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Canadiens bulldogged by Sharks
Niemi shuts-out Canadiens a second time this season
3/8/14 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks built on their exciting win over the Pittsburgh Penguins last Thursday night, with a resounding 4-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens at SAP Center. Antti Niemi remained perfect against the Canadiens this season, shutting them out for the 2nd time in as many games. Tommy Wingels scored a pair of goals to lead the Sharks to their 41st victory of the season.

* Things just started wrong for the Canadiens and it was all downhill from there. James Sheppard took a tripping penalty on Rene Bourque just 1:42 into the contest. Logan Couture intercepted a Montreal pass in the neutral zone and fired the puck on net from the redline that Canadiens goaltender Peter Budaj easily stopped. Budaj had the puck drop to the ice in front of him, but he couldn't find it. He decided to stand up as the puck sat perched between his pads, but Tommy Wingels raced in and stabbed at it, pushing it through Budaj's skates an into the goal.

* Wingels made it 2-0 at 1:54 of the 2nd period with a deflection from the top of the crease. Matt Irwin fired a shot from the left point, splitting Wingels skates with the shot. Wingels deflected the shot with either his stick shaft or his left leg, changing the trajectory enough to slip the puck just inside the right post.

* The Canadiens yanked Budaj after Wingels' 2nd goal, replacing him with Dustin Tokarski. The Canadiens backup didn't do much better.

* Things got chippy4:19 into the middle period when Raffi Torres lit up Lars Eller with a hit in the right corner. Jarred Tinordu immediately went after Torres, earning an instigator penalty which automatically comes with a 10 minutes misconduct. Torres was sent off for boarding and an additional 5 for fighting with Tinordi.

* Matt Nieto pushed the Sharks lead to 3-0 7:43 into the 2nd period with a one-time chance from the slot. The Sharks forced a turnover at the Canadiens blueline before Dan Boyle pushed a feed up the left wing boards. Patrick Marleau was the recipient, who then raced to the left corner and setup Nieto with a pretty feed from behind the end line. Tokarski couldn't get the blocker up fast enough and Nieto had his 8th tally of the season.

* Logan Couture made it 4-0 San Jose after he chipped a Matt Nieto feed to the front of the net. Nieto skated up the left wing boards, then feathered a pass over two Canadien defender sticks, hitting Couture right on the tape. Couture lifted a backhand chance over Tokarski's left leg pad for his 18th goal of the season.

* With the score spiraling away from the visitors, things started to get nasty. Referees Dan O'Rourke and Frederick L'Ecuyer decided to keep things under control by dishing out 10 minute misconduct penalties anytime the two sides started to mix it up. 78 penalty minutes were handed out in the 3rd period alone. The two teams racked up a combined 114 penalty minutes. Tinordi amassed 19 PIMs all by himself.

* With all the penalties overlapping, San Jose ended up with 6 power play chances, most of which of the abridged variety. Their offensive production 5-on-5 didn't require any additional help from the special teams unit. The 0-for-6 on the power play surprisingly didn't drop the sharks any farther down the NHL statistical standings. San Jose's power play ended the evening where it started, ranked 21st in the league.

* Couture finished the night with a game high +3, with his goal and two assists.

* Former Shark defenseman Douglas Murray made his return to SAP Center for the first time since he was traded to Pittsburgh last March. The fan favorite received a nice ovation from the San Jose crowd. Murray acknowledged the San Jose faitful with a wave of the glove after cameras focused on him via the center ice video screens.

* It was alumni night, as former Sharks centerman Marco Sturm dropped the puck in the ceremonial opening faceoff. Sturm retired last year after spending 14 seasons in the NHL. Sturm scored 242 goals and added 245 assists in 938 career NHL games. Sturm played in San Jose from 1997 through 2005 when he was traded to the Boston Bruins as part of the package that brought Joe Thornton to San Jose.

* Daniel Briere played in his 900th NHL game.


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1 2 3 T
MON 0 0 0 0
SJ 1 2 1 4
1st period - 1, SJ, Wingels 13 (Couture), 2:26, (sh).
2nd period - 2, SJ, Wingels 14 (Irwin, Torres), 1:54. 3, SJ, Nieto 8 (Marleau, Couture), 7:43.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Couture 18 (Nieto), 0:43.
1st period - Sheppard, SJ (tripping), 1:42; Tinordi, MON (holding), 5:18; GIonta, MON (tripping), 6:51; Burns, SJ (tripping), 12:50; Emelin, MON (interference), 16:45.
2nd period - Tinordi, MON (instigator), 4:19; Tinordi, MON (fighting major), 4:19; Tinordi, MON (10 min misconduct), 4:19; Torres, SJ (boarding), 4:19; Torres, SJ (fighting major), 4:19; Shepperd, SJ (holding), 17:59.
3rd period - Moen, MON (slashing), 3:59; Eller, MON (roughing), 12:40; Eller, MON (10 min misconduct), 12:40; Vlasic, SJ (roughing), 12:40; Vlasic, SJ (10 min misconduct), 12:40; Marleau, SJ (holding), 12:59; Pacioretty, MON (interference), 14:18; Bench, MON (too many men), 16:35; Gionta, MON (cross checking), 17:24; White, MON (10 min misconduct), 17:24; Shepperd, SJ (tripping), 17:24; Shepperd, SJ (roughing), 17:24; Irwin, SJ (10 min misconduct), 17:24; Gallagher, MON (10 min misconduct), 19: ; Hannan, SJ (10 min misconduct), 19:.
Shots Saves
MON - Budaj 11 9
MON - Tokarski 22 20
SJ - Niemi 27 27
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
MON 9 8 10 27
SJ 7 19 7 33
Power Play Conversion
MON 0 of 5
SJ 0 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Tommy Wingels
Logan Couture
Antti Niemi
Referees: O'Rourke, L'Ecuyer. Linesmen: Cameron, Galloway.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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