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.