Sharks Shutout Avalanche, Marleau Stays Hot


January 26, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks left winger Ryane CLowe (29) congratulates defense Matthew Irwin on his goal during the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

In the first game of a back-to-back the San Jose Sharks (4-0-0) defeated the Colorado Avalanche (2-2-0) by the score of  4-0.  The shutout goes to backup goaltender Thomas Greiss in his first start of the season stopping all 24 shots that headed his way.

Special teams was the story of this game with San Jose’s going 3-6 while the Avalanche went 0-2.  Both of San Jose’s penalty kills occurred in the first period early on and they stayed strong to keep Colorado scoreless.

Scott Gomez got his first start as a Shark while James Sheppard was a healthy scratch and Desjardins moved over to left wing so Gomez could play center.  Gomez played on the 4th line along with the second power play unit ending the game with just over 15 minutes of ice time.  He registered 1 hit, 3 shots, and was a +1 for the game and looked good in the faceoff dot as well.

Patrick Marleau finished the game with another 2-goal game upping his consecutive streak to 4 and giving him 8 on the season.  He also tallied an assist as he once again dominated the game with his offensive prowess.  Joe Thornton ended the game with a goal and an assist; that assist giving him 9 total for the season.  Dan Boyle and Ryane Clowe each got 2 assists as well.

A game after he got his first career point, Matt Irwin ges his first career NHL goal off of a shot from the point.  He had another strong game and continues to impress both in the defensive and offensives zones.

The first period started slowly for the Sharks who were struggling and took quite a while for them to get their first shot on goal.  The tone of the game changed soon though as Brad Stuart layed a monster of a hit on Avalanche caption Landeskog which garnered an immediate reaction from Ryan O’Byrne who instigated a fight with Stuart.  The result was an extra double-minor against O’Byrne and San Jose’s deadly power play made him pay by scoring on both opportunities with Marleau tallying both goals.

In the second period the Sharks dominated play as they led shots 19-5.  Once more the power play got an opportunity at the beginning of the period and Joe Thornton was able to put a rebound into the net after Marleau deflected a shot from the point which almost gave him his hat trick.  Later on in the period the Sharks Irwin tallied his first career goal with a shot from the point with asssists given to Havlat and Clowe.

J.S. Giguere started out the period for the Avalanche after a goalie change and he did not allow a goal, but Colorado did not score either.  The Sharks kept their foot on the gas outshooting Colorado 17-11 and in the end did not allow a goal giving Greiss the shutout.  The Avalanche were unable to break through even though they had a few good chances.

In the end it was a great game for the Sharks and I believe their most complete game of the season because they played well all three periods.  Brad Stuart was brought in during the offseason to make plays on defense and he did just that for San Jose giving his team a spark with the great hit and the 4-minute power play.  From that point in the game the Sharks were a completely different team.

My 3 Stars of the Game

1. Patrick Marleau (2 goals, 1 assist)
2. Thomas Greiss (shutout, 24 saves)
3. Matt Irwin (1st career NHL goal)