Sharks

Ferriero's first lifts Sharks over Bruins

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Ferriero's first lifts Sharks over Bruins

BOX SCORE

BOSTON, MA As any player who has been lucky enough to do so will tell you, its always special to score a game-winning goal in the NHL. But when its the building you went to games in as a kid, and then played some memorable college matches in, too...well, well just let Benn Ferreiro describe it.

I grew up with the Bruins as my favorite team and watching Joe Thornton as a kid. Its pretty cool to get to come in here and play and get the game-winner, he said, after his tie-breaking goal in the third period proved to be the difference in a 4-2 win over the Bruins on Saturday night at TD Garden.

Ferriero is a Boston kid through and through, growing up in town and later attending Boston College. His parents made it to the game, of course, after he was recalled from Worcester on Thursday.

They got to see him outmuscle Bruins defenseman Steve Kampfer in front of the net and pounce on a rebound at 8:48 of the third period to break a 2-2 tie.

Ferreiro, who didnt make the opening night roster, is making the most of his chance now that hes back.

Hes got the opportunity and we always said there would be some internal competition but hes got the opportunity to come in and hes made good on it, said Todd McLellan. Were excited for him.

With their second win in as many nights, the Sharks evened their record at 3-3, and have four games remaining on their road trip. Beating the defending Stanley Cup champions was no easy task, though.

In fact, in a role reversal from previous games, the Sharks were actually on the short end of shots and scoring chances but were ahead for most of the game nonetheless.

It began just 1:12 after the opening faceoff, when Joe Pavelski took a pass from Thornton and fired a laser into the top corner past Tim Thomas. It was Pavelskis first five-on-five goal, as his first two were on the power play and his third came with the goaltender pulled on Friday night's 4-3 shootout win in New Jersey.

In the second period,Martin Havlat made his presence felt again with his second assist in as many games in a black and teal sweater. Havlat caught the Bruins defense sleeping with a brilliant backhanded pass to the slot to a wide-openLogan Couture. In one motion, Couture corralled the pass and fired it past Thomas for his first of the season.

It was the first time since opening night that the Sharks had a two-goal cushion.

The Bruins kept up the pressure in the third, though. They were finally able to break through after Niemi turned it over behind the net and Milan Lucic knocked in a loose puck at 2:43. Just 29 seconds later, Lucic fed Nathan Horton on two-on-none rush to tie it up.

We knew that they were going to have a push, it was just a matter of when, said Thornton.

The sellout crowd reminded Couture of a playoff game, as the pace was as fast and intense as any of the Sharks first six this year.

It was loud, they were all over us for a bit, and we kind of weathered the storm, he said.

Couture likely feels like a weight has been lifted, now that he has been able to find the scoresheet. The sophomore center is being counted on to score goals, which is something he was unable to do in the first five games.

Fortunately for him he has a brand new linemate in Havlat, who had the prettiest pass of the night, finding Couture wide open in the slot.

I knew he was there, and he was yelling for it, too, said Havlat.

Couture said: When you dont score for a couple games, you always want the puck on your stick. He made a great pass, and I was lucky that their d-men kind of flew by me and left me alone in the slot.

The Sharks were also fortunate to have Antti Niemi at the top of his game. Niemi was especially busy in the first period, as the Bruins controlled the game for several minutes after Pavelski had given them the early lead.

The early pressure from Boston helped get Niemi in the game right away, and was welcomed by the goaltender. The Sharks entered the game allowing the fewest shots per game.

Its a different type of game when you get more shots right away, said Niemi, who finished with 37 saves. Then you dont have to worry about anything, youre in the game all the time.

Niemi preserved the 3-2 lead late, when, after a turnover, he made a diving stop on Chris Kellys attempt from the circle.

Nemo was great all night, said Pavelski. We settled it down, Benny came up with a big goal for us, Nemo made a few more saves and we got two points.

The Bruins honored Thornton, their former captain, midway through the first period with a message on the scoreboard congratulating him on his 1000th NHL game on Friday. Thornton waved to the gracious crowd, many of whom rose to their feet to applaud.

It was another Boston-bred athlete, however, that stole the show.

KURZ: Sharks shake up their defense
Odds and ends: Jason Demers and Colin White were scratched in favor of Jim Vandermeer and Justin Braun, who was recalled from Worcester on Saturday morning. In his four games in Boston since the trade, Thornton has one goal and two assists. Pavelskis goal broke a streak of four straight games in which San Jose had surrendered the first score. The Sharks had just one power play, which they failed to score on, and killed off both Bruins chances.

Sharks headed in right direction, road trip to reveal who they really are

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USATSI

Sharks headed in right direction, road trip to reveal who they really are

The difference between a 2-3-0 start and a 1-4-0 start is bigger than two standings points.

