Sharks
Kings
2 - 1 Final
  for this game

Boucher helps Sharks continue streak

Mar 19, 2008 - 6:37 AM
LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Brian Boucher did not need to be perfect for the San Jose Sharks this time.

Boucher made 29 saves and Joe Thornton reached the 20-goal mark for the eighth straight season as the Sharks extended their streak of recording at least one point to 13 games with a 2-1 triumph over the lowly Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

Patrick Rissmiller also scored for San Jose (43-21-9), which stretched its lead in the Pacific Division over idle Anaheim (41-25-8) to five points and also climbed within five of idle Detroit (47-20-6) in the race for the Presidents' Trophy.

"Detroit, right now, plays the rest of their games against non-playoff teams," said Sharks coach Ron Wilson, whose team is 12-0-1 since dropping a 3-2 decision in regulation to New Jersey on February 20. "So shame on them if they blow a lead like that."

"Just keep winning, that's all we focus on," Thornton said. "We look at the standings every day, but you just want to keep winning and you don't know what can happen. But we want to finish as high as we can."

The win was San Jose's ninth straight on the road, one shy of its season high set from November 14-December 31.

Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky netted the lone goal for the Kings, who suffered their league-high 40th loss of the season and fell to 3-8-3 in their last 14 games.

"I thought our effort was decent," Los Angeles coach Marc Crawford said. "We got a fairly decent level of work in the third period when we pushed and pushed, but that's got to be there all the time."

Signed on February 26 as a veteran backup to All-Star Evgeni Nabokov, Boucher made his debut with the Sharks against the St. Louis Blues on March 1, making 24 saves to post his first shutout since November 12, 2006.

Making his second start with the club, the 31-year-old native of Rhode Island nearly made it 2-for-2, turning aside the first 26 shots he faced before Visnovsky spoiled his shutout bid with less than five minutes remaining in the third period.

"As a goaltender, you want to pitch shutouts," Boucher said. "It feels great, but the reality is, you're not going to get shutouts every night. As well as we played tonight, we let a guy with a pretty good shot beat three of us. Fortunately, it was the only one that beat us."

"He played well for us against St. Louis and again tonight," Thornton said. "We have two No. 1 goalies."

However, Boucher - who owns the longest shutout sequence of the modern era - stopped the final three shots he saw to preserve the victory.

"(Mike) Cammalleri had a good chance and I was able to get a piece of it," Boucher said of a late save. "He made a nice move. We got out of here with the two points."

"Boucher played well tonight, especially on the power play," Kings left wing Dustin Brown said. "We had a lot of good chances crashing the net, but they bounced the other way. They got enough goals to win and he made some big saves for them on the power play."

While a member of the Phoenix Coyotes in 2003-04, Boucher posted five consecutive shutouts and a string of 332 minutes, 1 second without allowing a goal.

"It's huge to have the confidence we have in him," Wilson said. "He did a great job, especially at the end and during a couple (penalty) kills."

Thornton opened the scoring during a power play late in the first period. After his pass attempt from the right side of the net hit Kings defenseman Rob Blake, the puck came right back to the All-Star, who deposited into the net with 2:51 remaining for his 20th goal of the season.

"It was an easy goal, an empty-net goal for me," Thornton said. "But our power play has been struggling a bit lately, so it was nice to get one in the first period."

Thornton has reached the 20-goal plateau every campaign since 1999-2000.

Rissmiller doubled the lead with 3:37 to go in the middle period.

With defenseman Tom Preissing in close pursuit, Rissmiller carried down the slot and unleashed a backhander that Dan Cloutier stopped. But the 29-year-old grabbed his own rebound and fired it past the goaltender for his eighth of the campaign and a 2-0 lead.

"It was a great pass from Torrey (Mitchell)," Rissmiller said. "I knew I was getting close to the net and just put it on net and went for the rebound. It was a fortunate bounce back to me.

"You can't rely on the big guys on the top two lines all the time. It's nice when you have other guys chipping in."

Visnovsky got Los Angeles on the board with 4:47 to go in the third. From behind the net, Derek Armstrong dished to the blue-liner, who fired a slap shot from just above the left faceoff circle that found its way through traffic and beat Boucher high to the glove side.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 1 1 0 2
    LOS ANGELES 0 0 1 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - (PP) JOE THORNTON 20 (JOE PAVELSKI, PATRICK MARLEAU)
    17:09
    2ND PRD: SAN - PAT RISSMILLER 8 (TORREY MITCHELL) 16:23
    3RD PRD: LOS - LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY 7 (DEREK ARMSTRONG) 15:13
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: SAN - 1 OF 2

    Mar 19 12:53 AM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 2
    LOS ANGELES 1
    3RD PRD: LOS - LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY 7 (DEREK ARMSTRONG) 15:13

    Sharks 2, Kings 1  3rd - 4:47Mar 19 12:49 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 1 1 2
    LOS ANGELES 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - (PP) JOE THORNTON 20 (JOE PAVELSKI, PATRICK MARLEAU)
    17:09
    2ND PRD: SAN - PAT RISSMILLER 8 (TORREY MITCHELL) 16:23
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN 13 7

    Mar 19 12:03 AM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 2
    LOS ANGELES 0
    2ND PRD: SAN - PAT RISSMILLER 8 (TORREY MITCHELL) 16:23

    Sharks 2, Kings 0  2nd - 3:37Mar 18 11:58 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 1 1
    LOS ANGELES 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - (PP) JOE THORNTON 20 (JOE PAVELSKI, PATRICK MARLEAU)
    17:09
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN 13 13
    LOS 13 13
    GOALIES: SAN - BRIAN B

    Mar 18 11:14 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 1
    LOS ANGELES 0
    1ST PRD: SAN - (PP) JOE THORNTON 20 (JOE PAVELSKI, PATRICK MARLEAU)
    17:09

    Sharks 1, Kings 0  1st - 2:51Mar 18 11:11 PM