San Jose’s contest with Vancouver had just about everything one could ask for, minus the end victory for the home club. Two of the top three clubs in the west battled for every inch of ice. The Sharks rallied three times to tie the game. Plus, there was the excitement generated by the overtime and shootout in a 5-4 Vancouver victory.
The Canucks jumped out to the 2-0 lead in the first period, but then the Sharks began showing their heart. They ended up with one point for their overall effort, but showed much more drive than that.
“I’m happy with the effort, disappointed with the result,” Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan said. “The fact that we were able to come from behind three times against a team of that caliber, we have to be happy with that. It was a hell of a hockey game, I thought both teams played extremely well.”
San Jose turned on the jets in the final two periods, plus the overtime, and pasted Vancouver with 42 shots after the first stanza.
“It didn’t start the way we wanted it to,” McLellan said. ‘We showed a lot of character in competing and working our way back into the game. I think we made a couple of small adjustments and the guys talked about it between periods. I thought as the second period wore on we got better.”
“I thought after the first period we played an excellent game,” Joe Thornton
said. “For us to come back like we did time and time again, we showed good resilience. It sucks we don’t get the extra point, but I thought we played really well tonight.”
sent the game into overtime with a tap in out front and nearly ended it in overtime with a similar opportunity.
“Any time we pull that goalie, that’s my job to be there net front,” Clowe said. “Look for any garbage goals. That wasn’t a garbage goal. That was hell of a play by Heater to Jumbo who just one-touched it over to me. All I had to do was get it over his pad and in overtime I had the exact same play. I think he got it with his blocker or the top of his pad.”
had gone 19 games without a goal, but he came up with a big one late to tie the affair at three. He skated through four defenders before pumping one past Cory Schneider.
“They gave me a little space there in the neutral zone and I took advantage of it,” Mitchell said. “It was a quick shot and I don’t think Cory was ready for it. It had been a while since I scored.”
From the players to the fans, there was a postseason feel to the contest.
“Absolutely. It was a very hard game playing along the boards and the (front of the) net,” McLellan said. “Very competitive. I thought the crowd was very much like a playoff crowd. It always is here in San Jose, but tonight it went up a few decibals.”
The Sharks allowed a couple of power play goals and they know that was a factor in the game.
“They got two, we got one,” McLellan said. “We’d like to be ahead there. One of the best penalty killing unites in the league and we ended up with 16 or 17 shots on goal. We’ll take that from our power play.”
posted two assists and is 1st on the franchise’s all-time assist list (401). He now has 987 career points and took sole possession of 79th place on the NHL All-time Points List.
9 FOR 9
Setoguchi scored his 19th goal of the season and has nine points (7-2=9) in the last nine games
The Sharks set a franchise record with nine shots on goal in the overtime period.
CANUCKS HEAD COACH ALAIN VIGNEAULT
“I thought our first period was really solid at both ends of the rink. In the second and third they played really strong and their power play gave them momentum.”
“Schneider was the difference in a lot of those moments in the second and third period.”
“It was an entertaining game, but for parts of the game we could have played better than we did tonight.”
The Sharks will host the New York Rangers Saturday at 7:30 and tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The game will be on CSN California, 98.5/102.1 KFOX and www.sjsharks.com.