It was a rare meeting between the Sharks and Senators on Saturday night as the two squads only meeting in San Jose this season. Thanks to realignment, Sharks fans will get to see every NHL team come to the SAP Center this year and there was definite hope that Ottawa coming to town would result like the most recent Eastern Conference visit by the New York Rangers.
Ottawa also meant a few familiar faces were in town. Logan Couture spent his junior hockey days playing for the Ottawa 67's.
The biggest lineup news of the morning might have been that the Senators opted for their #2 netminder.
It was also a unique game because of some special guests hosted for the night. Attention turned to an even bigger battle than what would take place at 7PM. It was time to drop the gloves and join in as #HockeyFightsCancer. The guests were treated to a pre-game tour, enjoyed the game from a suite and met with the players after the game.
Cancer patients and survivors, as well as doctors and staff were on hand from El Camino Hospital and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.October 13, 2013
In order to make it a perfect night for #HockeyFightsCancer, the Sharks needed to come out on top, a task that was not easily achieved.
Dear Dad, I love you and hope your favorite team loses tonight. Love, your son, Jamie. Go Sharks! #SJSharks— Jamie Baker (@Bakes_Jamie13) October 13, 2013
So the game begins... and this quickly happens.
Amazing. Hertl gives #SJSharks a 1-0 lead just 55 seconds into the game. Crowd roaring now.— David Pollak (@PollakOnSharks) October 13, 2013
The Sens would go on to score two goals later in the period, but to no lack of effort from Antti Niemi who put forth a solid night.
Niemi's two quick saves on Spezza and Ryan keep this at 2-1.— David Pollak (@PollakOnSharks) October 13, 2013
This game was turning in to a challenge that the Sharks had not seen since opening night.
most of #SJSharks attacks crash into Senators' big d'men. that's when guys kinda Burns, Torres would make the game. missing one piece hurts— Sean Coffey (@vs_seancoffey) October 13, 2013
#SJSharks REALLY FAST PACE UP AND DOWN THE ICE THEY GO "LOVE HOCKEY"— Stephanie (@stephdob) October 13, 2013
Hope was dim until...
LETS GOO SHARKS POWERPLAY!!! CHOMP CHOMP TIME!!!! #SJSharks— Caleb D. Clardy (@CalebClardy77) October 13, 2013
And I just screamed of excitement taking a tables order... I shouldn't work during #sjsharks games.— chelsea rodrigues (@chelseaa_mariee) October 13, 2013
Marleau's fourth goal, on the power play, and we're tied at 2-2. Marleau now has a five-game point streak #SJSharks— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzCSN) October 13, 2013
Impressive goal when you consider it came off Marleau's backhand from that distance. #SJSharks tied at 2.— Brodie Brazil (@brodiebrazilCSN) October 13, 2013
Momentum began to swing the other way...
#SJSharks have 10 of last 11 shots in game as ice tilting the other way now.— David Pollak (@PollakOnSharks) October 13, 2013
priorities were challenged...
...and wild accusations were made.
The Third period skated by in a tie for the first half. Then Burnzie tested out his slap shot velocity from about two feet out.
Goal scoring. So easy a caveman can do it. @Burnzie88 3-2— Erik Kuhre (@Puckguy14) October 13, 2013
So the Sharks were back in the lead and a bit of optimism peaked through the rafters. While those on the outside acknowledged the situation.
Couture showing why he is a star. last shift he backchecked hard, stole puck, carried puck into OZ, took hit, made play while on his knees— Jamie Baker (@Bakes_Jamie13) October 13, 2013
Even when the SJS power play can't score with 4 minutes it's still enjoyable. Their power play is like pizza. If it's bad it's still good.— Dave Lozo (@DaveLozo) October 13, 2013
Sharks with 50 shots on goal for the second time this season already, to go along with a 47-shot performance against NYR.— Fear The Fin (@fearthefin) October 13, 2013
.@PlayStation 3 Stars of the Game: 1) Thornton (1A, +2) 2) Lehner (OTT) 3) Burns (GWG, 1A, 5 hits)— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) October 13, 2013
It was perhaps the Sharks best challenge of the young season and one both players and media continued to recognize postgame.
VIDEO: "They came at us. Even though we scored the first goal [early], they came right back." - Thornton. http://t.co/kzw6Okgvjs— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) October 13, 2013
Sign my petition to have the NHL make the Sens and Sharks play all 82 games against each other:— Dave Lozo (@DaveLozo) October 13, 2013
But in the end, the important battle is one that has not been won or lost yet. It will continue to wage on and those that played and cheered for both the Sharks and Senators will be there to assist as #HockeyFightsCancer.
Jason Demers rocking the pink suit in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.
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