The San Jose Sharks rolled on Monday night, getting two goals on the power play on their way to a 4-0 shutout of the Phoenix Coyotes.
for video highlights from Monday’s game.
Vesa Toskala and Curtis Joseph squared off in the pipes for their respective clubs.
The home club came out buzzing with Jonathan Cheechoo and Marcel Goc testing CuJo early. Patrick Marleau
single-handedly drew two power plays in the game’s first six minutes. Despite a 6-1 shot advantage and a four to zip lead in scoring chances, the game remained just as it started.
Penalties three and four to the Coyotes were 18 seconds apart providing San Jose with 1:42 of five-on-three time. Despite substantial time in the offensive zone, Joseph and the Sharks were able to elude the NHL’s most effective power play.
Phoenix would get 1:11 of five-on-three time of their own with Mark Bell and Curtis Brown in the box. San Jose’s PK units responded just as Phoenix’s and kept the contest scoreless.
When Phoenix handed the Sharks a second five-on-three, the Sharks would connect. With his brother Zbynek Michalek in the box, Milan Michalek drilled home the always important first goal. Milan Michalek simply picked up a loose puck and scored the easy tally. The marker came on San Jose’s 22nd shot of the period.
The period ended with San Jose up 1-0.
The second began with a continued parade to the penalty box when Steve Bernier was whistled for boarding, but the penalty killers were up to the call again.
The Sharks were outshooting Phoenix 26-9 midway through the game but were still clinging to a 1-0 lead. It appeared that Phoenix was about to tie the contest when Toskala was down and Mike Comrie had the puck alone on the side. The shot was easily placed on net, but Toskala somehow reached out and prevented the goal.
With less than five to go in the second, San Jose’s hard work finally resulted in a little breathing room. A strong defensive play found Milan Michalek lead a rush and he fed Marleau down the left wing. The Captain patiently waited for the secondary rush and dropped the puck to Steve Bernier. The Quebec sharpshooter perfectly placed his shot to the upper right corner, setting off another celebration at HP Pavilion.
Two shots later they would make it 3-0 when Joe Pavelski
redirected a Thornton blast and the Sharks would take the commanding lead into the lockerroom.
Early in the third, San Jose once again benefited form the playmaking ability of Thornton. This time he carried the puck in the zone and when he regained control behind the net, fed Curtis Brown in the slot hit went top shelf for the tally, providing free Round Table pizza to everyone in HP Pavilion. The helper was Thornton’s eighth assist in the Sharks last nine goals.
The only question as the clock wound down was whether the Sharks could preserve the goose egg on the board and the Sharks made it a bit difficult by taking two minors in the last six minutes.
MARLEAU GAMES PLAYED
With the contest, Marleau tied Mike Rathje for the franchise record with 671 games played in teal.
6 ON NET
With six shots on Joseph in the first period, Thornton tied a franchise mark for shots in a stanza, one he now holds with 10 other players.
Owen Nolan returned to San Jose for the first time in a Coyotes uniform, along with former fan favorite Mike Ricci.
The Sharks will jump on a plane immediate following the game for a flight to Los Angeles to battle the Kings on Tuesday night. The game will be aired on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.