SAN JOSE, Calif. --
The San Jose Sharks returned to action at home Sunday afternoon in their first game after clinching the Pacific Division title and continued their winning ways, topping Phoenix 3-1 behind two goals from Joe Thornton
, one from Curtis Brown and another stellar netminding job from Evgeni Nabokov.
Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson used the opportunity to rest Mike Grier and Devin Setoguchi while Ryane Clowe
jumped into his first game since suffering a major knee injury early this season.
Nabokov and Ilya Bryzgalov manned the nets for their respective teams.
It took Ryane Clowe
just 14 seconds to put his name on the score sheet with an assist. Joe Thornton
started the rush by dropping the puck Clowe and the winger ripped one that Bryzgalov couldn’t handle. The rebound sat in the slot and, with Milan Michalek tying everyone up, Thornton scooped in and pumped in the rebound.
Phoenix would even up the contest 6:33 in when Shane Doan corralled a rebound and put it in.
With 2:30 left in the opening stanza, Thornton posted goal number two. This time he simply ripped a shot from near the top of the left faceoff circle and it found its way inside the far post.
San Jose would maintain the 2-1 lead to the first intermission.
The second period did not lack for chances, but neither club could find the back of the net. San Jose outshot visiting Phoenix 17-5, but could not increase their lead. Several of the shots came in the final minutes of the stanza where one shot sat loose behind Bryzgalov before a defender cleared it.
After 40 minutes of action, the Sharks led by the same 2-1 margin they did after 20 minutes.
Team Teal would add to their lead as the third neared its midway point. A point pass by Brian Campbell to Curtis Brown in the slot was deftly deflected behind Bryzgalov, giving San Jose their first two-goal lead of the contest.
San Jose held strong in the closing moments as Phoenix tried to rally, but even with pulling Bryzgalov, they could not find a second goal and things finished 3-1. LINES
San Jose closes out their home schedule for 2007-08 Tuesday night against Los Angeles and the game will be on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com. Limited tickets are still available at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.sjsharks.com.