It was a rare meeting between the Sharks and Senators on Saturday night as the two squads only meeting in San Jose this season. Thanks to realignment, Sharks fans will get to see every NHL team come to the SAP Center this year and there was definite hope that Ottawa coming to town would result like the most recent Eastern Conference visit by the New York Rangers.
Ottawa also meant a few familiar faces were in town. Logan Couture spent his junior hockey days playing for the Ottawa 67's.
The biggest lineup news of the morning might have been that the Senators opted for their #2 netminder.
It was also a unique game because of some special guests hosted for the night. Attention turned to an even bigger battle than what would take place at 7PM. It was time to drop the gloves and join in as #HockeyFightsCancer. The guests were treated to a pre-game tour, enjoyed the game from a suite and met with the players after the game.
Cancer patients and survivors, as well as doctors and staff were on hand from El Camino Hospital and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) October 13, 2013
In order to make it a perfect night for #HockeyFightsCancer, the Sharks needed to come out on top, a task that was not easily achieved.
So the game begins... and this quickly happens.
The Sens would go on to score two goals later in the period, but to no lack of effort from Antti Niemi who put forth a solid night.
This game was turning in to a challenge that the Sharks had not seen since opening night.
Hope was dim until...
Momentum began to swing the other way...
priorities were challenged...
...and wild accusations were made.
The Third period skated by in a tie for the first half. Then Burnzie tested out his slap shot velocity from about two feet out.
So the Sharks were back in the lead and a bit of optimism peaked through the rafters. While those on the outside acknowledged the situation.
It was perhaps the Sharks best challenge of the young season and one both players and media continued to recognize postgame.
But in the end, the important battle is one that has not been won or lost yet. It will continue to wage on and those that played and cheered for both the Sharks and Senators will be there to assist as #HockeyFightsCancer.
Jason Demers rocking the pink suit in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.