“Hits and Misses” for Sharks at Coyotes 3/26/11

Result:  SHARKS 4, Coyotes 1

San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture scores his first goal of the game early in the first period against the Phoenix Coyotes Saturday night. Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports.

HITS

Logan Couture – “Calder” Couture had a three point night with an assist and two goals, his 29th and 30th goals of the season.  With the two goals, Couture became the first Sharks rookie in franchise history to score 30 goals in a season and only trails New York Islanders Michael Grabner by one goal for the rookie goal lead.  Couture’s first goal of the game came at 5:06 of the first period that put the Sharks up 1-0.  Sharks forward Dany Heatley intercepted a clearing attempt by Coyotes forward Shane Doan just outside the blue-line and after waiting for the Sharks to get back onside, Heatley dumped the puck into the Coyotes zone.  Couture won the race to puck on the end-board and got the puck over to line-mate Devin Setoguchi, who passed the puck to line-mate Ryane Clowe.  From the high face-off circle dot, Clowe fired a shot on net that was stopped by Coyotes goalie Iyla Bryzgalov, who left a juicy rebound that Couture, who had worked himself back to the front of the net, picked up and shot into the open net.  Couture’s second goal of the game came at 12:13 of the third period that put the Sharks up 4-1.  Couture took a pass in the neutral zone from Sharks defenseman Ian White and from just inside the blue-line of the Coyotes zone, Couture fired a shot on net that beat Bryzgalov blocker side.

Ryane Clowe – Clowe had himself a three point night and a “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” with a goal, his 24th of the season, two assists, his 35th and 36th of the season, and dropped the gloves with Coyotes forward Paul Bissonnette late in the third period after Bissonnette took several cheap shots at Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic.  Clowe’s goal came at 15:17 of the second period that put the Sharks up 3-1 and was his sixth goal in his last 10-games.  Setoguchi carried the puck into the Coyotes zone from the neutral zone and fired a shot on net from just outside the top face-off circle.  Bryzgalov made the save but left another juicy rebound in the slot that Couture missed but Clowe, who was following on the play, gathered the rebound and fired a shot from just in-between the two face-off circles in the slot that beat Bryzgalov “5-hole.”

Joe Pavelski – “The Big Pavelski” scored his 18th goal of the season at 3:35 of the second period that put the Sharks up 2-1 and held up as the game winning goal.  Sharks forward Jamal Mayers carried the puck into the Coyotes zone from the blue-line and passed the puck down to the near face-off circle {on his right side} to Pavelski, who passed the puck in front to Sharks captain Joe Thornton, who snapped a shot on net that hit the post.  Luckily for the Sharks, Pavelski stayed with the play and from the side of the goalie crease while on his knee, Pavelski backhanded the puck into the open net for the goal.

Antti Niemi – Making his 31st consecutive start in net for the Sharks, Niemi was once again spectacular, stopping 26-out-of-27 shots to record his 31st victory of the season, joining former Sharks goalies Arturs Irbe, Evgeni Nabokov and Mike Vernon as the only goalies in franchise history to win 30-games in a season.  Niemi’s night in net was highlighted by his save on Coyotes leading scorer Keith Yandle that robbed Yandle of a sure goal and left everyone speechless as Yandle had snuck in from the point and fired a shot on net from point-blank range that Niemi, who was out of position, stopped with his blocker as the result of a huge push across his crease.

Joe Thornton – With his assist on the Pavelski goal, Thornton now has 45 assists for the season and 995 career points.  Thornton also had four shots on net, surpassing his previous five game total of one.

Jason Demers – The Sharks defenseman had a game high three blocked shots.

Penalty Killers – The Penalty Killers successfully killed off both Coyotes Power Play attempts.

Sharks Team – Playing their third game in four nights, and second of eight against Pacific Division rivals, the Sharks head into their four-day break having earned five-out-of-six possible points and have earned at least one point in 27 of their last 31 games.  The Sharks remain in first place of the Pacific Division with 97 points, four ahead of the second place Coyotes, and remain tied with the Detroit Red Wings, who won earlier today, for the second overall seed in the Western Conference.

MISSES

Coyotes Goal – This was the only thing that went wrong all night for the Sharks and it was the result of the Sharks failing to win an in-zone face-off.  Shortly after Couture had scored his first goal, there was a face-off inside the Sharks zone that Coyotes forward Kyle Turris won.  Turris got the puck down to defenseman Derek Morris, whose slapshot from the high slot was blocked in front.  Unfortunately for the Sharks, the puck bounced over to Coyotes forward Mikkel Boedker, who put the puck into the net at 6:23 of the first period to the tie the game at 1-1.

Power Play – This is a minor “miss” as the Sharks failed to score on their only Power Play of the game, which unfortunately, snapped the Sharks streak of nine consecutive games with a Power Play goal.

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About Jon Allred

Life long San Jose and Worcester Sharks fan that bleeds teal and black.

Posted on March 26, 2011, in Sports and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Miché Saaijman

    First of all-I like the photo,coz it’s different from the other photo’s u usually post&it gives me a better view of the ice-hockey ‘field’ they play on. Then I also enjoyed the rest of the blog more than usual,coz it seems like you paid EXTRA attention to the details of the game.You have a true talent as a sports commentator!

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