for this game

Sharks jump on top early, hold off Coyotes

Mar 31, 2008 - 4:14 AM
By Michael Duca PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) - In their first game as Pacific Division Champions, the San Jose Sharks looked every bit the part in a 3-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Sunday.

The Sharks wasted no time jumping on top, scoring on their first shift.

Ryane Clowe, returning to the lineup after missing 65 games with a knee injury, launched a slap shot from the left circle that bounced off Phoenix goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov into the slot. Bryzgalov blocked Milan Michalek's one-timer, but the rebound went to Joe Thornton in the slot and he lifted it over Bryzgalov's glove just 14 seconds into the contest.

"It felt really good, actually," Clowe said. "I think I was a little tired the first period because I had so much adrenaline built up. The second and third period, the legs felt great, the knee felt good, and it was just nice to be back."

San Jose coach Ron Wilson was happy to see his team come out with fire in their eyes.

"It was a great effort. The guys were doing all the little detail things. I thought we totally controlled the game," Wilson said. "They were still alive in the playoff race, and when you score on the first shift, we let them know early we intended to win the game."

Phoenix tied the game just over six minutes later when Shane Doan got loose on a breakaway. Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov stopped the shot, but could not control it, and Doan pulled it away from Nabokov, then flipped in a top-shelf shot from just outside the left corner of the crease.

San Jose skated off a penalty when Torrey Mitchell hooked Marcel Hossa, and just as Mitchell stepped out of the box Michalek found a racing Thornton in the right circle with a cross-ice pass. Thornton 's one-timer found the back of the net to Bryzgalov's left side, at 17:31 of the first session.

"When you're strong like that, you just want to shoot everything you get a chance to," said Thornton, who has five goals in his last two games vs. Phoenix. "Right now, they are just finding the back of the net."

Although neither team scored in the second period, San Jose played like a playoff-bound team, assaulting Bryzgalov with 17 shots. Both teams agreed that San Jose took over the game in that period, despite not denting the scoreboard. Bryzgalov finished with 29 saves.

San Jose added an insurance goal at 7:10 of the third period when Jeremy Roenick cycled the puck from behind the net and left a drop pass in the left circle for Brian Campbell, whose slap shot was deflected in front of the net by Curtis Brown between Bryzgalov's pads.

San Jose has now won 17 games and logged 36 of a possible 38 points since their last regulation loss on February 20 in New Jersey. In that time they have come from 11 points behind Dallas to securing home ice against any team except Detroit in the coming Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Asked what he thought of San Jose's chances in the coming playoffs, Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky was positive.

"I've said all year, they are good," Gretzky said. "Their goaltender is solid, they have size, speed, and tremendous depth. And, they've got a centerman who is one of the top three players in the game. When you have a centerman that size who is that good and who works that hard, you are a tough team to beat. They are a very, very good hockey club."

The loss, coupled with Nashville's collecting a point from their overtime defeat by Detroit, eliminated the Coyotes from the playoff picture. Doan, as the elder statesman of the Phoenix team, said the game left a bitter taste.

"As a player who has not been in the playoffs for a while, and who has been in the league a long while, it's frustrating," Doan said. "You don't get opportunities to be in the playoffs every year, and we dropped the ball completely.

"They had jump, and they took over the game in the second period. We got back on our heels, and it was unfortunate."

Nabokov made 19 saves for the Sharks in posting his career-high and league-leading 45th win.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 1 0 0 1
    SAN JOSE 2 0 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - JOE THORNTON 27 (MILAN MICHALEK, RYANE CLOWE) 0:14
    PHO - SHANE DOAN 28 (DEREK MORRIS) 6:33
    SAN - JOE THORNTON 28 (MILAN MICHALEK) 17:31
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: SAN - CURTIS BROWN 4 (BRIAN CAMPBELL, JEREMY ROENICK

    Mar 30 10:20 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 1
    SAN JOSE 3
    3RD PRD: SAN - CURTIS BROWN 4 (BRIAN CAMPBELL, JEREMY ROENICK) 7:10

    Coyotes 1, Sharks 3  3rd - 12:50Mar 30 10:00 PM
  • 10
    roots
    bigbelly Added 5 roots

    Coyotes 1, Sharks 2  End of 2ndMar 30 9:45 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 1 0 1
    SAN JOSE 2 0 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - JOE THORNTON 27 (MILAN MICHALEK, RYANE CLOWE) 0:14
    PHO - SHANE DOAN 28 (DEREK MORRIS) 6:33
    SAN - JOE THORNTON 28 (MILAN MICHALEK) 17:31
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    ---

    Mar 30 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 1 1
    SAN JOSE 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - JOE THORNTON 27 (MILAN MICHALEK, RYANE CLOWE) 0:14
    PHO - SHANE DOAN 28 (DEREK MORRIS) 6:33
    SAN - JOE THORNTON 28 (MILAN MICHALEK) 17:31
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- ----

    Mar 30 8:41 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 1
    SAN JOSE 2
    1ST PRD: SAN - JOE THORNTON 28 (MILAN MICHALEK) 17:31

    Coyotes 1, Sharks 2  1st - 2:29Mar 30 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 1
    SAN JOSE 1
    1ST PRD: PHO - SHANE DOAN 28 (UNASSISTED) 6:33

    Coyotes 1, Sharks 1  1st - 13:27Mar 30 8:18 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 0
    SAN JOSE 1
    1ST PRD: SAN - JOE THORNTON 27 (MILAN MICHALEK, RYANE CLOWE) 0:14

    Coyotes 0, Sharks 1  1st - 19:46Mar 30 8:09 PM
  • 5
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    Againigan Added 5 roots

    Coyotes vs. SharksMar 30 7:53 PM