for video highlights from Saturday’s game.
The Sharks wrapped up their four-game road trip in Raleigh, North Carolina on Saturday with an early evening matchup against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Carolina Hurricanes.
Former Shark Ray Whitney got the scoring underway just 5:36 into the first period. Whitney forced a turnover in the Sharks zone, then walked into the slot and ripped a top-shelf shot past Evgeni Nabokov for the 1-0 lead.
Just 57 seconds after Whitney gave Carolina the early lead, Erik Cole extended the Hurricanes lead. Cole gathered a fortuitous bounce off the end boards behind Nabokov and snapped the puck home for the 2-0 lead just 6:33 into the game.
The Sharks had a pair of power play chances to cut into the Carolina lead, but goaltender Cam Ward made some key saves to preserve the 2-0 lead. Ward had not started a game since March 9.
Carolina continued to pour it on and with 1:57 remaining in the first, Andrew Ladd made it 3-0. Scott Walker picked up the puck and skated around the Sharks defense. Walker made a pass to Glen Wesley who fired a shot on net. Nabokov made the initial save, but Ladd cleaned up the rebound for the 3-0 Carolina lead.
The Hurricanes nearly made it a 4-0 game in the closing seconds of the first. Scott Hannan went deep into the San Jose zone to gather the puck, then lost an edge and fell to the ice. The puck skipped off Hannan’s stick and sent the Hurricanes in on Nabokov two-on-none. Nabokov made the save and the Sharks killed the remaining time in the first.
After one period of play, the Hurricanes lead the Sharks 3-0.
Vesa Toskala replaced Nabokov to open the second in a move by Ron Wilson to shake up his team.
While the Sharks looked to get back in the game, they inadvertently opened the door for Carolina. Both Craig Rivet and Jonathan Cheechoo were whistled for minor penalties, sending the Hurricanes on a five-on-three. But the San Jose penalty killers rose to the occasion keeping the deficit at three.
Bill Guerin cut the margin to 3-1 on the power play, taking advantage of a tape-to-tape pass from Captain Patrick Marleau
and a textbook screen by Mark Bell to ping the one-timer off the post and past Ward. Guerin’s seventh goal in his past seven games made it 3-1 with 13:11 remaining in the second.
With 7:31 remaining in the second, Eric Staal restored the three-goal cushion with a brilliant individual effort. Staal gathered the puck in the neutral zone, and then made a superb one-on-one move on Marc-Edouard Vlasic
before beating Toskala five-hole.
With 5:18 to go in the second, the Sharks looked poised to make it a 4-2 game when Cheechoo found himself with an open net and Ward scrambling on the ice. Cheechoo lifted the backhand shot towards the net, but Ward made a huge save keeping it a 4-1 game.
After 40 minutes of play, the Sharks trailed 4-1.
San Jose came out of the locker room for the third period on a mission. Cheechoo again found himself with the puck at the Hurricanes net with Ward sprawled out on the ice, but this time he buried the shot to make it 4-2.
With 17:18 to go in the third, Joe Thornton
passed the puck to Rivet for the shot from the point. Cheechoo deflected Rivet’s shot, but Ward made the initial save. Cheechoo found the rebound however and cut the Hurricanes lead to two.
Steve Bernier made it a one-goal game at the midpoint of the third and the Sharks clearly had all the momentum. Joe Pavelski
dumped the puck in from center, then chased it down and forced Rod Brind’Amour to turn the puck over. Mike Grier gathered the turnover then fed Bernier for the goal.
The Sharks continued to threaten, but a critical double-minor called on Guerin for high-sticking slowed San Jose’s comeback efforts. On the ensuing power play, Ladd scored his second of the game making it 5-3 and seemingly sealing the game for Carolina.
The Sharks would not fade that easily however and on the very next shift, Cheechoo drew another power play. Just six seconds after Cheechoo drew the penalty, Thornton made it a 5-4 game. Thornton won the faceoff back to Rivet who dished the puck. Marleau received Rivet’s pass, then made a cross-ice feed to Thornton who buried the one-time slapshot in past Ward.
The Sharks threatened in the final minute but were unable to solve Ward for the equalizer. Corey Stillman, who was shaken up in a collision in the first period, returned to seal the game with an empty-net goal with four seconds remaining in the game.
SCORING RACE HEATS UP
With his goal and assist on Saturday, Joe Thornton
extended his point streak to 10 games (5-17=22). Thornton now has 104 points this season and pulled within four points of Sidney Crosby for the NHL’s scoring title. Crosby, who was shutout in Pittsburgh’s 2-1 win over Atlanta on Saturday, currently sits in first place with 108 points.
Michalek – Thornton – Cheechoo
Bell – Marleau – Guerin
Clowe – Goc – Bernier
Grier – Brown – Pavelski
Hannan – Vlasic
Carle – Rivet
McLaren – Ehrhoff
Nabokov – Toskala
The Sharks return home from their four-game road trip and will face the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night in San Jose. Game time is set for 7:30 PM (Pacific) and will be broadcast on FSN Bay Area, KFOX 98.5 FM, Sharks Radio Network Affiliates and SJSHARKS.com.
|FINAL ||1 ||2 ||3 ||T |
| ||San Jose ||0 ||1 ||3 ||4 |
| ||Carolina ||3 ||1 ||2 ||6 || |
|SJS: ||GUERIN, B. (PPG, 06:49 in 2nd), CHEECHOO, J. (02:42 in 3rd), BERNIER, S. (10:11 in 3rd), THORNTON, J. (PPG, 18:04 in 3rd) |
|CAR: ||WHITNEY, R. (05:36 in 1st), COLE, E. (06:33 in 1st), LADD, A. (18:03 in 1st), STAAL, E. (12:29 in 2nd), LADD, A. (PPG, 17:40 in 3rd), STILLMAN, C. (19:56 in 3rd) |