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Sharks stun everyone with wild period
SJ scored 6 goals in the 3rd period
3/11/10 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks looked like a team ready to mail in a loss on Thursday night after sleep-walking through the first 40 minutes of play against the visiting Nashville Predators. Then came the eruption. Then came the 3rd period. Then came six goals in the final 20 minutes. In a wild turnaround, the Sharks torched the score sheet and stunned the Predators in an 8-5 barn burner at HP Pavilion.

Trailing by a pair of goals entering the final period of play, San Jose offense went haywire. The 3rd period comeback was San Jose ’s third straight, which set an NHL record.

After all of that, Sharks head coach Todd McLellan was still able put the first 40 minutes of the contest into perspective.

“I knew you guys would want to talk about the great third period," said McLellan. " Coming back and scoring six goals. You know we won the game and that’s great but that’s not what I’ll focus on. We were clearly outworked and outhustled for two periods and that’s very disappointing.”

The Sharks got themselves into penalty trouble early, which enabled Nashville to take a commanding lead in shots in the first half of the opening period. Torrey Mitchell was sent off for tripping former Shark Marcel Goc, then Dan Boyle followed him four minutes later for interference.

The second penalty would cost the Sharks, when Patric Hornqvist converted his 24th goal of the season on the 5-on-4 advantage. Shea Weber put a shot on goal that kicked out to Hornqvist for the put back and a 1-0 Nashville lead.

Dany Heatley would tie the game with 5:50 remaining in the period on the Sharks first shot of the game. Heatley fired a shot from the high slot after taking a pass from Joe Thornton near the top of the right circle. The 55-foot shot beat Nashville goaltender Dan Ellis high to the stick side.

Nashville jumped back on top 4:29 into the 2nd period on an odd-man rush that ended with more Predators in front of the Sharks net than San Jose defenders. Steve Sullivan carried the puck up the left side before putting on the breaks and putting a shot on goal. Patrick Bouillon scooped up the deflection and slid a pass to Honrqvist who was parked on the right post for the easy tap in.

Martin Erat would put the Sharks on the power play less than two minutes later and San Jose would strike. Heatley tried jamming a shot past Ellis from in tight, but the puck deflected off the goaltender, chipping out to the right side. Thornton swept in from eh right dot and lifted the deflection past Ellis to tie the game at 2-2.

Scott Nichol would reciprocate by taking a high sticking penalty at 10:42 of the period and he Predators would jump right back on top. Nashville put a simple power play scheme together and threw the puck on net with traffic in front of Evgeni Nabokov. The traffic created enough of a distraction to allow the puck to find twine.

Nashville appeared to take a 4-2 lead just moments later, but replays clearly showed Predators centerman Dustin Boyd kicking the puck past Nabokov. The goal was disallowed, but San Jose still had to chase a deficit.

The Predators would get the goal back with less than five minutes to play before the second intermission when Colin Wilson lifted a shot past Nabokov from just outside the right post. Cody Franson sent a puck in from the right point to Wilson for the easy deposit.

The penalty parade continued in the 3rd period when Dan Hamhuis was sent off for tripping Devin Setoguchi at 3:08. Right on script, the Sharks converted on the ensuing power play when Heatley deflected the puck past Ellis for his 17th power play goal of the season. Manny Malhotra would knot the game less than two minutes later on a play could have just as easily been overturned. Malhotra was driving to the net when a Joe Pavelski pass came whistling through the crease. Malhotra turned his skate, deflecting the puck into the net. After a lengthy review, the puck was ruled good and just like that the Sharks had erased a two goal-deficit in the 3rd period.

At one point I looked up at the scoreboard and saw that we were getting out shot 30-10 three-quarters of the way through the second period," McLellan added. "Odds are you have no chance of winning those games. But tonight we found a way.”

