The Sharks dominated Phoenix physically and on the scoreboard on Thursday night, downing the Coyotes 5-2 at HP Pavilion at San Jose.
for video highlights from Thursday’s game.
San Jose took to the ice against Phoenix looking to take their seventh victory in eight contests. Team Teal was forced to go without Kyle McLaren who had his knee scoped the other day.
A neutral zone turnover allowed Phoenix to jump on the early lead. Taking the feed Kevyn Adams on a two-on-one, Fredrik Sjostrom blasted a slap shot to the far post, just out of Vesa Toskala’s reach. The Sharks would be forced to rally for the victory.
Halfway into the opening period, Josh Gratton made the mistake of challenging Rob Davison to a fight. Davison knocked him to the ice with an initial punch, but Gratton quickly rose to his feet. Then Davison and the Phoenix heavyweight held each other looking for an advantage and that is what Davison did, landed two huge blows and sending Gratton to the ice again.
The physical play continued when Phoenix captain Shane Doan looked to skate the puck from the defensive zone and found himself on the same track as Doug Murray. The hulking Swedish blueliner flattened Doan and some pushing and shoving occurred, resulting in a Sharks power play.
San Jose did not capitalize on that opportunity, but with 6:03 left in the first, strong board work by Joe Thornton
and Ryane Clowe
forced the puck to the point. Marc-Edouard Vlasic
ripped into the puck and Patrick Marleau
tipped it out front. The puck took an indirect route to the net as it needed a second redirect from the Ed Jovanovski’s skate before it angled in. The how didn’t matter as the Captain’s hard work out front had tied the contest.
The first period would conclude tied at one.
The second period opened with the same intensity with which the first period closed.
Unlike the Coyotes, the Sharks seemed more concerned with putting the puck in the net rather than running around with irrelevant hits. After a couple of close calls, Milan Michalek found the puck under a scrum and tucked it across the goal line for the Sharks first lead of the night.
Team Teal’s hard work continued when Oleg Saprykin was forced to take a minor penalty, putting the Sharks up a man. It was Phoenix who nearly converted offensively. A turnover sent the Yotes in two-on-one and when Doan received the pass, his release appeared destined for a goal – to everyone but Toskala. The Finnish netminder slid over just enough and snagged the shot with his glove hand to the delight of the sold out HP Pavilion.
Clowe scored the Sharks next goal by putting himself in the right position, but the play was entirely created by Thornton . The NHL’s Hart Trophy winner dangled through two Phoenix defenders, allowing Clowe and Marleau to stand unattended in front of and to the side of the net. The puck found Clowe first and he knocked it between Mikael Tellqvist’s legs for his 12th of the year.
San Jose took their 3-1 lead into the second intermission.
Before any goals were scored in the third, more big hits were delivered, including another by Murray . This time the rugged blueliner lined up Mike Zigomanis who had his head down looking for the puck. Suffice it to say that Zigomanis joined the puck on the ice.
Jeremy Roenick set up a second Phoenix tally early in their third when he carried the puck around the net. He found Sjostrom around the slot and his one-timer found the top of the net.
San Jose would not wait long to get the goal back. Just past the 10 minute mark of the final stanza, Mark Smith was circling in the Phoenix zone when he dished it to Mike Grier. Smith found the opportune time to change from the long shift, but his work was done. Grier handed the puck off to Carle at the point and the Anchorage native slapped it past Tellqvist.
San Jose will conclude the pre All-Star portion of their schedule with a Saturday night affair against the Blues at HP Pavilion. Limited tickets are still available at the HP Pavilion Box Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The game will be carried by FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.
|FINAL ||1 ||2 ||3 ||T |
| ||Phoenix ||1 ||0 ||1 ||2 |
| ||San Jose ||1 ||2 ||2 ||5 || |
|PHX: ||SJOSTROM, F. (06:14 in 1st), ROCHE, T. (05:16 in 3rd) |
|SJS: ||MARLEAU, P. (13:57 in 1st), MICHALEK, M. (01:52 in 2nd), CLOWE, R. (09:52 in 2nd), CARLE, M. (10:40 in 3rd), THORNTON, J. (19:31 in 3rd) |