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Heatley's return stings Senators
Couture scores a pair in 4-0 romp
12/2/10 - By Mike Lee -

So much for the Dany Heatley anti-love fest in Ottawa. All the hype turned out to be ammunition for Heatley who stuck it to his former team in a 4-0 win for San Jose, who opened a five game road-trip on Thursday night. Heatley was the target of local media and fans alike all week, in preparation for the Shark sniper’s return to the city he called home for four seasons. Former Ottawa 67 and current Shark forward Logan Couture scored a pair of goals in the win. Sharks netminder Antti Niemi made 28 saves to earn his first shutout as a Shark.

While the Scotiabank Place crowd focused all their energy on Heatley from the pre-game skate to the final horn, the Sharks put together a methodical win against a slumping Senators squad. The Ottawa crowd let out a hearty round of boos every time Heatley stepped out on the ice, but it was Heatley who got the last laugh.

It was Niemi who set the tone for San Jose with a solid opening 20 minutes. The netminder made two big saves in the first five minutes of the game, including a stop off a Nick Foligno shot from the Sharks doorstep. He would make a pretty stop on Cris Kelly with 8:30 to play in the period by sliding to his left to cutoff a one-time chance that seemed destined for the back of the net.

Heatley would draw a hooking penalty on Sergi Gonchar at 11:53 of the period with a nasty cutback move with the puck in the slot. That would setup a Patrick Marleau goal 56 seconds later on the power play. Ottawa native Dan Boyle fired a shot on net from the right point. Senators goaltender Pascal Leclaire made the initial save, but gave up a juicy rebound to Marleau who was lurking around the right dot. Marleau would sweep the rebound home for this 11th tally of the season.

Ottawa continued to get the fare share of scoring chances in the period, but Niemi gobbled up everything that came his way early. He would stop all 11 shots he faced in the period, allowing his teammates to start building on their offensive chances.

Ryane Clowe just missed on a chance in front of the net with 4 minutes remaining before the first intermission, but his chance trickled just wide of the left post.

The Sharks would close the period with a penalty to Dan Boyle, then the Senators faithful had a field day when Heatley was sent off for accidentally high sticking his former linemate Jason Spezza.

Scott Nichol almost turned the tables on the Senators during the Heatley penalty when he intercepted a pass just inside his own blueline then raced up ice for a breakaway chance that Leclaire stopped with a blocker save.

Heatley had a partial breakaway himself right after his penalty expired, but Foligno was forced to hook him to prevent a goal. That would put the Sharks back on the power play, and again they’d cash in. Rookie defenseman Justin Braun cranked a shot on net that sailed over Leclaire’s left shoulder for his first NHL goal. Joe Thornton created a distraction in front of the Senators net and appeared to tip it on the way in, but Braun was credited with the tally. Heatley assisted on the goal to raise the ire of the Ottawa crowd.

Jamal Mayers just missed on a breakaway chance in the final minute of the period, but Leclaire came up big to deny the Sharks forward.

Couture would make it a 3-0 game 35 seconds into the 3rd period by sweeping a deflection past Leclaire after Benn Ferriero chipped a shot off a defender in the slot. Couture was heading toward the net, when the puck landed on this stick for the easy deposit.

Things got chippy later in the period when Ottawa instigator Chris Neil took some liberties with Joe Pavelski after the Sharks forward fell to the ice. Defenseman Dan Boyle blew a gasket and went after Neil, resulting in roughing penalties to both players.

Couture scored his second goal of the period to make it 4-0 on a breakaway that finally got past Leclaire. The Sharks rookie raced up ice before putting a backhand chance between Leclaire’s pads for his 10th of the season.

A group of fans banded together to create a temporary diversion by throwing old Heatley jerseys on the ice, but all it did was delay the inevitable. Ottawa was headed to their 7th loss in their last 10 games.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 1 2 4
OTT 0 0 0 0
1st period - 1, Marleau 11 (Boyle, Thornton), 12:49, (pp).
2nd period - 2, SJ, Braun 1 (Heatley), 8:22, (pp).
3rd period - 3, SJ, Couture 9 (Ferriero, Clowe), 0:35. 4, SJ, Couture 10 (Clowe), 6:14.
1st period - Moore, SJ (delay of game – puck over glass), 8:28; Gonchar, OTT (hooking), 11:53; Boyle, SJ (interference), 18:42.
2nd period - Heatley, SJ (high sticking), 4:45; Foligno, OTT (hooking),7:01.
3rd period - Boyle, SJ (roughing), 4:23; Neil, OTT (roughing), 4:23.
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 28 28
OTT - Leclaire 33 29
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 11 10 12 33
OTT 13 9 6 28
Power Play Conversion
SJ 2 of 2
OTT 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Logan Couture
Antti Niemi
Dan Boyle
Referees: Walkom, Walsh. Linesmen: Barton, Cherrey.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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