A strong forecheck would give the Sharks their first lead of the game at 11:16 of the period The Sharks drove the puck deep into the Nashville zone before Ellis wound the puck around the end boards. Malhotra pinned himself against the left wing boards, chipping the puck out to Pavelski who was circling around from the back of the net. Pavelski grabbed the deflection and skated to the front of the net before lifting a shot past Ellis.

The roller coaster hit another bump when Dumont tied the game 2:20 later on a bit of luck for the Predators. A clearing chance kicked off the linesman keeping it in the Sharks zone. Dumont ripped a shot from the right circle, nicking the right post and into the goal.

Pavelski tied a franchise record with his 4th point of the period with what will certainly make the highlight reels. Skating up the left side, the Sharks forward pulled a spin-o-rama, before backhanding a shot that slipped between Ellis’ pads for the 6-5 lead.

Ellis night was done. Pekka RInne would replace him in net.

“They got the two goals and drove the net," Predators head coach Barry Trotz lamented on his team's 3rd period performance. "They had the momentum. I thought we got the game settled down. I was feeling pretty good. I felt like we got the momentum back. It started with an unnecessary turnover from (Dan) Ellis on the fifth goal. And the sixth goal – you’ve got to save that.”

Marleau broke the 40-goal plateau for the first time in his career with 2:50 to play on a 2-on-1 break. The centerman skated up the left wing along with Mitchell, using his linemate to cross up Rinne. The Predators goaltender had little chance of stopping the Marleau cannon-shot from 15 feet out.

Jay Leach would score his first NHL goal on an empty-net chance to ice the whacky period.

“The first two periods I thought we played extremely well," Trotz said. "I thought we controlled the puck, and didn’t give San Jose too many opportunities to capitalize. I thought we played very well on both sides of the puck. Then in the third period they got the two goals to tie it up. Then the fifth and sixth goals were some of the most horrendous things that ever happened to me.”

Game Notes:

Douglas Murray left the game in the 2nd period for an undisclosed injury. The six goals the Sharks scored in the third period ties a franchise record for goals in a period (6) that was previously set in the second period Jan. 30, 1996 vs. the Hartford Whalers.

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1 2 3 T
NSH 1 3 1 5
SJ 1 1 6 8
1st period - 1, NSH, Hornqvist 24 (Weber, Suter), 9:11, (pp). 2, SJ, Heatley 35 (Thornton, Setoguchi), 14:10.
2nd period - 3, NSH, Hornqvist 25 (Bouillon, Sullivan), 4:29. 4, SJ, Thornton 17 (Heatley, Marleau), 6:11, (pp). 5, NSH, Dumont 14 (Franson, Wilson), 11:31, (pp). 6, NSH, Wilson 5 (Franson, Erat), 15:22.
3rd period - 7, SJ, Heatley 36 (Boyle), 3:40, (pp). 8, SJ, Malhotra 11 (Pavelski, Huskins), 5:16. 9, SJ, Pavelski 19 (Malhotra), 11:16. 10, NSH, Dumont 15 (Klein, Legwand), 13:26. 11, SJ, Pavelski, 20 (Nichol, Malhotra), 14:40. 12, SJ, Marleau 40 (Mitchell, Clowe), 17:34. 13, SJ, Leach 1 (Wallin, Nichol), 19:34, (en).
1st period - Mitchell, SJ (tripping), 4:29; Boyle, SJ (interference), 7:53; Legwand, NSH (tripping), 17:50.
2nd period - Erat, NSH (interference), 5:52; Nichol, SJ (high sticking), 10:42; Blake, SJ (high sticking), 17:50.
3rd period - Hamhuis, NSH (tripping), 3:08.
Shots Saves
NSH - Ellis 23 17
NSH - Rinne 2 1
NSH - empty net 1 0
SJ - Nabokov 45 40
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
NSH 17 17 11 45
SJ 6 5 15 26
Power Play Conversion
NSH 2 of 4
SJ 2 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Pavelski
Manny Malhotra
Dany Heatley
Referees: Leggo, Lee. Linesmen: Sericolo, Sharrers.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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