In the second game of their five-game homestand, the San Jose Sharks (15-3-5, 35 points) defeated the New Jersey Devils (9-9-5, 23 points) by the final score of 2-1 Saturday night. It was a nail-biter down to the end but one where the Sharks came out with two points.
Once again the Sharks got off to a good start, but decided to make things interesting in the third by letting the Devils get back in the game. Also, as expected, it was a low scoring affair. San Jose’s defense did well holding the Devils to just three shots in that strong first period and only 19 total.
The Sharks got on the board twice in the first period on goals by Scott Hannan and Tyler Kennedy, who each tallied their third goals of the season. Hannan’s goal came off a simple shot from the point while Tomas Hertl was in front of the net providing a screen.
Kennedy’s goal was set up by a good forecheck which he started, followed by a pinch up the boards by defenseman Jason Demers. Martin Havlat then picked the puck up off the boards behind New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur and sent a spinning no-look pass to Kennedy, who fired a one-timer through the seven-hole of Brodeur. At the end of the first it was 2-0 Sharks.
We fast-forward to the third period after a scoreless second where the Devils scored on their one and only power play of the game to cut San Jose’s lead in half. The goal, which was scored by Patrick Elias, came on a shot from the faceoff dot with a screen in front of Antti Niemi. From that point on the Devils turned up the heat until the end of the game.
Then, with 1:31 left in regulation, the Sharks got a golden scoring chance again the Devils when Brent Burns was one-on-one against Brodeur, who made a fantastic save on a puck that hit him in the neck. Brodeur ended up going down immediately and play was stopped to allow him to be attended to. Fortunately Brodeur would be OK and stayed in the game, although it was not for long as he was pulled about 10 seconds later for the extra attacker.
With that extra attacker, Niemi was forced to make a couple great saves but in the end he and the Sharks’ defense were able to hang on for the 2-1 victory.
Next up the Sharks take on their SoCal rivals, the L.A. Kings, on Wednesday in what should be a great test for the boys in teal. The last time these two teams met earlier this season, the Kings defeated the Sharks in L.A. by the final score of 4-3 in overtime.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Brent Burns (1 assist, 3 shots, 4 hits)
2. Martin Brodeur (28 saves)
3. Antti Niemi (18 saves)