Ferriero's first lifts Sharks over Bruins

567912.jpg

Ferriero's first lifts Sharks over Bruins

BOX SCORE

BOSTON, MA As any player who has been lucky enough to do so will tell you, its always special to score a game-winning goal in the NHL. But when its the building you went to games in as a kid, and then played some memorable college matches in, too...well, well just let Benn Ferreiro describe it.

I grew up with the Bruins as my favorite team and watching Joe Thornton as a kid. Its pretty cool to get to come in here and play and get the game-winner, he said, after his tie-breaking goal in the third period proved to be the difference in a 4-2 win over the Bruins on Saturday night at TD Garden.

Ferriero is a Boston kid through and through, growing up in town and later attending Boston College. His parents made it to the game, of course, after he was recalled from Worcester on Thursday.

They got to see him outmuscle Bruins defenseman Steve Kampfer in front of the net and pounce on a rebound at 8:48 of the third period to break a 2-2 tie.

Ferreiro, who didnt make the opening night roster, is making the most of his chance now that hes back.

Hes got the opportunity and we always said there would be some internal competition but hes got the opportunity to come in and hes made good on it, said Todd McLellan. Were excited for him.

With their second win in as many nights, the Sharks evened their record at 3-3, and have four games remaining on their road trip. Beating the defending Stanley Cup champions was no easy task, though.

In fact, in a role reversal from previous games, the Sharks were actually on the short end of shots and scoring chances but were ahead for most of the game nonetheless.

It began just 1:12 after the opening faceoff, when Joe Pavelski took a pass from Thornton and fired a laser into the top corner past Tim Thomas. It was Pavelskis first five-on-five goal, as his first two were on the power play and his third came with the goaltender pulled on Friday night's 4-3 shootout win in New Jersey.

In the second period,Martin Havlat made his presence felt again with his second assist in as many games in a black and teal sweater. Havlat caught the Bruins defense sleeping with a brilliant backhanded pass to the slot to a wide-openLogan Couture. In one motion, Couture corralled the pass and fired it past Thomas for his first of the season.

It was the first time since opening night that the Sharks had a two-goal cushion.

The Bruins kept up the pressure in the third, though. They were finally able to break through after Niemi turned it over behind the net and Milan Lucic knocked in a loose puck at 2:43. Just 29 seconds later, Lucic fed Nathan Horton on two-on-none rush to tie it up.

We knew that they were going to have a push, it was just a matter of when, said Thornton.

The sellout crowd reminded Couture of a playoff game, as the pace was as fast and intense as any of the Sharks first six this year.

It was loud, they were all over us for a bit, and we kind of weathered the storm, he said.

Couture likely feels like a weight has been lifted, now that he has been able to find the scoresheet. The sophomore center is being counted on to score goals, which is something he was unable to do in the first five games.

Fortunately for him he has a brand new linemate in Havlat, who had the prettiest pass of the night, finding Couture wide open in the slot.

I knew he was there, and he was yelling for it, too, said Havlat.

Couture said: When you dont score for a couple games, you always want the puck on your stick. He made a great pass, and I was lucky that their d-men kind of flew by me and left me alone in the slot.

The Sharks were also fortunate to have Antti Niemi at the top of his game. Niemi was especially busy in the first period, as the Bruins controlled the game for several minutes after Pavelski had given them the early lead.

The early pressure from Boston helped get Niemi in the game right away, and was welcomed by the goaltender. The Sharks entered the game allowing the fewest shots per game.

Its a different type of game when you get more shots right away, said Niemi, who finished with 37 saves. Then you dont have to worry about anything, youre in the game all the time.

Niemi preserved the 3-2 lead late, when, after a turnover, he made a diving stop on Chris Kellys attempt from the circle.

Nemo was great all night, said Pavelski. We settled it down, Benny came up with a big goal for us, Nemo made a few more saves and we got two points.

The Bruins honored Thornton, their former captain, midway through the first period with a message on the scoreboard congratulating him on his 1000th NHL game on Friday. Thornton waved to the gracious crowd, many of whom rose to their feet to applaud.

It was another Boston-bred athlete, however, that stole the show.

KURZ: Sharks shake up their defense
Odds and ends: Jason Demers and Colin White were scratched in favor of Jim Vandermeer and Justin Braun, who was recalled from Worcester on Saturday morning. In his four games in Boston since the trade, Thornton has one goal and two assists. Pavelskis goal broke a streak of four straight games in which San Jose had surrendered the first score. The Sharks had just one power play, which they failed to score on, and killed off both Bruins chances.

Sharks 'competed our asses off' in rewarding win over Kings

Sharks 'competed our asses off' in rewarding win over Kings

LOS ANGELES – It’s only mid-January, but the Sharks have already concluded the five-game season series with their biggest rival. That could be a good thing, as Sharks-Kings games are rarely for the faint of heart. 

“I’m glad to be done with them. If we don’t see them again, I’ll be alright with that,” Pete DeBoer quipped.

On the other hand, Wednesday’s latest and final head-to-head matchup resulted in perhaps the Sharks’ most rewarding win of the season, 3-2 at Staples Center. 

San Jose got contributions from up and down its lineup. Despite being without several key players (including Logan Couture, who missed the game due to illness), the Sharks worked hard and smart all over the ice and put some distance between themselves and Los Angeles, which is fighting to remain in playoff position.

