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Rask outduels Niemi
Boston capitalizes on game's one break
1/11/14 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks didn't give up the game winning goal with a fraction of a second left in the game on Saturday night, but they suffered the same fate as their October matchup with the Boston Bruins. The Sharks wasted a gem of a performance by goaltender Antti Niemi, who dueled with Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask, falling to the Bruins 1-0 at SAP Center. Rask stopped all 26 shots he faced, but San Jose failed to match Rask's stinginess.

* Pretty cut and dry game. Both teams tried to button up the middle of the ice, denying their opponent many chances at getting pucks to the net. The Bruins just did the Sharks one better.

* The only goal came courtesy of Carl Soderberg, who pounced on a lucky bounce to convert at 12:25 of the 3rd period. Soderberg fed Loui Eriksson the puck from the left corner, setting up his linemate who was parked in the slot. Eriksson tried to get a shot on net, but Marc-Edouard Vlasic deflected the puck back to the left side where Soderberg was stationed. The Bruins forward flailed at the puck, slipping a shot past Niemi.

* The Sharks did everything else right except score. They controlled the faceoff circle, winning 62% of draws. They blocked 21 shots, out shot their opponent, and played even on every other category.

* San Jose had one power play opportunity throughout the game, coming 2:20 into the game after Soderberg boarded Tyler Kennedy into the side boards. San Jose failed to convert the power play, and that's all she wrote.

* Boston enjoyed three power play chances, including a Scott Hannan holding penalty that almost setup a goal for the Bruins. Milan Lucic saw a shot from 15 feet out bounce off the right post after pivoting in the slot and whipping a puck on net.

* Tommy Wingels had 10 hits, one short of the franchise record of 11 he set this season against the Los Angeles Kings on Dec. 19, 2013.

Game Quotes:

Head Coach Todd McLellan: "It was tight right from the beginning to the end, playoff-checking tight. The top two lines on each team neutralized each other. Basically, what it came down to was a little bit of puck luck. Bounce went their way, it went to their stick, and it didn't go to ours. Nothing we have to hang our heads over. We'd obviously like to score and be on top of things, but I thought we played well defensively. I thought our penalty kill was good. We have to get going here on the road now."

Todd McLellan (on penalty kill): "Execution. We have a plan and guys stick to it. Shooting lanes, clears, faceoffs, and it all adds up. They're having some success. [Boston's] power play is a dangerous one, obviously they have a very big body [Chara in front], but our guys did a good job tonight."

Joe Thornton: "It was pretty balanced, both teams. Weren't giving up too much tonight. Just the one shift in the third period is the difference, but pretty evenly matched game tonight."

Thornton (on the goaltending): "I thought both goalies were excellent tonight. It was kind of a lucky bounce, the goal they scored on. But I thought both goalies played great."

Dan Boyle: "We had a good first period. I think it was evenly matched throughout the game. I thought we probably had the better first. I think they they probably had the better second. They had more power play opportunities tonight, which caused them to in on our end a little bit more. But it was a pretty evenly matched game."

Tommy Wingels: "There were some battles, that's for sure. Both teams wanted to win, whated possession of the puck, in certain areas of the ice. So when both teams want that, guys are going to be physical and do all they can to get the puck."

Head Coach Claude Julien: "Our play was much better in a lot of areas-- we asked our guys to do their jobs and do them well. I think we had some guys who were trying to do other peoples jobs, but not because they weren't going well enough. Eventually everybody has to take that responsibility and I think the guys responded well. We knew it was going to be a tough game, and we talked to our guys about taking care of their end first and foremost. When you give up nine goals in two games [like we have] it's got to be better and they did that and they scored a timely goal."

Carl Soderberg (on his GWG): "We had a good forecheck on our line and wanted the puck in the corner. [Louis Eriksson and I] got an opening, so I passed and he tried to shoot and I got the rebound."

Loui Eriksson (on returning from injury): "I felt pretty good. It was nice to be back playing again, and be around all the guys playing. And it was nice to get the two points too."

Eriksson (on Soderberg goal): "We had some other good chances too and we finally got a lucky break there. We did a good job in the corner, I was trying to shoot it and saw it off Carl's stick so it was nice to see it go in the net."

Tuukka Rask: "That was Bruins hockey. That's how we get points in this league, and sometimes we slip from it, but today was a great example how we need to play in order to get points. Really happy with the effort."



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
BOS 0 0 1 1
SJ 0 0 0 0
1st period - None.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 1, BOS, Soderberg 6 (Eriksson, Spooner), 12:25.
Penalties
1st period - Soderberg, BOS (boarding), 2:20.
2nd period - Miller, BOS (fighting major), 10:27; Brown, SJ (fighting major), 10:27; Hannan, SJ (holding), 12:36; Marleau, SJ (high sticking), 19:59.
3rd period - Demers, SJ (holding), 6:03.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
BOS - Rask 26 26
SJ - Niemi 22 21
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
BOS 9 7 6 22
SJ 12 6 8 26
Power Play Conversion
BOS 0 of 3
SJ 0 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Tukka Rask
Antti Niemi
Carl Soderberg
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Leggo, Pochmara. Linesmen: Lazarowich, Mach.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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