The former is far from ideal, but if you squint hard enough, there's enough wiggle room to improve. There's still time with the latter, too, but the margin for error is much thinner moving forward.

The Sharks experienced that difference firsthand after Tuesday’s 5-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens. It's not an ideal record, but they’ve managed to salvage a poor start. 

There are still some flaws, to be sure. The power play isn't just the Kevin Labanc show after the top unit scored all three power play goals Tuesday, but is still carrying a disproportionate offensive load. The penalty kill’s scoreless streak came to an end, but they were called into action six times.

Despite all that, Tuesday's win was San Jose’s best effort this season. Brent Burns, Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski, and Joe Thornton all had multi-point games for the first time this year. Martin Jones had another strong game, and appears to have shaken off his slow start.

In short, San Jose’s game is headed in the right direction. It needs to be, with a five-game road trip beginning on Friday. 

Now comes the hard part.

It's on the road where we’ll get our best sense of who this team really is. Peter DeBoer won’t have the benefit of last change, and won't be able to dictate matchups. 

Under these circumstances, we’ll begin to really see if Joakim Ryan is ready for a top-four role, whether Kevin Labanc is a viable first-line winger, and how the rest of the young reinforcements stack up. They will have less time off, too, as all but one game occurs after one day (or less) of rest and travel. That missed practice time isn't ideal for any team, let alone one still trying to work out the kinks.

Fortunately, the competition is forgiving, at least on paper. Other than the Devils, none of the Sharks’ four other road trip opponents have winning records as of this writing. The topsy turvy nature of the standings, though, show how little “on paper” means this early in the season.

We’ll know a lot more about who these San Jose Sharks are by the time their road trip ends. Their record still won't tell the whole story, but by then, they'll have played about an eighth of the season. 

And by then, we’ll have a much better idea of how good this team really is.

Sharks' offense comes alive, leads charge in win over Canadiens

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AP

Sharks' offense comes alive, leads charge in win over Canadiens

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE — Logan Couture credited a teammate for scoring his second goal. He took credit for the first one.

Couture scored a pair of goals and the San Jose Sharks extended their dominance of the Montreal Canadiens with a 5-2 victory on Tuesday night.

Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl also scored for the Sharks, who have won the past 11 home games against the Canadiens, a streak that dates to Nov. 23, 1999.

On a power play late in the third period, rookie Tim Heed took a shot off a face-off that bounced free in front of the net. Pavelski couldn't get his stick on it but managed to kick it across the net for Couture, who found a huge opening.

"That was pretty special," Couture said. "I don't know if he knew I was there but he kept his balance and kicked it over."

Couture opened the scoring 3:30 into the first period, grabbing a rebound off the back board, skating across the front of the net to get Price to commit and then firing into an open net.

Jonathan Drouin and Shea Weber scored for the Canadiens, who are winless since an opening night victory at the Buffalo Sabres.

"It's a very poor start from our team, from myself, from a lot of individuals," Canadiens' Max Pacioretty said. "It's a good time to look in the mirror and see what we're made of because a lot of people are probably doubting this team right now."

Martin Jones stopped 28 of 30 shots for the Sharks, who finish their season-opening homestand with a 2-3 record.

"The biggest thing is finding that energy for the whole game," Jones said. "We started OK and then we got better as the night went on."

Carey Price, who stopped 31 of 35 shots, fell to 2-7-1 in 10 games against the Sharks.

The Canadiens responded 36 seconds later when Drouin picked up a pass from Artturi Lehkonen close in and fired it over Jones' left shoulder and into the net.

Pavelski gave the Sharks the lead for good when he redirected Kevin Labanc's shot just under a minute into the second period. The shot hit Weber's left shin pad and bounced into the net.

"There were a lot of good things out there," Pavelski said. "We didn't have the homestand we wanted but we can leave on a positive note to take on the road."

Hertl padded the lead midway through the second on a power play. Standing on the right side of the net, he was trying to control a pass from Joe Thornton but the puck fluttered off his stick and got behind Price.

"I'll take it any way I can get it," Hertl said. "There are times I've had great shots that just bounced off the post."

Weber's power-play goal two minutes later kicked off Jones' skates for the score.

The Sharks needed five seconds to score on a power play late in the second period. Tim Heed shot on goal and it bounced off Pavelski's skate. Couture picked it up and found a huge opening.

NOTES: After allowing three power play goals over their first five penalty kills, the Sharks killed off 14 straight until Weber scored in the second period. ... Couture recorded his 24th career multi-goal game. ... Sharks D Tim Heed recorded his first NHL point with an assist on Couture's power-play goal. ... Brendan Gallagher needs one assist for 100 with the Canadiens.

UP NEXT:

Canadiens: plays at the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday in their second back-to-back of the season.

Sharks: open a five-game road trip on the east coast with a game at the New Jersey Devils on Friday.