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San Jose continues mastery of Flyers

Feb 29, 2012 - 8:16 AM
San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Antti Niemi made 26 saves for his fifth shutout of the season and the San Jose Sharks continued their mastery of the Philadelphia Flyers with a 1-0 victory.

Ryane Clowe scored the only goal 82 seconds into the game as the Sharks notched their ninth win in a row over Philadelphia. San Jose is 11-0-0 with a pair of ties in the past 13 meetings since the Flyers' last triumph on December 21, 2000.

"When you score early you feel good and you get some offensive chances and you think you're going to have a big night," said Clowe. "I didn't think it was going to be a 1-0 game."

The Sharks, who returned home after a 2-6-1 road trip, remained two points behind the Pacific Division-leading Phoenix Coyotes.

San Jose head coach Todd McLellan missed Tuesday's game because of concussion- like symptoms he's still suffering from after being hit in the head with a stick during the second period of Sunday's game against Minnesota. Assistants Matt Shaw and Jay Woodcroft shared the coaching duties.

Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 22 shots for Philadelphia, which split a four-game road trip and has yet to win back-to-back games since January 10-12.

The only shot that resulted in a goal was the game's first. Joe Thornton carried the puck in the neutral zone before dishing to his left for Clowe, who fired a wrister past Bryzgalov from the face-off circle.

Philadelphia entered the game leading the league in power play opportunities with 268 and opened the second period with the man-advantage. The Flyers went back up a skater at frame's 4:35 mark but failed to convert once again.

The visitors felt Danny Briere being shoved head-first into the corner boards by Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic in the latter stages of the third period warranted a penalty. One wasn't forthcoming, however. Despite being down on the ice for multiple minutes, Briere stayed in the game.

As time became the Flyers' enemy, they pulled Bryzgalov in hopes of replicating the start to their trek, when Wayne Simmonds tied a game against Winnipeg with the extra attacker last Tuesday. Philadelphia wound up prevailing in overtime.

On this day, though, the game ended like the Flyers' second stop in Edmonton: with a shutout loss.

Game Notes

Niemi faced the Flyers for the first time since defeating them in the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals while with Chicago. He recorded his 18th career shutout...Forwards Daniel Winnik and T.J. Galiardi made their debuts for San Jose. Both players were acquired in the same deal from the Colorado Avalanche before Monday's trading deadline...Philadelphia's Claude Giroux was held without a shot for the first time since March 26, 2011, a span of 66 games.