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Third line propels Sharks over Habs
Sorensen and Thornton lead SJ
3/7/19 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks continue to take advantage of home cooking, even though that may have been nothing but chicken soup for the last few days. With a flu bug ravaging the Sharks locker room, the sickly Sharks reached deep on Thursday night to knock off the visiting Montreal Canadiens 5-2 at SAP Center. Clinging to the last wild card spot in the East, the Canadiens were motivated to continue their hot hand against the Pacific Division this season. San Jose had other ideas, as the Sharks received more offensive production from their third line.

The line was led by Marcus Sorensen, who recorded a goal and an assist. Joe Thornton added a goal, to help San Jose win for the third straight game. Martin Jones made 37 saves to help San Jose fend off a quicker and healthier Canadiens lineup.

The Canadiens set the pace early in their game, flashing their speed, but it was San Jose who would crack the score sheet first. Tomas Hertl converted his 30th goal of the season 6:55 in when he zipped behind the Canadiens net and wrapped the puck around the right post. Former Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi got the start in net for Montreal, but he started things auspiciously by allowing Hertl's shot to deflect off his blocker and into hie net.

Sorensen found another seam in Niemi's armor at the 10 minute mark of the period, when he snapped a shot from 18 feet out. Sorensen corralled a Kevin Labanc feed while parked near the bottom of the left circle. Sorensen put a shot near Niemi's right skate, which somehow trickled home for his 15th of the season.

The Canadiens 4th line hadn't scored a goal for 28 games. That changed with 2 minutes remaining in the period, when Artturi Lehkonen slid a puck past Martin Jones on a rush up the left side.

A Radim Simek high stick on Max Domi put the Canadiens on the power play 5:15 into the 2nd period, but the Sharks penalty kill kept the puck out of the San Jose net.

That proved to be huge, as the sharks converted shortly after Simek was released from the penalty box. Thornton grabbed a puck from behind the net and tried to shovel a pass to Sorensen in the slot, but Phillip Danault swatted at it, and elevated it over Niemi. Sorensen was originally credited with the goal, but upon review, it was credited to Thornton.

Montreal scored a fluky goal with just under 5 minutes remaining in the period when Paul Byron swatted at a puck that flipped end over end in front of the Sharks net before hitting Joe Pavelski and Andrew Shaw, then deflecting into the Sharks goal.

Montreal tried to make a push early in the 3rd period, but San Jose figured out a way to not only defend against the speedy Canadiens, but also extending their lead. Timo Meier deposited a Joonas Donskoi feed from the slot. Donskoi beat a Canadiens defender to a loose puck just to the left of the Canadiens net, then sent a blind backhand pass through the slot to Meier on the right side. All Meier had to do was receive the pass and slide it into a wide open Montreal net.

It was smooth sailing from their. With a game in Anaheim awaiting the Canadiens tomorrow night, they packed it in late. Montreal pulled Niemi with 1:30 to play, but it wouldn't muster anything.

Gustav Nyquist finally recorded his first point as a Shark, when he scored an empty-net goal late.

Game Notes:

* The Sharks and Canadiens both lead the NHL with the number of players who have recorded 10 goals or more this season. Both teams have 11 skaters who have achieved that mark.

* Timo Meier has now scored goals in three straight games. After stalling out in January and February, the forward is starting to warm up his scoring hand.

* Every Canadiens skater recorded a shot on goal. Montreal tallied 39 shots in the game.

* Radim Simek continues to develop his game, and was a big part of the Sharks ability to suppress the Candiens up tempo offense.

* Joe Thornton appeared in his 1,551st career NHL game to pass Alex Delvecchio for 14th on the NHL's all-time games played list. Thornton also moved into sole possession of the 88th spot for all time goals scored (411) .







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Scoring
1 2 3 T
MTL 1 1 0 2
SJ 2 1 2 5
1st period - 1, SJ, Hertl 30 (unassisted), 6:55. 2, SJ, Sorensen 15 (Labanc, Burns), 10:00. 3, MTL, Lehkonen 8 (Thompson, Kulak), 17:56.
2nd period - 4, SJ, Thornton 14 (Labanc, Sorensen), 7:46. 5, MTL, Shaw 17 (Byron, Domi), 15:18.
3rd period - 6, SJ, Meier 24 (Donskoi), 6:08. 7, SJ, Nyquist 17 (unassited), 19:54, (en).
Penalties
1st period - None.
2nd period - Simek, SJ (high sticking), 5:15.
3rd period - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
MTL - Niemi 24 20
MTL - empty net 1 0
SJ - Jones 39 37
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
MTL 16 14 9 39
SJ 5 10 10 25
Power Play Conversion
MTL 0 of 1
SJ 0 of 0
3 Stars of the Game
Marcus Sorensen
Kevin Labanc
Joe Thornton
Attendance
SAP Center - 17,471
Officials
Referees: Rehman, Lee. Linesmen: Murphy, Miller.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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