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Scoring by committee
6 different Sharks score in rout
11/18/06 - by Mike Lee

The home Sharks looked nothing like the road Sharks on Saturday night at HP Pavilion. In their first game back since concluding a four game road-trip, the Sharks looked like a revitalized team that could score at will. San Jose jumped out to an early lead against the visiting Philadelphia Flyers, then went for the jugular before the game was half over in a 6-1 thrashing.

Six different Sharks tallied goals and Vesa Toskala cruised to his 10th win of the season in the happy homecoming after taking 3 of 4 on the road. The Sharks won those three road games by overcoming an absence of jump on the ice and a myriad of mistakes.

Philadelphia remedied that problem in hurry.

"We did a lot of the little things that we hadn't been doing," said Mike Grier. "We had guys driving to the net, we had guys putting pucks on the net and getting traffic. A lot of the games when we were getting outshot, we were not putting pucks on the net and driving the net and making it hard on the other team."

Grier would tally a short-handed goal in the opening period after Geoff Sanderson scored the Flyers lone goal of the game on a power play. Grier?s goal was a backbreaker for the Flyers, who moved the puck exceptionally well on the power play that setup Sanderson's goal. With Joe Thornton in the box, the Flyers could have knotted the game at 2-2 and swung the early momentum that San Jose established with goals by Patrick Rissmiller and Milan Michalek, but Grier's 5th of the season re-established the Sharks two goal lead.

"That short-handed goal really got us," said Fyers defenseman Mike Rathje, who made his first trip to San Jose since leaving the team in 2004. "It just killed our team."

Rismiller was credited with his 2nd tally of the season just 2:36 into the game when he tipped a Ville Nieminen blast from the point. Michalek scored a highlight reel goal on a fancy give-and-go play with Thornton two minute later. Michalek carried the puck into Philadelphia's zone before dropping the puck to Thornton who trailed the break. Michalek then broke for the net and tipped a 40-foot backhand pass from Thornton past Robert Esche.

Toskala would deny the Flyers later in the period when he made a series of circus saves in succession on a wild series. The Flyers forced Toskala to make a diving save on an R.J. Umberger wrister in tight, and had him dead to rights when the puck landed on defenseman Derrian Hatcher's stick, but Toskala waved at Hatcher's shot with his leg pad, denying the would be goal.

"I don't like those because those are kind of desperation saves," Toskala said. "Hopefully, I don't need a lot of those. ... I got lucky."

San Jose would carve up Esched in the 2nd period with another salvo of goals. The first should have chased Esche, but Flyers head coach John Stevens elected to stay with his netminder. The goal in question was a power play tally by Sharks defenseman Kyle McLaren at the 3:52 mark of the period. McLaren circled around the left dot before firing a shot at Esche that squeezed through an opening between the Flyers goaltender and left post. Esche may have been concerned with a possibility of a crossing pass, but giving up a goal to the strong side was soft.

"We're usually relying on one or two lines or one our two guys every single night to score," said McLaren. "Any time you have a chance to spread the scoring out from our first line to our fourth line and even our defense, it gives more confidence to the guys that haven't been scoring. Everybody did it tonight."

Esche surrendered his 5th of the night on a Ryan Clowe slap shot at the 9:22 mark after Patrick Marleau left a drop pass in the slot.

"They jumped out to a lead and outplayed us from the beginning," Flyers forward Peter Forsberg said. "We gave away too much speed in the neutral zone. They buried their chances but we couldn't do anything with ours."

Clowe would add an assist on a drop-pass of his own three minutes later, on Curtis Brown's 4th of the season.

Notes:

Mark Bell would have an eventful evening, squaring off with Ben Eager and Boyd Kane in separate fights. Kane went after Bell, following a boarding incident which left Flyers rookie Alexander Picard sprawled out on the ice. Picard would leave the game and not return.

Jonathan Cheechoo was a scratch and is listed as day-to-day after suffering a knee injry in Colorado on Wednesday.
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Scoring
1 2 3 T
PHI 1 0 0 1
SJ 3 3 0 6
1st period - 1, SJ, Rissmiller 2 (Nieminen, Goc), 2:36. 2, Michalek 9 (Thornton, McLaren), 4:46. 3, PHI, Sanderson 7 (Richards, Robitaille), 8:16, (pp). 4, SJ, Grier 5 (Brown), 10:24, (sh).
2nd period - 5, SJ, McLaren 3 (Vlassic, Rissmiller), 3:52, (pp). 6, SJ, Clowe 2 (Marleau, Bernier), 9:22. 7, SJ, Brown 4 (Clowe), 12:25
3rd period - None.
 
Penalties
1st period - Eager, PHI (fighting major), 5:27; Bell, SJ (fighting major), 5:27; Carle, SJ (slashing), 6:51; Thornton, SJ (boarding), 9:10.
2nd period - Kane, PHI (fighting major), 1:36; Kane, PHI (10 min misconduct), 1:36; Kane, PHI (instigator), 1:36; Bell, SJ (fighting major), 1:36; Bell, SJ (boarding), 1:36; Knuble, PHI (holding), 2:08; Robitaille, PHI (slashing), 5:22; Davison, SJ (roughing), 16:06; Bell, SJ (high sticking), 19:47.
3rd period - None.
Goaltending
  Shots Saves
PHI - Esche 18 12
PHI - Nittymaki 7 7
SJ - Toskala 18 17
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
PHI 5 4 9 18
SJ 11 8 6 25
Power Play Conversion
PHI 1 of 4
SJ 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Ryan Clowe
Patrick Rissmiller
Kyle McLaren
Attendence
17,496
Officials
Referees: Gord Dwyer, Rob Shick. Linesmen: Brian Mach, Pierre Racicot.

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