“It was a good feeling in this [dressing] room when we came in here [after the game],” said Joe Pavelski, who scored one of the Sharks’ three goals. “Just felt like you put a complete effort out there.”

DeBoer said: “A little bit of a thin lineup, and I thought we competed our asses off. Played hard. This isn’t an easy building to win in. They play a physical game. We stood in there, and I thought played a real complete game.”

Special teams was key, as the Sharks got a power play goal from Pavelski and held the Kings to no goals and just one power play shot on four chances. Martin Jones was his typical solid self, even throwing in a highlight reel save on Dwight King in the third period to preserve the one-goal. Brent Burns continued to dominate, getting yet another goal in the first period (his 19th), and Joe Thornton notched a pair of assists.

And, the fourth line got in on the action, too. Micheal Haley was one of the team’s best forwards of the evening, beautifully setting up Tommy Wingels on a two-on-one, who gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish with less than five minutes to go in the first period.

“Just tried to make an early pass so [Wingels] had enough time to have a good look, and he made a great shot,” Haley said.

DeBoer said: “Big goal from those guys.”

Defensively, Los Angeles was held to just 24 shots, as the Sharks kept the Kings’ stars at bay. That includes Jeff Carter, who was the best player on the ice in the most recent meeting on Jan. 3, and has been far and away Los Angeles’ most valuable player this season.

“He’s a world class player and he’s having a world class season,” DeBoer said of Carter. “He’s dangerous every time he’s on the ice.”

The Sharks played a committed and detailed game in their own end, though, not giving Carter or anyone else much room to operate in their offensive zone. Los Angeles’ scoring chances were few and far between.

Last week, the Sharks failed to put some distance between themselves and another division rival nipping on their heels, the Flames. They didn’t want that to happen again with the Kings, who could have pulled to within four points of San Jose with a regulation win.

Instead, the Kings are now eight points back of San Jose after losing three of the five meetings. And they don’t have any more of those four-point games left on the schedule.

“You always want to win a season series,” Pavelski said. “It was just important because I think we all know it was pretty tight in the standings. It goes [to] four or eight [points], you know?”

Haley said: “We want to make that distance farther and farther. They’re always in the back of our head.”

Instant Replay: Complete effort helps Sharks take down rival Kings

Instant Replay: Complete effort helps Sharks take down rival Kings

BOX SCORE

LOS ANGELES – Brent Burns, Tommy Wingels and Joe Pavelski scored goals, and a brilliant performance by the penalty killers keyed a Sharks win over the Kings on Wednesday at Staples Center, 3-2.

The Sharks finished the season 3-1-1 against the Kings, and have won four of their last six overall (4-2-0). Los Angeles concluded a seven-game homestand with a 3-4-0 mark, dropping eight points behind San Jose in the Pacific Division.

After trading early scores, San Jose scored twice to jump out to a 3-1 lead.

Wingels gave the Sharks their second lead of the night at 15:42 of the first period, burying a Micheal Haley pass on a two-on-one rush.

Then, on a second period power play, Joel Ward redirected a Joe Thornton shot wide, but Pavelski grabbed it off of the end boards and bounced it in off of Peter Budaj at the 10-minute mark.

Los Angeles got one back at 15:19. Kyle Clifford stepped out of the penalty box making it a three-on-two, and after Martin Jones stopped Clifford try from the slot, the puck squirted to Marian Gaborik who easily directed it into the open net.

The Kings’ nearly tied it with about 14:20 to go, but Jones made a brilliant stop on Dwight King’s rebound try, lunging at the shot with his right pad.

Los Angeles failed on four power play chances, getting just one shot in nearly eight minutes.

The Sharks were without Logan Couture for the first time this season. According to coach Pete DeBoer, Couture remained in San Jose due to an illness. Patrick Marleau centered the second line, while Melker Karlsson took Marleau’s place on the Thornton-Pavelski line.

The teams traded first period goals. Burns’ wrister from high in the zone deflected off of Anze Kopitar’s stick and high over Budaj at 3:31, but Los Angeles responded on Tanner Pearson’s redirection of Derek Forbort’s floater at 5:46.

According to Elias, Burns is the first defenseman to have at least 19 goals through the first 45 games of the season since Paul Coffey had 22 in 1985-86.

Thornton notched two assists, moving into 24th all-time on the NHL’s scoring list with 1,370 points, passing Johnny Bucyk.

Special teams

In a game that featured an abundance of questionable calls, the Sharks went 1-for-4 while remaining perfect on the PK. San Jose has one power play goal in three of its last four games (3-for-13).

The Kings had one power play goal in each of the first four head-to-head meetings before Wednesday.

In goal

Jones improved to 6-2-2 against his former team, making 22 stops. He was starting for the eighth time in the last nine.

Budaj allowed three goals on 27 shots. He continues to get the bulk of the work with Jonathan Quick still out from a groin injury suffered on opening night in San Jose.

Lineup

In Couture’s place, Ryan Carpenter played for the first time since Nov. 30, when he scored his first NHL goal at Staples Center. Barclay Goodrow and Tim Heed, recalled on Tuesday, were scratched.

Kopitar played for the Kings after missing Monday’s game with an illness.

Up next

The Sharks will battle the Lightning at home in the second of two meetings on Thursday. On Nov. 12, San Jose beat Tampa Bay at Amalie Arena, 3-1. In the second of back-to-backs, the Sharks are 4-3-0 this season.