Sharks

Clowe: Poke-check from bench a 'brain cramp'

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Clowe: Poke-check from bench a 'brain cramp'

SAN JOSE Ryane Clowe didnt want to talk about his now infamous poke-check from the bench in the immediate aftermath of Thursdays 6-5 Sharks win in Los Angeles. With an obvious tongue-in-cheek, Clowe said that he would need someone to show him the video of when he tipped the puck away from Jarret Stoll on a Kings rush late in the third.

RELATED: Box score -- Sharks 6, Kings 5 (SO) Game recap

So, he knew what was coming at Sharks Ice on Friday afternoon when he was surrounded by a small media contingent.

Did you have a chance to look at the video, Ryane? he asked in the third person, with a chuckle.

He spoke somewhat remorsefully about the play that should have given the Kings a two-man advantage late in regulation of what was a 5-5 tie.

It was kind of a brain cramp there, I guess, Clowe said. I was standing up, and sometimes during the game like that youre so into it and emotional, it was just kind of a reaction. I cant say it was something that was planned, it just happens.

When I sat down on the bench I said that was stupid. That was a dumb play. It probably should have been a two-minute penalty for interference or too many men, or something. I was lucky I didnt cost the team a penalty. It was definitely a brain cramp at the time. I dont think youll ever see that happen again.

He got away with it, of course, and the Sharks collected the necessary two points to keep another Pacific Division title within their grasp.

I guess now you can giggle a little bit because fortunately, nothing happened at the time. It wouldnt have been a laughing matter if we got a penalty for that, he said.

Sharks captain Joe Thornton took a different route than Clowe. The captain was amused with the situation on Friday afternoon, and had some fun with it.

I just had a good laugh out of it, to be honest with you, Thornton said. For me, its probably the play of the year.

It probably wasnt the smartest thing to do, but I have a good sense of humor and it was pretty funny to me.

As Clowe alluded to, the fact that he didnt get caught by Stephen Walkom or Brian Pochmara was a tad suspicious, as it seemed everyone in Staples Center other than the two referees saw what happened.

Todd McLellan was already displeased with some undisciplined penalties his club had taken earlier in the game, leading to no less than four Kings power play goals.

As a team we want to be emotionally attached to the game, but with that comes some emotional control. I thought it was a very intense game yesterday, and at times it got the better of us, said the coach. I thought we took far too many penalties, and penalties we didnt need to take.

That should have been one of them. Had the officials caught it, it would have been too many men on the ice and we would have put ourselves down short again. An ill-advised move on Clowies behalf, and I dont think well see it again. We move on.

Clowe will get another chance to play villain on Saturday, when the teams conclude the regular season against one another at HP Pavilion with a lot on the line.

Im just happy weve got a chance to win the division. If we can do that, Im sure theyll be even more ticked off, he said.

Odds and ends: Torrey Mitchell did not skate and is doubtful to play in the season finale. Mitchell suffered a late hit in the first period from Colin Fraser, left the ice, and did not return. ... The Sharks can clinch the Pacific Division title with a win on Saturday combined with Phoenix recording fewer than three points in its final two games. The Coyotes visit St. Louis on Friday night and Minnesota on Saturday.

Joe Thornton scores 400th career goal, joins Hall of Fame company

Joe Thornton scores 400th career goal, joins Hall of Fame company

SAN JOSE -- There was a plethora of storylines coming out of the Sharks’ crazy 5-4 victory over the Nashville Predators Tuesday night. Almost all of them were eclipsed by Joe Thornton scoring his 400th career goal.

With the score tied up 4-4 in the waning minutes of regulation, the towering forward receiving a magnificent cross-ice pass from linemate Marcus Sorensen before sending the puck past Nashville goalie Juuse Saros into the back of the net

The energy at the Tank after the goal was electric. As his teammates swarmed him in celebration, Thornton was full of emotion as his 400th marker put the Sharks on top 5-4.

“I was on the ice, it was awesome,” Joe Pavelski said with a smile after the game. “It’s hard to put in perspective at times just what he’s been able to accomplish.”

