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Back to back wins gets Sharks back on track
Niemi stops 37 shots in 4-2 win over Bruins
10/22/11 - By Mike Lee -
Long road trips always seem to be the salve the Sharks need when they’re playing poorly, but playing on back-to-back nights against a red hot New Jersey Devils team and the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins isn’t exactly a scheduling gimmee for San Jose. After coming back against the Devils 24 hours earlier, the Sharks were forced to fend off the Bruins in a wild night at the RD Center in Boston. Antti Niemi was up to the challenge, stopping 37 shots to help San Jose knock off the host Bruins 4-2.

San Jose controlled the tempo most of the evening, and chipped away at Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas. They had things in order until the 3rd period, when some questionable defensive moves allowed Boston to tie the game with 16:48 to play.

San Jose got off to a fast start, with Joe Pavelski rifling a shot over Thomas’ left shoulder 1:12 into the contest. Joe Thornton picked Andrew Ference’s pocket along the left wing boards, then slid a pass along the Boston blueline as Pavelski raced into the Bruins zone. The hero from San Jose’s come-from-behind win in New Jersey a day earlier, gathered Thornton’s feed and snapped a shot from between the circles.

Second year forward Tyler Seguin just missed tying the game midway through the period when his point blank shot rang off the right post.
Zdeno Chara was sent off for interference at 11:12 of the period after taking out Thornton in the Sharks zone. San Jose had a couple of good looks at the net, but nothing got past Thomas to keep the Sharks lead limited to a single goal.

Antti Niemi came up big with 6 minutes left in the period, stopping a 2-on-1 break. Nathan Horton intercepted a pass in the defensive zone before skating up ice with linemate Benoit Pouliot. Horton elected to keep the puck and shoot, but Niemi denied him.

Logan Couture finally recorded his 1st goal of the season, 8:54 into the 2nd period. The second-year centerman roofed a wrist-shot from the slot after Martin Havlat dug a puck off the end boards and sent a back-hand feed out to the front of the Bruins net.

Jim Vandermeer and Shawn Thornton dropped the gloves 2 minutes later, but a loose sweater strap ended the affair early.

Boston missed on another 2-on-1 chance with less than 3 minutes remaining in the period, when Daniel Paille put a shot wide left of the net after he and Patrice Bergeron raced up ice.

Niemi gloved a Seguin snap shot from the high slot a minute into the 3rd period, but it was beginning of a series of pucks that would find their way to the sharks netminder.

Niemi cost his team moments later after trying to play a puck behind his own net. A pin-balling puck would skitter along the goal line, before Milan Lucic punched it home.

The same line converted 29 seconds later after Dan Bole and Douglas Murray crossed each other up, springing Lucic and Seguin. The mistake resulted in a 2-on-1 break up the gut that allowed Lucic to setup Seguin with a diagonal pass through the slot. Seguin slammed the pass past Niemi, who had no chance on the play.

Benn Ferriero put the Sharks back on top at 8:48 of the period, corralling a deflection off Thomas at the top of the crease then sweeping it into a wide open net. Thomas floated outside of his crease to cut-off a shot from the point. He failed to get a glove on the puck as Ferriero tried to create some traffic in front of the Bruins netminder.

Niemi made the save of the game a minute later after Justin Braun tripped at his own blueline setting up another odd-man rush for Boston. The Bruins had two players down low, and almost capitalized when Horton slid a pass to the slot. The puck landed on Chris Kelly’s stick at the Sharks doorstep, but Niemi slid to his left to shut the door and preserve the one-goal lead.

San Jose went into prevent mode with 5 minutes to play, content with dumping the puck out of their own end. Boston turned up the intensity in search of the tying goal. They pulled Thomas with a minute to play, but couldn’t get the puck past Niemi.

Patrick Marleau scored his 1st goal of the season via an empty-net tally to seal the deal with 5 seconds to play.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 1 2 4
BOS 0 0 2 2
1st period - 1, SJ, Pavelski 4 (Thornton), 1:12.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Couture 1 (Havlat, Clowe), 8:54.
3rd period - 3, BOS, Lucic 2 (Kelly, Bergeron), 2:43. 4, BOS, Seguin 3 (Lucic, Kelly), 3:12. 5, SJ, Ferriero 1 (McGinn, Vandermeer), 8:48. 6, SJ, Marleau 1 (Pavelski), 19:55, (en).
1st period - Desjardins, SJ (boarding), 2:08; Chara, BOS, (interference), 11:12.
2nd period - Bench, SJ (too many men), 2:48; Vandermeer, SJ (fighting major), 11:23; Thornton, BOS (fighting major), 11:23.
3rd period - None.
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 39 37
BOS - Thomas 29 26
BOS - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 10 11 9 30
BOS 14 9 16 39
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 1
BOS 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Milan Lucic
Logan Couture
Antti Niemi
Referees: Sutherland, L'Ecuyer. Linesmen: Cormier, Nansen.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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