Ferriero's first lifts Sharks over Bruins


Ferriero's first lifts Sharks over Bruins


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.

Canucks battling mumps ahead of meeting with Sharks

Canucks battling mumps ahead of meeting with Sharks

Several Vancouver Canucks are battling an outbreak of the mumps ahead of a game on Saturday with the Sharks at Rogers Arena.

At least five players are expected to miss the game. Troy Stecher is the only player with a confirmed test result, general manager Jim Benning said in a statement, but Chris Tanev, Nikita Tryamkin, Mike Chaput and Markus Granlund “have each presented symptoms.”

Players with symptoms are “immediately being tested and quarantined in isolation for a five-day period from the onset of symptoms or until test results prove negative.”

Vancouver Coastal Health authorities were on hand at Rogers Arena on Friday to screen players and staff, and issue immunizations if necessary.

The Sharks and Canucks will both be coming off of their bye week when they play for the second of five times this season.

Sharks' Thornton can follow Marleau, make history in Vancouver

Sharks' Thornton can follow Marleau, make history in Vancouver

SAN JOSE – Three weeks ago, Sharks forward Patrick Marleau made history in Vancouver when he scored his 500th career goal at Rogers Arena on Feb. 2.

His longtime teammate has a chance to make more history on the same ice surface on Saturday. Joe Thornton sits two assists away from becoming just the 13th player in NHL history to reach 1,000 for his career, as the Sharks prepare to resume their post-bye week schedule against the Canucks.

“It’s neat,” Thornton said recently. “It’s something I don’t think growing up or even playing so many years you realize you’re going to hit this milestone. When you see the names – I haven’t really looked at the names yet. I think once it hits I’ll kind of peek and see who’s on that list. It’s a nice accomplishment, I guess.”

Thornton, of course, has helped make goal scorers out of many different teammates throughout his career in Boston and San Jose. Marleau has scored 120 goals in which Thornton registered an assist to top the list, while Joe Pavelski is close behind (111). Jonathan Cheechoo (89 goals assisted by Thornton), Boston’s Glen Murray (70) and Brent Burns (50) have also benefited from being on the ice at the same time as the best player in Sharks franchise history.

“I’ve been lucky to play with so many goal scorers,” Thornton said. “For a guy that passes the puck a lot, you need guys to finish. I’ve been lucky enough ever since I’ve been here in San Jose, and really my whole career. … I’ve had so many good goal scorers that it helps you get to that point.”

Logan Couture gave Thornton more credit than he was willing to give himself. 

“You look over the years – Cheechoo, [Devin Setoguchi], now Pav. He finds guys in the slot," Couture said. "Obviously he’s made some tremendous passes over the years, and guys have put it in the back of the net. … The way he’s able to kind of take a quick peek out of the corner of his eye and find someone and deliver it through feet and sticks and all that stuff, it’s pretty special.”

Thornton is currently 23rd all-time in scoring in NHL history with 1,380 points. He would be just the second player in to debut during the 1990s to reach 1,000 career assists, joining Florida’s Jaromir Jagr. He could eclipse Joe Sakic (1,016 assists) for 12th place on the all-time assist list before the season is through, and is 43 helpers away from breaking into the top 10 (Marcel Dionne, 1,040).

In 60 games this season, Thornton has five goals and 34 assists for 39 points. He has recorded multiple assists in a game six times this season, with the most recent occurrence on Jan. 18 in Los Angeles.

Although he’s off his scoring pace from last season, when he had 82 points in 82 games and finished fifth in voting for the Hart Trophy, Thornton has admitted that this season has been a grind for him. The 37-year-old is coming off of a short summer, helping the Sharks reach their first-ever Stanley Cup Final, and helped Canada win the World Cup of Hockey in September, too.

He’ll be a player to watch coming out of the bye week, which he was looking forward to.

“For me, it’s nice. It’s going to be a nice little break before our last [22] games and our postseason,” he said last week." I think it kind of fits in perfect for us. Get our rest, and get ready for the sprint.”

In 56 career regular season games against the Canucks, Thornton has 16 goals and 48 assists for 64 points.