’ll get better, but a good two points.”
“We haven’t been scoring a lot of goals obviously, it took to the end of the shootout,” Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan said. “Two points are in the bank and it hasn’t been happening often enough so we’ll take it tonight.”
The win gives San Jose five of the last possible six points at home and has them creeping up in the Western Conference standings.Dan Boyle
was the hero of the night as his power play goal is what forced overtime and then his backhander in the shootout was the difference. With the goal, he now has a three-game point streak.
“Five on three, we’ve got to score there, especially when it’s one of those nights when we’re not scoring five-on-five,” Boyle said. “It wasn’t anything special, just a shot the goalie didn’t see.”
The shootout was the first of the season for San Jose, dropping New York to 0-2 in the format, and Antero Niittymaki showed he can hold his own after overtime.
“On the first one, the guy made a nice move and just missed the net,” Niittymaki said. “He had a little room to shoot. The other guy, when I was in Philly, I saw the same guy in plenty of shootouts. He’s gone to it plenty of times. He’s good at it. He made a nice move, but I was able to get it.”
Niittymaki said he’s a fan of the shootout . . . in certain circumstances.
“I think it’s fun when you win, it sucks when you lose,” Niittymaki joked. “I’d rather win it in regulation or overtime, but I think it’s good for the fans.”
What Niittymaki has been doing it helping San Jose accrue points.
“He’s been playing great. He’s been giving us a chance to win and so has Nemo. Niitty’s been playing well and we’ve got to ride him right now,” Thornton said.
“Niitty made a couple of really good saves in the shootout and we made a couple of real good moves at the end, and we have an extra point in the bank,” McLellan said.
Thornton’s presence was noticed as he helped with the power play goal, but he felt he will be a little better after shaking off the rust.
“The timing was a little bit off,” Thornton said. “That’s to be expected, but it was nice to get back there and compete with the guys. I’ll be better the next game.”
The Sharks likely would have won in regulation had a goal by Joe Pavelski
counted. The ref ruled that Dwayne Roloson’s path back to the crease was obstructed by Logan Couture
and waived off the tally.
“I understand the ruling, I don’t have to agree with it,” McLellan said. “I certainly understand what I was told, the goaltender has to have the ability to get back into the crease without any type of interference. It’s a call on the referee’s behalf, he made the call and we have to live with it and move on.”
“It’s the call they make and that’s all it is,” Pavelski said.
ISLANDERS HEAD COACH SCOTT GORDON
“Although we did not have the territorial play, we did outshoot them in the third period. We did not give them a lot, even though they kept coming. We did a good job on defending in our zone and not allowing any opportunities at all.”
“I thought all of our guys competed hard in the defensive zone. We did not give them a lot of time and space.”
“There are some things that we are doing a lot better, but scoring has obviously been a problem for us. Overall, I think we need to do a better job of getting the puck to the net.”
The Sharks will host Calgary Saturday at 7 p.m. and tickets can be found at www.ticketmaster.com and the HP Pavilion Ticket Office. The contest will be carried on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and www.sjsharks.com.