The only thing making the goal even more impressive was that it put him on an exclusive list of seven players in NHL history who have scored 400 goals, tallied 1,000 assists, and played in over 1,500 games. Not surprisingly, though, Thornton told the media he was more focused on helping the team win than notching the milestone goal.

“Just trying to improve my game right now,” he said, a reminder to everyone he’s still battling back from those knee issues that sidelined him at the start of the season.

Wait, so he doesn’t know what highly-touted company he’s joined after scoring his 400th goal?

“No idea,” he admitted. “I haven’t checked to be honest with you.”

His teammates have been paying closer attention.

“It’s like every other night, there’s some kind of stat getting thrown out there,” Pavelski said of following his teammates' accomplishments. “They’re fun to look at, they really are.”

Defenseman Erik Karlsson has only been Thornton’s teammate for a little over a month. But since he has experience playing against No.19, he offered some perspective on what it was like for the Predators’ defense when Thornton came barreling down the ice.

“He’s one of those guys that you always have to be aware of,” Karlsson explained. “You always have to be aware of where he is because he’s such a good hockey player and if he gets the opportunities, you know he’s going to make you pay.”

Of course, the goal couldn’t have been made possible without the beautiful set-up from Sorensen, who Thornton has had a lot of success playing with as of late. 

“Marcus made a great play,” Thornton complimented. “I love playing with him. It seems like we’ve got some chemistry together now.”

When asked what it was like contributing to the milestone goal, Sorensen kept his answer straight-forward.

“It was pretty cool,” he said. “I’m happy for him.”

Sharks takeaways: What we learned in wild 5-4 win over Predators

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USATSI

Sharks takeaways: What we learned in wild 5-4 win over Predators

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE -– There was no denying that Tuesday night’s rematch between the Sharks and the Nashville Predators would be a good game. But it’s likely that nobody expected just how lopsided this eventual nail-biter could get.

The Sharks jumped out to a convincing three-goal lead in the first period while the Predators looked tired and unable to create any offense. Then, the visitors rallied in the second stanza to notch three unanswered goals of their own, tying the score heading into the second intermission.

It looked as though Nashville would skate away to a one-goal victory halfway through the third, but Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton put two big goals on the board to give the home team the 5-4 victory.

To top everything off, the game-winner was Thornton’s 400th career goal.

Here are three takeaways from Tuesday’s topsy-turvy game.

The Sharks' first period was amazing

The Sharks opened the game with the most dominant period of hockey they’ve played all season. It embodied everything the team has been saying it wants: Great puck possession, a strong defensive presence and contributions from all four lines.

The strong start was important, given the Predators were playing on the tail end of a back-to-back on the road and had just lost to the Anaheim Ducks in a shootout the previous night. Nashville was visibly tired in the first frame, and San Jose took advantage.

That being said …

The second period was the opposite of amazing

It was like a completely different Sharks team took the ice in the second period. They played a looser game and gave the Predators an opportunity to get back into the contest – not something a team wants to do against a squad with an 8-0-1 road record.

San Jose’s biggest problem in those 20 minutes was not being able to capitalize on any power-play opportunities. The Sharks even had a five-on-three opportunity after the Predators were called for having too many men on the ice. But through 3:40 on the man advantage, San Jose didn’t register a single shot on goal.

The third-period push is alive and well

If there’s one thing the Sharks are good at, it’s making that big third-period push when they’re on their heels. Sometimes it’s too little too late. It came at just the right time Tuesday. 

Goaltender Martin Jones made his best saves at the end of the game. He was particularly impressive when Nashville pulled its goalie with less than two minutes left in the game, and the Predators' forwards swarmed into San Jose’s zone.

Of course, the highlight of the game came on the final goal, when Thornton seemed to skate up to Nashville’s net in slow motion after getting a spectacular feed from Marcus Sorensen. Predators netminder Juuse Saros appeared to not even see Thornton’s milestone marker float past him stick side.