Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sharks Beat Nashville In Overtime

Marleau skates in, shoots, SCORES! Patrick Marleau wins it in overtime!

The San Jose Sharks win again at home, this time against the visiting Nashville Predators. Definitely a game to help forget the losing effort just three days ago when the chippy Stars team paid a visit from Dallas. When the Predators visited in December, they handed the Sharks a narrow 2-1 loss, so the Sharks had all the more reason to beat them this time on home ice.

Each of the first two periods ended with one goal per team, with the Sharks scoring first each time. Just over eight minutes into the first period, Ryane Clowe tipped the puck into the net, fed by Dany Heatley and Jason Demers, to bring the score to 1-0 Sharks. The Predators struck back late in the first with a power play goal by Joel Ward, and the score remained 1-1 through the end of the first.

During the second period, defenseman Justin Braun shot the puck from the point, scoring on a bewildered Predators netminder, Pekka Rinne, after the puck bounced off of a couple of Predators players before finding its way to the back of the net. The Sharks’ lead was short lived after a too many men penalty against them gave the Predators’ power line time to capitalize, allowing defenseman Shea Weber an opportunity to score, which he promptly did, to bring the tally to 2-2.

The Sharks turned up the heat in the third period. They maintained fabulous puck control, fired quality shots on net, made great passes, and quickly recovered the puck when the Predators had been able to gain brief control. While the Sharks dominated puck control and shots on net, the Predators’ netminder Pekka Rinne was responsible for keeping the Predators alive. Even with well-placed shots, the Sharks failed to get the puck to cross the goal line.

With four seconds left in the third period, the Predators iced the puck, placing the face-off in their zone. The Sharks almost managed to score before their forced overtime, with the draw cleanly won by Joe Pavelski, and Ian White blasting the available puck towards the net.

During overtime, the Sharks almost lost after a potentially dangerous turnover in their zone. Fortunately, the Sharks recovered, performing a few fast-paced two on ones, although it was the final two on one momentum with Ian White and Patrick Marleau that ended it all. Marleau skated in the zone with the puck, and using White as a decoy, proceeded to shoot the puck at the net. Although the Predators defenseman got a piece of the puck with his skate, Marleau’s shot was hard enough to beat Rinne for the win.

Congratulations to the Sharks on their hard-fought win!

Last note: In case some of you are interested, Logan Couture won the informal Sharks’ fan poll to answer the question, “Who is the best two-way forward on the Sharks right now?” I actually voted for Ryane Clowe (who came in second), but it could have been Jamie Baker’s obvious nod to Couture that may have influenced the vote – haha. Not saying that’s bad, as Couture is a total stud. But still, would have been interesting to see the results had Baker not circled Couture’s name on the polling list.

I will be away for the next two games (Thursday’s against the Vancouver Canucks and Saturday’s against the New York Rangers) to play in a hockey tournament (who would’ve thought?). so I will not return until Monday, when the Sharks take on the Blackhawks in Chicago.


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