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3rd period comeback sparks win
Sharks stun Canadiens with a pair of goals late
3/4/10 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks post-Olympic hangover was still in affect on Thursday night, but a pair of 3rd period goals helped to snap them out of their funk and break a two-game losing streak. The Sharks battled back from a 3rd period deficit to a feisty Montreal Canadiens team at HP Pavilion. San Jose scored a short-handed, power play and standard goal to take a 3-2 win over the visiting Canadiens.

Montreal took the 1-0 lead at 10:12 of the opening period after Patrick Marleau coughed the puck up in his own zone. Scott Gomez intercepted Marleau's attempt at a feather pass near the left corner. Gomez dropped the puck back to Brian Gionta for the 40 foot slap shot that slipped just inside the left post.

Winger Benoit Pouliot almost made it 2-0 with 7 minutes to play in the period when his breakaway chance was snuffed out by Evgeni Nabokov. Pouliot's shot bounced off Nabokov and landed on Gionta's stick in the slot, but the Sharks netminder stopped the follow up chance by poking away the shot.

Joe Pavelski had a breakaway of his own with just under two minutes left before the first intermission, but Canadiens netminder Carey Price snared the high shot with his glove hand. San Jose would outshoot the Canadiens 15-11 in the opening period, but would trail by the lone goal.

Joe Thornton opened the 2nd period by taking a tripping penalty just 8 seconds in. With the Canadiens on the man advatage, Marleau created a short-handed chance but his shot sailed well above the net. He would chase down the reboudn and wind the puck around the end boards to Scott Nichol who then dropped it back to Rob Blake on the right point. As Marleau skated back through the slot, Blake cranked a shot from the blueline that Marleau tipped over Price's left shoulder to knot the game at 1-1.

The goal was Marleau's 4th short-handed tally of the season, and his 39th overall, a new career high.

The momentum shifted right back to Montreal after Nabokov let a seamingly routine shot from Scott Gomez slip right between his pads just over a minute later.

San Jose would not be as effective with the man advantage.

With the Sharks on a 4-on-3 power play late in the period, price lost his stick and when defenseman Hal Gill tried to hand it back to him. Gill realized the Sharks were collapsing on the goal, so he tossed the stick out into the slot, drawing a penalty shot.

Sharks head coach called on defenseman Dan Boyle to take the freebie, but his shot hit the crossbar. San Jose would fully squander the opportunity by misfiring on the remainder of the power play. They clanked two more shots off metal, then Price masterfully turned aside three more shots to preserve the 2-1 lead.

Things turned ugly on a breakaway by Nichol later in the period, when the forward was tripped from behind by Maxim Lapierre. The Sharks forward sailed into the end boards head first. Nichol lay face down on the ice before skating off under his own power. He headed straight to the dressing room with a left arm or shoulder injury.

Adding irony to insult, Manny Malhotra would be sent off for boarding with 15:15 to play in regulation.

Canadiens defenseman Roman Hamrlik would take a hooking penalty at 11:18 of the 3rd period, giving the Sharks their fourth power play of the night. Dany Heatley would tie the game at 2-2 by deflecting a Marleau shot from the top of the left circle.

San Jose would srtrike 2:33 later on a bang-bang play by Malhotra and Torrey Mitchell. With the puck cycling in the Canadiens zone, defenseman Kent Huskins redirected the puck to Mitchell near the left wing boards. Mitchell sent a pass through the high slot to Malhotra for the 40 foot one-timer that beat price glove side.


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Scoring
1 2 3 T
MTL 1 1 0 2
SJ 0 1 2 3
1st period - 1, MTL, Gionta 18 (Gomez), 10:20.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Marleau 39 (Blake, Nichol), 0:43, (sh). 3, MTL, Gomez 11 (Gionta, Markov), 2:06, (pp). SJ, Boyle (unsuccessful penalty shot), 13:31.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Heatley 33 (Boyle, Marleau), 12:32, (pp). 5, SJ, Malhotra 10 (Mitchell, Huskins), 15:05.
Penalties
1st period - Gill, MTL (hooking), 14:27.
2nd period - Thornton, SJ (tripping), 0:08; Plekanec, MTL (high sticking), 2:36; Blake, SJ (roughing), 2:36; Clowe, SJ (tripping), 3:26; Markov, MTL (slashing), 8:53; Pouliot, MTL (slashing), 12:04; Nichol, SJ (slashing), 12:04; Plekanec, MTL (clipping), 13:00; Clowe, SJ (roughing), 18:07.
3rd period - Moen, MTL (roughing), 1:56; Leach, SJ (roughing), 1:56; Malhotra, SJ (boarding), 4:45; Hamrlik, MTL (hooking), 11:18.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
MTL - Price 40 37
SJ - Nabokov 30 28
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
MTL 11 8 11 30
SJ 15 14 11 40
Power Play Conversion
MTL 1 of 4
SJ 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Dany Heatley
Carey Price
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Lee, Walsh. Linesmen: Henderson, Lazarowich.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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