Sharks Run Win Streak To Four, Shutout Columbus 3-0
/ San Jose Sharks
Joe Thornton's goal with 3:02 remaining in the first period held up to be the eventual game-winning goal as the Sharks posted their fourth shutout in the past seven games, defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 on Friday night in San Jose.
Click here for video highlights from Friday’s game.
San Jose looked to extend their three-game winning streak with the Columbus Blue Jackets in town. The Sharks were without Mike Grier as he and his wife celebrated the birth of a baby daughter on Friday.
Vesa Toskala did return to action and squared off opposite Fredrik Norrena. The Sharks Finnish netminder was tested with three early Columbus shots, but looked sharp in stopping them all.
Team Teal would have the game’s first power play opportunity when Rick Nash hooked Kyle McLaren. The best scoring chance came when Columbus’ David Vyborny skated in on a semi-breakaway, but a quickly closing Marc-Edouard Vlasic and a smart play by Toskala kept the game scoreless.
Joe Pavelski’s hard work put San Jose on a second power play with nine left in the first when he forced Sergei Fedorov into a hooking penalty (Fedorov was manning the blueline for the evening).
With 3:45 left in the opening stanza, Nash was headed for a breakaway effort, but a hard skating Scott Hannan was able to reach around and knock the puck loose before a shot could be taken.
The Sharks offense used it as an opportunity to take the charge. Strong board work by Milan Michalek allowed Craig Rivet to find Joe Thornton in the high slot. The deft passer took the opportunity to shoot and he beat Norrena to the glove side for the 1-0 lead.
The Sharks would take the one goal lead to the intermission.
The second period action began right away with a big hit by Thornton and three scoring chances, including a loud post shot by Columbus. Then Marc Methot hooked Marcel Goc and the power play unit stepped on. However, the penalty was negated by a Cheechoo penalty 1:15 into the advantage.
Action was limited until late in the middle period when Columbus went on their second power play, but Toskala was their each and every time.
Then with one minute left in the period, Ryane Clowe provided the two-goal lead. He simply fired a shot on net from 30 feet out and Norrena misplayed it.
Team Teal was up 2-0 after 40 minutes.
In the third, Columbus was pressing, but Toskala wasn’t being tested too hard. On the other end, Norrena had to come up with a huge pad stack save on a Michalek breakaway.
With 2:10 to go in the game, Steve Bernier was whistled for holding, opening the door for the Blue Jackets. But it was Toskala's night and Hannan sealed the game with a 199-foot, shorthanded empty-net goal with olny 39 seconds remaining as the Sharks were victorious with the 3-0 win.
NEXT GAME The Sharks will hit the road for a Sunday 5 p.m. contest at Colorado, the first of a four-game road swing that will also visit Chicago, Atlanta and Carolina. The Avalanche is available on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.