Sharks dominate Columbus 6-0 at The Tank


Sharks dominate Columbus 6-0 at The Tank

SAN JOSE Its not very often that a vicious elbow to the head results in anything positive, but for Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks, a 6-0 blowout victory over the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets could probably be traced to just that.

No more than 20 seconds into the game at HP Pavilion on Tuesday night, Columbus Jared Boll hit the Sharks captain with a high hit to the noggin. The Sharks didnt score on the ensuing power play, but the play triggered a wave of emotion on the bench and set the tone for what turned out to be not only a lopsided victory, but a physical and nasty contest throughout.

And it was Thornton leading the way, with two goals and an assist.

You get more in the game, just kind of a wake up call, Thornton said of the reaction to the hit. It gives the group a wake up call. It was a good hit to take, and get the two points, and move on.

It created a lot of emotion in the game, Todd McLellan said. As a coach, youre always worried about whether the guys will be sleepy and what will trigger the game. Then, 20 seconds in, the guys are on their toes already and ready to play. That was a good thing for us. Its not great that Jumbo got an elbow to the head, but it did wake our group up and we played after that.

San Jose scored two goals in each of the three periods, including several in and around the crease an area of concern for the club, which entered with two goals or less in six of its last eight games.

Among the markers from close range were Patrick Marleaus goal at 7:53 of the first period which opened the scoring, Jamie McGinn depositing a rebound at 16:55 of the second period to make it 4-0, and Michal Handzus goal after McGinn forced a turnover in front of the Columbus net early in the third to make it 5-0.

Tonight, the pucks went our way. We dug, and we poked, and we prodded, and they went in the net. A very good job by all the lines to get there, and the D to get the puck to the blue paint to begin with, McLellan said.

Less than two minutes after Marleau opened the scoring, Thornton took advantage of a terrible turnover by Fedor Tyutin, staying with his own rebound to make it 2-0 at 9:43. Andrew Desjardins, playing on the teams first line, helped cause the turnover by charging in on Tyutin who was along the boards and rushed his pass.

Thornton, who assisted on Joe Pavelskis power play marker early in the second to make it 3-0, capped the scoring at 10:54 of the third period. On a three-on-two rush after a nice play by Brent Burns to start the breakout, Thornton deposited a backhanded pass by Pavelski for his 10th goal.

Thats when things got ugly...or entertaining, depending on your viewpoint.

The game already had its share of emotion thanks to the Boll hit, as the Jackets agitator dropped the gloves with Jim Vandermeer on two occassions. The first came after Marleau made it 1-0, and when Boll knew he would have to answer for his early headshot on Thornton.

A big hit on one of our guys, you have to let the their team know we wont stand for that, Vandermeer said. And that was it.

Vandermeer, playing his second straight game at forward, was asked if he challenged Boll to the first fight.

It was kind of mutual. He knew it was coming, and it was either me or Brad Winchester. He picked me, so I switched over to the left side and we went.

A second fight between the two came early in the third, when Boll took exception to a boarding call on Vandermeer. But that was nothing compared to what would happen later in the frame with the game well under the Sharks' control.

It started with a surprising participant, too. Dan Boyle hit Columbus Derek Brassard behind the net, and after some jawing between the two following the play, the gloves came off and Boyle promptly beat up Brassard with a little more than four minutes left in regulation.

Boyle explained how he saw his altercation with Brassard develop.

In my eyes, I could tell he kind of let himself go, he said. He wanted to get hit and wanted to draw ahe made it look worse than it was, and I just didnt like that. I told him not to dive. Then he asked me to go.

As the linesman was restraining Boyle after the fight, Columbus Rick Nash came over to further yap at him. In Columbus last visit to HP Pavilion earlier this month, Boyle and Nash almost fought themselves.

Its because I didnt fight him last time and he wasnt too happy about that, Boyle explained of the most recent confrontation with Nash. But, its game situation. Last time it was a really close game and I didnt feel it was the right time. This one it was a guy my size, too.

The Sharks won that game on Jan. 5, 2-1, as well as the Jan. 14 matchup at Nationwide Arena by the same score.

They werent through, either. Derek Dorsett cross-checked Colin White with less than three minutes to go, setting off another round of fistcuffs between Dorsett and White and Tyutin and Justin Braun.

