March 9, 2011SHARKS PAGE SHARKSVIDEO
CSNBayArea.com staffAntero Niittymaki was on the ice Wednesday morning as he suited up and practiced with the Sharks for the first time since being activated from the injured reserve list on Saturday.REWIND: Sharks activate G Niittymaki, reassign HuttonBack in early February, Niittymaki was poised to return from a lower body injury, but during pregame warm-ups in Washington Feb. 8, he suffered a second groin injury.REWIND: Sharks' Niittymaki tweaks groin injury in practiceBetween the two groin problems, Niittymaki has missed the Sharks' past 22 games. He last played Jan. 13 in a 5-2 loss to the Oilers, in which he allowed four goals.RELATED: Antero Niittymaki's maskAs his replacements, the Sharks used Alex Stalock, Carter Hutton, Jordan White and J.P Anderson, none of whom are still on the Sharks' roster. Stalock looked to have a comfortable hold on the position. In a crafty roster move attempting to get Stalock more game action, the Sharks assigned him to Worcester, where he could play a game in the AHL on San Jose's off-day and rejoin the team on their road trip in Boston. Unfortunately, Stalock was stepped on by a skate in the game and suffered a serious laceration to his left leg, requiring surgery with no time table for return.RELATED: Sharks G Alex Stalock has surgery on left legIn his absence, fellow Finish netminder Antti Niemi has sparkled for the Sharks, taking the starting position and running with it. Niemi is 17-3-1 since Niittymaki was originally sidelined with a groin injury.
Niemi played so well that the Sharks signed him to a four-year contract extension.RELATED: Sharks, Niemi agree to four-year contract extension