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Strong 2nd results in 3rd straight win
Thornton and Malhotra injured in win
3/27/10 - By Mike Lee -

The final score of Saturday night’s Sharks game with the Vancouver Canucks was rewarding for San Jose , but it may have come at a big expense. The Sharks lost Joe Thornton to a 2nd period injury on a simple check, then had Manny Malhotra take a slap-shot off the face 20 minutes later, knocking him out of the game. Thornton is listed as day-to-day, after sustaining what appeared to be a right knee injury after slamming it awkwardly into the boards.

Thornton was streaking down the let wing with 4:40 left in the period, when Canucks defenseman Alex Edler pushed him off the puck. Thornton got his skates crossed up as he fought to retain his balance, before slamming face first into the corner boards. Thornton stayed down on the ice for a couple minutes before Sharks trainer Ray Tufts could help him off the ice.

It wasn’t clear how bad Malhotra’s injury was, after he skated off. The puck clearly struck him in the face, and opened up a cut that left a trial of blood on the ice as he skated to the locker room.

The injuries marred an otherwise impressive win by the Sharks, who turned in their third consecutive victory.

San Jose gave up a 1st period goal to Alex Burrows, then clamped down on the Canucks. Burrows squeezed a shot from the left corner between Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov and the left post 9:38 into the contest. Nabokov had the post covered, but the shot hit him in the side, then rolled off the back of his pad and across the goal line.

Nabokov would give up a power play goal in the 3rd period, but his solid performance and some offensive help in the middle period helped Nabokov to his 40th win of the season. Nabokov became only the 3rd player in NHL history to record 40 wins in three consecutive seasons.

The Sharks scored three times in the 2nd period to counter the Burrows goal. Wih Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa in the box for hooking, Dany Heatley started the trifecta with a power play goal at 3:01 of the period. The sniper took a feed from Patrick Marleau at the blueline, then lifted a wrist shot past Roberto Luongo for his 39th goal of the season. Marleau flashed his wheels six minutes later, then he picked Edler’s pocket just inside the Sharks blueline. Marleau raced up the left wing before deeking Luongo and slipping a backhand shot just inside the right post. The goal extends Marleau career high for goals with his 42nd tally of the season.

Joe Pavelski pushed the lead to would tack on his 23rd goal of the season on some nifty hand-eye coordination two minutes later. The Sharks forward took a pass from Marleau along the right wing boards then skated in on net and snapped a shot from 18-feet that Luongo stopped. The puck bounced off the Canucks netminder and floated out in front of the net, where Pavelski slapped it out of mid-air and banked it off the left post for the 3-1 lead.

“Unfortunately, we were shorthanded, said Canucks head coach Allain Vigneault. “Ryan (Kesler) had a great scoring opportunity, then they came back on a 3-on-2, and a shooter made a great shot. And, then, we got a little bit unlucky there on the other two goals. I don’t think Edler knew that Marleau was so close. And, then, on the third goal, Ehrhoff broke his stick, and, unfortunately, none of our forward realized his stick was broken. So, he decided to come to the bench, and they caught us there on that change. But, except for that eight minute span, I thought we played a really solid game in a really tough environment.”

Thornton would go down with just under five minutes to play in the period, which took the wind out of the Sharks sails. They would respond by finishing off the period with a strong defensive showing.

“It was a good second period for us,” said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. “We got a lot of pucks to the net and that was something that we didn’t do in the first and third (periods). ” Vancouver had 20 minutes to make up the 2-goal lead and they made things interesting at the 7:55 mark of the 3rd period. With Dan Boyle in the penalty box for slashing, Daniel Sedin put a shot past Nabokov from the right side for his 23rd goal of the season. The goal was assisted by Sedin’s brother Henrik, who recorded his 100th point of the season on the play. Sedon became only the 3rd Canuck in team history to reach the century mark in points.

The Canucks would pull Luongo with a minute remaining in regulation, but Marleau forced a turnover in the right corner of the Vancouver zone, chipping the puck to Ryane Clowe who buried the pass for his 19th of the season from the right dot.

The assist game Marleau a 4-point night.

“We had a number of scoring chances and were pretty solid defensively,” said Vigneault. “They only had three shots in the first period for 16 minutes, and we had a real strong push in the third. We didn’t tie it, but played overall a pretty good game.”

Game Notes:
The Sharks get less than 24 hours to celebrate their win, as they wrap up their three-game homestand with a game against Colorado on Sunday which starts at 5:00pm.


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Scoring
1 2 3 T
VAN 1 0 1 2
SJ 0 3 1 4
1st period - 1, VAN, Burrows 34 (H. Sedin), 9:38.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Heatley 39 (Marleau, Boyle), 3:01, (pp). 3, SJ, Marleau 42 (unassisted), 9:29. 4, SJ, Pavelski 23 (Marleau, Blake), 11:30.
3rd period - 5, VAN, D. Sedin 23 (Burrows, H. Sedin), 7:55, (pp). 6, SJ, Clowe 19 (Marleau, Blake), 19:49, (en).
Penalties
1st period - H. Sedin, VAN (cross checking), 13:57; Boyle, SJ (tripping), 15:03.
2nd period - Bieksa, VAN (hooking), 2:17; Raymond, VAN (tripping), 8:18; Pavelski, SJ (high sticking), 8:26; Wallin, SJ (hooking), 17:06.
3rd period - Boyle, SJ (slashing), 7:13.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
VAN - Luongo 29 26
VAN - empy net 1 0
SJ - Nabokov 37 35
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
VAN 9 15 13 37
SJ 7 16 7 30
Power Play Conversion
VAN 1 of 4
SJ 1 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Henrik Sedin
Joe Pavelski
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Kowal, McCreary. Linesmen: Mach, Wheler.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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