A total of 92 penalty minutes were dished out in the game, including a season-high 49 to the Sharks, and Vandermeer commented afterwards that its the kind of night that can bring a team together.

I think any time when guys go to battle for each other, it just brings you that much closer together, Vandermeer said. It makes the other guys want to fight that much more for everybody else. Sometimes you dont like to see that many, but its good to see when everybodys got each others backs.

Im glad that we played an emotional game. Its a big thing for our team, McLellan said. I thought we did a really good job of sticking together, and I thought our bigger bodies played important roles in the game today.

Lost a bit in the madness was the fact that goaltender Antti Niemi recorded his second straight shutout. Niemi made 30 saves, following up his blanking of Calgary in the final game before the break exactly a week ago. It was his fourth shutout this season, and came at an opportune time: his father, Veikko Niemi, saw his son play for the first time in the NHL in North America.

Nine Sharks got on the scoresheet, including five who had multiple-point nights. Pavelski, Handzus and McGinn all had a goal and an assist, while Logan Couture recorded a pair of helpers.

For coming out of the All-Star break, that was easily a game you can get emotionally involved in, Thornton said. The guys played well, all around, tonight.
Odds and ends: The Sharks won 47 percent of the faceoffs. Dan Boyle played in his 800th career NHL game; Brent Burns played in his 500th; and Douglas Murray his 400th. Murray recorded his first point, assisting on McGinns goal, since Oct. 31 at Madison Square Garden. Andrew Murray was the lone healthy scratch. Ryane Clowe (facial fracture) and Jason Demers (lower body injury) also did not play. The Sharks recalled John McCarthy earlier in the day.

Rewind: Shorthanded Penguins stun Sharks in late comeback

Rewind: Shorthanded Penguins stun Sharks in late comeback

PITTSBURGH – The primary reason the Sharks made the additions and subtractions they did in the offseason was to match up better against a swift-skating team like Pittsburgh, which won last June’s Stanley Cup Final by playing a game based on speed.

If the first rematch is any indication, even a dramatically shorthanded Penguins team can still get the job done against San Jose.

Despite no Sidney Crosby, no Kris Letang, no Matt Murray, no Conor Sheary, and no third defense pair of Olli Maatta and Derrick Poulliot for the third period, the Penguins stormed from behind to give the Sharks a 3-2 loss on Thursday night at PPG Paints Arena. All of the Penguins’ goals came in the third period after they trailed 2-0 to start the final frame.

For the second time in four games on their road trip, the Sharks controlled play through two periods. That was enough against lowly Columbus last Saturday, but not against the Penguins, who got goals from Evgeni Malkin, Scott Wilson and Patric Hornqvist in span of eight minutes and 15 seconds in the third.

“Let them hang around a little bit, which is something we’ve done lately,” Pete DeBoer said. “Had some opportunities to extend it, and didn’t. Probably deserved to be up by more, but we weren’t. That’s what happens.”

San Jose got goals from Tomas Hertl and Patrick Marleau in the second period, a period that saw them outshoot the Penguins, 17-4. Shots were 27-10 overall through 40 minutes.

They started well in the third, too, when Mikkel Boedker drew a trip on Malkin at 4:10. Just after the ensuing power play had expired, Boedker was staring at a wide open net after slick seam pass from Joonas Donskoi, but fired wide.

Malkin scored 30 seconds later, and the comeback was on.

“Just missed it. It’s a tough shot when it comes from the other way, but [Donskoi] made a good pass,” Boedker said. “It’s one of those you want to put in, and when things are going the right way, they come in bunches. … Obviously it sucks, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

After Malkin’s goal, and another by Wilson tied it, the Sharks took a pair of minor penalties. Paul Martin was called for a delay of game that was killed off, but Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s slash on Bryan Rust resulted in Hornqvist’s winner with less than six minutes to go in regulation.

Joe Pavelski didn’t seem to like either call, indicating that Martin’s errant clearing attempt hit a Penguins stick on its way out, and the Vlasic slash late a tie game is a call “that you don’t always see.”

Hornqvist got a couple fortunate bounces on his goal, too. He took control of the puck in front of the net after it hit Joel Ward’s foot, and his shot attempt deflected in off of Martin’s skate.

