Boyle’s back bar shot seals comeback OT win

Photo Credit: Unknown

By Pearl Allison Lo

It was a swift and abrupt end for the Vancouver Canucks, after upon video review, the referee acknowledged San Jose Sharks’ Boyle’s goal had entered the net for a 2-1 win Thursday.

31 seconds after Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin went off for hooking at 2:07 of overtime, Boyle made the Sharks’ fourth time on the power play count. Boyle was aided by Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture for San Jose’s second consecutive overtime win, as they took the season series over the Canucks 3-1 in an early finale.

Couture had a chance with 3:11 left to go in the first period, moving across the ice against traffic, but his shot was muffled up front by goalie Roberto Luongo. The Sharks later controlled the majority of the possession as the first period neared its end. San Jose’s Marc Edouard Vlasic with three shots on goal, was the only one with multiple shots. Ryan Kesler led with almost half of Vancouver’s blocks with four.

The Sharks’ second power play was majorly controlled by the Canucks, and included an offensive blocked of a shot attempt by Luongo with his stick.

Vancouver’s Alexandre Burrows was called for interference to give San Jose their third power play at 11:10 of the second period. The set up for the Canucks’ go-ahead goal then started when Pavelski was called for interference 40 seconds later. After the then even matchup expired, Vancouver was given a 36 second man advantage, with which they capitalized.   After a faceoff win and Burrows’ wide shot, Kevin Bieksa was awarded his first goal of the season, slapping the puck in the net from 56 feet away. Bieksa was helped by Sedin with his 18th assist and Burrows.

The Sharks were outshot 20-9 in the second period.

In the third, it looked like the Canucks would be ending their two game losing streak amidst their momentum since the second period. However, with an extra attacker, San Jose was able to stay alive. Joe Thornton went down, but was able to pass it to Boyle, who eventually got it to Tomas Hertl, on Luongo’s left side, as Hertl scored with just over a minute left. Thornton had his 18th assist and Hertl had his 11th goal.

Re the goal, Boyle responded, “The puck came out and I was going to shoot originally, and then…guys kinda came together and I changed my mind at the last minute…”

Game notes: Vlasic led the team in shots at the end of the game with six and led in ice time, along with Boyle, as both stayed on for 22:34. Vancouver’s Dan Hamhuis led all skaters in ice time with 25:40. Thornton extended his points streak to six games. The Sharks will go for three in a row when they face the Edmonton Oilers at 7pm PST Friday.

Sharks drop fourth straight

Vancouver Canucks' Brad Richardson (15) is congratulated after scoring against the San Jose Sharks during the first period of an NHL hockey game on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Vancouver Canucks’ Brad Richardson (15) is congratulated after scoring against the San Jose Sharks during the first period of an NHL hockey game on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

By Ivan Makarov

SAN JOSE, CA – Counting last year’s playoffs, San Jose Sharks have beaten Vancouver Canucks in nine straight games. The streak came to an end on Thursday night as Sharks were defeated 4-2 and have lost their fourth game in a row.

Sharks fell two goals behind in the first half of the game, and while correcting some of the weaknesses in their game, they were unable to execute a come back.

The scoring in the game got off to a quick start as both teams exchanged goals early on. Sharks scored first on a strange bounce around the net. Joe Thornton was passing the puck along the boards inside Canucks territory but it bounced off the top netting, and into the goal off the Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo’s back. Canucks responded with a tying goal by Brad Richardson who scored from close range after Sharks turned the puck over inside their zone.

Sharks defensive woes continued when Mike Santorelli made it 2-1 for the visiting team by scoring yet another goal in front of Antti Niemi that saw Sharks defense got caught in the middle of the change and could not stop a developing fast attack by Vancouver.

But Sharks responded only a minute later with Mike Brown scoring his first goal in the Sharks uniform after a breakaway attack and a great pass from James Sheppard that found him all alone in front of Luongo. Brown put the puck high and say Luongo’s blocker to tie the game at 2-2.

Sharks continued to struggle on the defense, and allowed what was perhaps the most embarrassing goal of their season so far at the end of the first period. In a situation that appeared safe Jason Demers was on his own blue line but bobbled the puck while trying to pass it to Scott Hannan. It was easily intercepted by Alexandre Burrows and in the confusion of all and scrambling to get the puck back Sharks defensemen fell on top of each other, allowing Chris Higgins to face Antti Niemi all alone and put the puck into the net, giving Canucks 3-2 lead going into the first intermission.

Second period did not start any better for San Jose, as Canucks doubled their lead on a goal by Zack Kassian on a redirect from Kevin Bieksa shooting all the way from the blue line. The goal made it 4-2 and forced Sharks to switch their goaltenders as Antti Niemi headed to the bench and got replaced by Alex Stalock after allowing four goals on 12 shots.

Stalock’s presence improved Sharks focus and their play on defense. Having only put 11 shot on goal in the first two periods, it wasn’t until the third that San Jose picked up their game offensively. They held the puck more, and started winning the battles in the tight areas. As their play improved, so did the play of Roberto Luongo who was on time to the puck and poisoning himself well each time.

With two minutes remaining in the game, Todd McLellan pulled the goaltender for extra skater in the zone. That helped generate chances, but none of them were realized by the Sharks, and they lost yet again.

After three home games in a row, the Sharks will travel to Canada where they will face the Jets, Flames, Canucks and Oilers with the last stop in Chicago before returning to SAP Center for five game home stand in the second half of November. It may be a good time to get on the road again where coaches can spend more time with the players, address some of the bad habits that are starting to creep into the team’s play, and simplify their game, as they do when playing away from their home crowd.