With less than five minutes remaining in the second period Thursday night, the Sharks led Anaheim by just one goal. At that point they provided some cushion and increased the lead to 2-0. In the third when Anaheim had again pulled within one, the Sharks earned some power play success with less than seven minutes to go in regulation and again pushed the lead to two goals. That led to a fourth tally and the Sharks had found that extra goal that had eluded them recently.
“It looked like the couple of days off worked,” said Joe Thornton
. “It was nice to get a win at home.”
“We needed to close out the game and the other thing that needed to get going was the power play,” said Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan.
The power play was assisted by a forward stepping up on the backend.
“I thought Pavs on the blueline helped,” said McLellan. “I thought the power play was dangerous when we were out there.”
SETO BREAKS THROUGH
Devin Setoguchi scored his first goal in seven games since returning from an injury and his linemates were very happy for him.
“It was just a matter of time before Seto started scoring,” said Thornton.
“We had good chemistry last year and it was nice, he had one heck of a goal tonight,” said Patrick Marleau
Setoguchi was personally relieved, especially considering he missed one with the goalie out of position at one point.
“Obviously I was relieved,” said Setoguchi. “I had a lot of chances and finally one went in the net. As of lately, I felt like I was skating better. I missed it (on the open net) and had to shake it off.”
McLellan said Setoguchi’s play and goal may have him back in the right frame of mind.
“He should leave tonight fairly confident,” said McLellan. “He got on the scoreboard, but more importantly he is playing well.”
On a late first period power play, the Sharks won six consecutive faceoffs before the period came to a close. For the period, Team Teal captured 58 percent of the battles. Joe Pavelski
led the way with three wins, but San Jose could not find the opening tally at that point. Still, the power play was impressive.
“I thought on that first power play we created a lot of offense,” said Thornton. “That’s how important faceoffs are.”
“It (a faceoff) is a strength of ours,” said McLellan. “The nice thing is we put the puck to the net and eventually the shots will go in. You lose two of those (six) and they kill off most of the power play.”
Whose GOAL IS IT ANYWAY
On the Sharks first goal of the game, Patrick Marleau
took the shot and was initially credited with the tally. However, on the play, Joe Thornton
had skated in front of Guigere. In the end he was more than just a distraction as it was Thornton who tipped the puck through the five hole.
While Thornton created the tip in front on that one, Marleau earned a late power play goal by tipping one of his own out front.
“The first one, Joe was in front and got a piece of it,” said Marleau. “On the other, (Murray) got his shot through and I got a piece of it. I think we got back to doing the things we need to do.”
“I think the group did a good job,” said Evgeni Nabokov. “We still pushed the pace.”
There was a little unnecessary targeting of Dany Heatley at one point and Ryane Clowe
informed Sheldon Brookbank that he would have none of it by handling him in a fight.
“Clowe did what a good teammate would do when they took a run at Heater,” said McLellan. “We have a team that can play any style you want.”
Anaheim’s frustrations continued to mount when Corey Perry took a run at Douglas Murray
a minute later. The Ducks leading scorer bounced off the hulking Swede like a rag doll.
Thornton was asked if people will ever figure out that hitting Murray will only affect themselves.
“It’s like hitting a brick wall,” said Thornton.
4 POINT NIGHT
Thornton scored and assisted on the other three Sharks tallies.
The Sharks gave up an early third period goal and Anaheim was controlling the play in the offensive zone for most of the period’s first three minutes when McLellan decided to use his timeout.
“They came very hard and we were scrambling and had to settle things down,” said McLellan. “We’re a very good hockey club and we don’t need to be uptight in those situations.”
With 6:20 to go in the first period Torrey Mitchell
skated in alone on Jean-Sebastien Giguere. He was turned away, but due to a penalty from behind, the penalty shot was awarded. Mitchell skated in, but Giguere closed the five-hole at the last second to prevent the tally.
made his lineup return after last playing in an NHL game on November 27.
LOCAL SUCCESS STORY
Paula Romanchuk, a local skater from Sharks Ice, has been selected as a member of the ECAC All Star team - an honor that will find her playing a game on January 3, 2010 against the US Women's Olympic hockey team. As part of their preparation for the Olympics, the USA team is playing exhibition games against the top conferences around the United States.
The Sharks will visit Dallas on Monday at 5:30 p.m. and the game will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.