“They got a bounce or two more, but the position we were in, it shouldn’t matter how many bounces they get,” Pavelski said. “We’ve got to seal that game.”

The captain expressed disappointment over the fact that the Sharks squandered a chance to move to 4-1-0 on the season, which would be an accomplishment considering their early peripatetic schedule in which they played just one home game before traveling east.

That outweighed any sort of revenge factor that might have been on the minds of the players that were defeated by Pittsburgh in the Final last spring.

“The biggest thing is we were playing for a 4-1 record going into that third [period]. Not because it was the Penguins,” Pavelski said. “It’s early in the year and it’s not easy to start coming on the road with all these games. Now we’re staring at 3-2, and we move on. It would have been nice to beat them, for sure, but the best thing would have been for that record.”

The Sharks can still conclude their five-game trip with a winning mark by beating Detroit on Saturday.

DeBoer said: “We’re not going to overreact. We played very good hockey for large amounts of this game. Learn from it, and move forward.”

Instant Replay: Sharks blow lead in Cup rematch with Penguins

Instant Replay: Sharks blow lead in Cup rematch with Penguins


PITTSBURGH – It wasn’t the Stanley Cup Final, but it was a disappointing defeat for the Sharks against the Penguins nonetheless, as Pittsburgh stormed back from a two-goal deficit in the third period to stun San Jose, 3-2.

The game-winner came from Patric Hornqvist. On a Pittsburgh power play, he found a loose puck and swiped it in off of Paul Martin's skate with 5:58 left in regulation.

The Penguins trailed 2-0 to start the third, but Evgeni Malkin got them on the board. After the Sharks were caught scrambling in front of their own net, Malkin took control of the disc in the high slot. He spun around and flicked it through Martin Jones at 6:47.

A little more than two minutes later, Hornqvist drilled Brenden Dillon on the corner, jarring the puck loose from the wall. Scott Wilson grabbed it, swooped towards the crease and slipped it though at 9:01 to knot the game at 2-2.

The Sharks (3-2-0) fell to 2-2 on their five-game road trip, which concludes with their final visit to Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on Saturday.

San Jose scored twice in a dominant second period in which it outshot Pittsburgh, 17-4.

Tomas Hertl’s second goal in as many games opened the scoring. He got to the front of the net and poked in a Joe Pavelski rebound at 5:04 after goalie Marc-Andre Fleury lost control of his stick while making a save on Brent Burns moments earlier.

Patrick Marleau created the second goal at 16:15, stripping Chris Kunitz of the puck at the blue line and finishing off a give-and-go with Logan Couture for his second of the year.

Prior to Marleau’s marker, the Penguins had a power play goal waved off. On a power play, Phil Kessel directed a rebound towards the net, and it rattled around off of the post and Jones’ left pad. Hornqvist directed it in, but a video review showed it illegally went in off of his glove and not his stick with 6:41 left in the period.

San Jose was 28-0-2 last season when leading after two periods, and 9-0 in the playoffs.

Special teams

The Sharks allowed one power play goal in five Penguins advantages, and were 0-for-3 on the power play.

Mikkel Boedker had a chance to essentially seal the win on a third period advantage for the Sharks, but couldn’t bury a Joonas Donskoi pass into an empty net. Malkin brought the Penguins back to within a goal moments later.

San Jose killed off a Martin delay of game penalty at 10:17 of the third to keep it 2-2, but Marc-Edouard Vlasic's slash led to Hornqvists's goal.

In goal

Jones fell to 2-2 on the season with three goals allowed on 20 shots.

Marc-Andre Fleury got the win with 32 saves. Starter Matt Murray remains out with a hand injury.


Pittsburgh was down to four defensemen by the end of the game, as Olli Maatta and Derrick Pouliot were forced from action in the second period.

The Penguins were without several key pieces to start the game, including Murray, best defenseman Kris Letang, and the best player in the world, Sidney Crosby.

Matt Nieto returned to the lineup in place of Micheal Haley on the fourth line. Nieto was a healthy scratch on Tuesday against the Islanders.

Up next

After Saturday’s game in Detroit, the Sharks finally play their second game at SAP Center on Tuesday, Oct. 25 against Anaheim in the first of a three-game homestand. Columbus and Nashville also visit.