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Sharks sweep Caps with big 3rd period
SJ turn the tables on NHL's top team
3/12/16 - By Mike Lee -

The best team in the NHL cruised into San Jose on Saturday night, countering on a pair of Shark leads, but when push came to shove, the home team finished the evening with a big 5-2 victory. The Washington Capitals came to town looking to take advantage of the Sharks woes on home ice, but San Jose dug deep in the 3rd period to score three goals to break a 2-2 deadlock. Brenden Dillon, Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton all contributed a goal and an assist in the win.

The Sharks erupted for their 5 goals against a solid defensive corps, but a penalty shot miss may have been the play that decided the game. The Sharks were skating on a power play late in the 2nd period, when Brent Burns was forced to slash Jay Beagle on a breakaway chance.

Beagle was awarded a penalty shot, but Jones forced Beagle to try and change directions, which resulted in the Capitals forward to lose the handle on the puck. Washington's miss and the Sharks ability to convert on that power play early in the 3rd period turned the game upside down.

Joe Pavelski pushed a backhand shot past Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer from the outside the left post as the power play carried over into the 3rd. The goal was Pavelski's 32nd of the season, and it pushed the game's momentum clearly in San Jose's favor.

Dillon scored 2 minutes later to push the Sharks lead to a pair of goals. The Defenseman ripped a shot from the blueline after taking a one-time feed from Chris Tierney from the right wing boards. Dillon's shot wove through traffic, finding the important side of the netting for the 4-2 lead.

The lead was one the Sharks wouldn't relinquish.

That wasn't the case earlier in the game. Thornton staked the Sharks to a 1-0 lead 9:16 into the contest when he fished a rebound away from Grubauer in crease before flipping it home. Dillon fired a shot that the Capitals netminder was able to stop, but Thornton's presence in front of the net helped the Sharks strike gold.

A Nick Spaling high sticking penalty at the end of the 1st period and a Burns delay of game penalty early in the 2nd period setup a 2-man advantage for Washington. TJ Oshie's scored his 21st goal of the season as the Capitals put on a display of the league's top ranked power play unit. Niklas Backstrom sent a 50 foot pass through the slot to Oshie on the left side for a one-time shot from a severe angle. Jones never had a chance on the shot, which snapped past him as he was still trying to get over to cover the left side of the net.

A Joe Thornton boarding penalty put the Capitals back on the power play 2 minute later, but Patrick Marleau and Joel Ward turned the tables on Washington. Marc-Edouard Vlasic wound the puck out of the Sharks end, hitting Marleau on the left wing. The Sharks veteran squeezed past Dmitry Orlav and Justin Williams before pushing the puck up to Ward. The duo skated up ice on a 2-on-none break that ended with Ward feeding the puck back to Marleau for the deposit and a 2-1 lead.

Williams countered with a skilled goal 5 minutes later, swatting an Evgeny Kuznetsov pass out of the left corner as he sat parked at the top of the crease. Kuznetsov's pass was shin high, but Williams got his stick blade on the puck, forcing a 90-degree direction change for his 20th goal of the season.

Pavelski and Dillon did their thing in the 3rd period to sucker-punch the Capitals with their goals.

Burns capped the scoring with an empty-net goal late to cap the scoring.

Game Notes:

* Defenseman Paul Martin took a puck off the throat as he sat on the bench in the 3rd period. A deflection out in front of the Sharks bench clipped Martin, dropping him behind the bench. Trainers jumped to his aid, walking him to the locker room where he received treatment before returning later in the game.

* The Sharks honored former goaltender Evgeni Nabokov before the game as part of their 25th Anniversary celebration. Ovechkin and Pavelski had a bit of fun with Nabokov, letting him wait at center ice while the sellout crowd gave him a standing ovation.


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1 2 3 T
WAS 0 2 0 2
SJ 1 1 3 5
1st period - 1, SJ, Thornton 16 (Dillon, Hertl), 9:16.
2nd period - 2, WAS, Oshie 21 (Backstrom, Ovechkin), 1:21, (pp). 3, SJ, Marleau 20 (Ward), 5:14 (sh). 4, WAS, Williams 20 (Kunetsov, Burakovsky), 10:12. WAS, Beagle (unsuccessful penalty shot), 19:47.
3rd period - 5, SJ, Pavelski 32 (Thornton, Burns), 0:49, (pp). 6, SJ, Dillon 2 (Tierney, Polak), 2:51. 7, SJ, Burns 25 (Pavelski, Spaling), 19:16, (en).
1st period - Chimera, WAS (slashing), 5:02; Spaling, SJ (high sticking), 19:46.
2nd period - Burns, SJ (delay of game), 0:20; Thornton, SJ (boarding), 3:39; Kuznetsov, WAS (hooking), 19:19; Burns, SJ (PS - slash on breakaway), 19:47.
3rd period - None.
Shots Saves
WAS - Grubauer 27 23
WAS - empty net 1 0
SJ - Jones 25 23
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
WAS 9 12 4 25
SJ 11 7 10 28
Power Play Conversion
WAS 1 of 3
SJ 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Joe Thornton
Brenden Dillon
Referees: Kimmerly, Leggo. Linesmen: Driscoll, Sharrers.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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