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Benn Ferriero Steps Up On His Birthday

Ferriero Scores His First Playoff Goal

Saturday, 04.30.2011 / 12:08 AM PT / News
By San Jose Sharks Staff
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Benn Ferriero Steps Up On His Birthday
Benn Ferriero will likely never have a better birthday than he did Friday night. He not only played in his first career Stanley Cup Playoff game, but he netted the game winner in the overtime stanza.

“That was a pretty special birthday present,” Ferriero commented after. “I don’t think I could ask for anything more than that.”

Clearly the shining moment of his hockey career.

“I’d say so,” Ferriero, “I scored a goal in triple overtime in college, but it doesn’t really compare to this one.”

Ferriero had played just one NHL game since February 5, but Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan has the confidence to put him in the right spot.

“It was great to see Benny find a way to get the puck to the net,” McLellan said. “Fortunately his first shift out in overtime he ended it and we didn’t have to continue to tax the three big lines.”

Ferriero play just over five minutes on the night, but the longer overtime went, the more Ferriero would likely be playing.

“We didn’t use him a lot in the game,” McLellan said. “As it wore on and we felt overtime was looming once we scored, we talked at the intermission of overtime about getting people involved. Benny was one of them.”

McLellan actually gave Ferriero a bit of a heads up on the winning shift. About 30 seconds of warning that is.

“You’ve just got to be ready at all times,” Ferriero said. “When your number gets called you’ve got to make the most of your opportunity. You try to stay loose and try to stay involved in the game. I hadn’t played in a bit. He gave me a little heads up to be ready.”

McLellan said playing Ferriero on the night was as statement to what the rookie showed during the regular season.

“It wasn’t a genius move, I can tell you that,” McLellan said. “We just felt looking at their lineup, and the way their third and fourth line played, we needed certain ingredients. We’ve really liked Benny Ferriero’s game when he’s come up and contributed.”

Ferriero rewarded the coach by doing what was called for to close out the contest.

“Couture just poked it free a little bit,” Ferriero said. “We were trying to throw pucks to the net all game long, so I just grabbed it, spun out of the corner and threw it to the net. It bounced off a stick, skate, something, took a good bounce and ended up in the back of the net.”

Ferriero was actually told by McLellan the previous day he’d be playing because of the Detroit matchup and he came prepared.

“I found out yesterday afternoon,” Ferriero said. “I had a little time to prepare, which was nice. I knew what was going on. I was excited to get into my first playoff game. He just calls you in, let’s you know what he expects from of you, what he’s thinking. Said go get them tomorrow. You’re penciled.”

The Sharks dressing room was very happy for their unlikely hero.

“He kept himself prepared and for him to score that goal for us was huge,” Couture said. “In the playoffs you need everyone and some extras as well.”

The goal was likely the best highlight of Ferriero’s 24-year-old life.

“I guess that was the first shot. First game, first goal, on my birthday,” Ferriero said.

What a night.

The last NHL Player to score his first playoff goal in overtime in his first playoff game was San Jose's Niko Dimitrakos in the 2004 Western Conference Quarterfinals in Game 1 against the St. Louis Blues.

The Sharks have now won four of their five playoff games in an extra stanza.

“Last shot wins and we’ve been fortunate,” McLellan said. “You go back to the games against L.A., they had their chances, we had ours. Sometimes the bounces go your way, you can’t always count on them.”

“I think that’s been huge for us, but you never know what is going to happen when you go to overtime. You have to be confident, but you never know,” Antti Niemi said.

San Jose will have a rare Noon start this weekend.

“The good thing about that game is we practice at 11 or 12 every day, so our bodies and our minds are prepared to show up and think hockey and play hockey at that time,” McLellan said.

Joe Pavelski scored his fourth goal and fifth point (4-1=5). He has recorded a point in all five wins in the postseason.

Joe Thornton picked up an assist and now has a five-game point streak (2-4=6).

Game 2 with Detroit will be at NOON on Sunday and will be on NBC, 98.5/102.1 FM and www.sjsharks.com.




1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56


J. Pavelski 82 37 33 12 70
L. Couture 82 27 40 -6 67
J. Thornton 78 16 49 -4 65
B. Burns 82 17 43 -9 60
P. Marleau 82 19 38 -17 57
T. Wingels 75 15 21 -7 36
T. Hertl 82 13 18 -5 31
M. Nieto 72 10 17 -12 27
M. Karlsson 53 13 11 -3 24
M. Vlasic 70 9 14 12 23
A. Niemi 31 23 7 .914 2.59
A. Stalock 8 9 2 .902 2.62
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