Saturday's season home opener against the Boston Bruins was full of surprises. During the pregame warm ups, the power went out, leaving HP Pavilion in the dark. Then after the Sharks tied the game at one with 38 seconds remaining in the third, Boston came right back to score the go-ahead-goal at 19:48 leaving HP Pavilion speechless.
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The big story surrounding this home opener was Joe Thornton
playing in his first contest in San Jose against his old club. Big Joe had an assist on Milan Michalek's game tying goal, but ironically enough, it was Marco Sturm, the former Shark who was sent to Boston in the Thornton deal, who tallied assists on both the Bruins goals.
To start the game, Ron Wilson rolled out Patrick Marleau
, Steve Bernier and Milan Michalek up front alongside defensemen Matt Carle and Craig Rivet. Despite the more than 20 minute delay in the start, the crowd was loud the moment the puck dropped.
San Jose took to the early power play when former Sharks player Marco Sturm as sent to the box. San Jose did not score, but Matt Carle did come up with two huge plays to keep the game scoreless.
Both clubs failed on their next power play opportunities, but with 3:37 left in the first, Boston’s Patrice Bergeron game up with the loose puck amid a scramble in front of Nabokov and proved the game’s first tally.
The visiting Bruins would take the first period lead to the lockerroom.
Scoring chances were few and far between early in the second, but Marleau and Michalek used some highlight moves that almost evened the score midway through the stanza. On a two-on-two rush, Marleau dropped a pass behind him that Michalek grabbed and he fired off a spin-o-rama shot that clanged off the post.
Boston was able to maintain their 1-0 lead after 40 minutes despite the Sharks holding them shotless for 20 minutes. It tied a Sharks franchise mark for fewest shots against in a period, previously accomplished in 1998 and 2002.
During a third period power play, Sharks saw another shot bounce the wrong way off the post. This time it was a grenade from Christian Ehrhoff at the point that sailed past Tim Thomas, but came back out the other side without crossing the line.
The Sharks continued to pressure for the tying tally and were the unlucky recipients of a third post at the 6:24.
With 3:24 remaining, Nabokov faced what must have seemed like Boston’s first scoring chance since the first period, but he turned away a Marc Savard two-on-one shot.
The Sharks would even things up at 19:22 on a Michalek wrist shot fed from Thornton behind the goal. With the score tied 1-1 and 38 seconds remaining, it looked like the game was headed to overtime.
Then when a Marc-Edouard Vlasic
clearing attempt deflected off the referee, the Bruins pounced on a lucky bounce and worked the puck around to Sturm at the point. Sturm took a wrist shot that Aaron Ward deflected past Nabokov for the game winning goal with twelve seconds remaining.
The Sharks are now 2-2-1.
The Sharks head back on the road for their match up against Vancouver on Monday night at 7 p.m. the game can caught on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.