After being down 0-1 early on an Alexander Frolov power play goal, Team Teal came back with three unanswered goals, and in the process outshot the Kings by the ridiculously awesome ratio of 41 to 13 (essentially giving Evgeni Nabokov the night off!). Devin Setoguchi had his second goal of the year, while Tomas Plihal had the game-winning, shorthanded goal in the second period (his first of the season). Joe Pavelski added an insurance goal in the third period (also his first of the year) to make it 3-1, San Jose. Marc-Edouard Vlasic was the #1 star of the night, as he had two assists; also assisting for San Jose were Thornton, Boyle, Cheechoo, and Michalek.
Make sure to congratulate Pickles on Monday, October 27 at the Sharks Store, where he'll be signing autographs from 4:30 to 6:00pm.
Tonight the Sharks traveled to the Staples Center in Los Angeles for the Kings' home opener (and the Sharks' first road game of the season), and narrowly defeated the home team 1-0, despite being slightly outshot 21 to 19. In a funny subplot, the game marked Sharks defenseman Rob Blake's return to his old stomping grounds, where he was booed every time he touched the puck (Chris Pronger sends his regards).
Thankfully for San Jose, two goals by the Kings were disallowed, the first from former Shark Tom Preissing, due to goaltender interference from another King, and the second on account of a kicking motion from Matt Moulson, thereby nullifying the goal. Thus, technically, Brian Boucher earned the shutout while backstopping San Jose.
Meanwhile, Anze Kopitar, the 21-year old Slovenian center for the Kings (who recently signed a 7-year extension with L.A.), earned a 10-minute game misconduct after angrily smashing a pane of glass by the Kings bench.
The sole goal of the night that DID count came from Lukas Kaspar, who sniped one past Jason LaBarbera from the right circle; it loudly clanged against the goal post and fortunately fired into the net. Patrick Marleau and Christian Ehrhoff each assisted on the goal. Not only was Kaspar's goal the game-winner, but it was also his first ever NHL goal. Way to go, rook!
Coach McLellan changed the Sharks' lines a bit tonight, and added (gasp) Alexei Semenov to the lineup in place of Brad Lukowich. Thankfully, all went better than could have been expected.
San Jose plays the Columbus Blue Jackets at the HP Pavilion this Tuesday, October 14. They also face the Anaheim Ducks at the Pond on Friday, and return home to play Daniel Briere's Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
Will the Sharks be 6-0 by Sunday morning? Say it with me: GO SHARKS!