Sharks Have 5 OT Wins
Close Victories Are Part Of The Sharks DNA
“Overtime has been a big part of our success so far,” Devin Setoguchi said. “It was tough tonight. They really had their feet moving and were winning the battles. That late goal gave us the extra surge going into overtime.”
Still a long ways away, but comparisons are being made to the Montreal Canadiens club that captured 10 overtime wins en route to a Stanley Cup title.
“If we get five more overtime wins, that would be something special,” Captain Joe Thornton said.
Ryane Clowe may be the most familiar Sharks player with that historic Canadiens club.
“I got that video for Christmas and watched it a million time when I was a Montreal Canadiens fan growing up,” Clowe said. “I could probably tell you every guy who scored every goal. I thought about it in my head, but didn’t let it creep in. I don’t know if I want to get to 10. Winning in regulation would be better.”
San Jose keeps displaying a coolness to their game that exudes confidence in every situation. This is a veteran club that has experienced the range of playoff emotions in many times over.
“You can’t panic, there are too many of us old guys in here,” Dan Boyle joked. “We’ve been in that situation before. You’ve definitely got to elevate your play. There was no sense of panic.”
The Sharks players and coaches were quick to give credit to Detroit for playing their best game of the series.
“They played well,” Thornton said. “They outshot us for a little bit and their power play was very, very good tonight. We knew they were going to come out and play strong and they did. They are a very tough team to beat here in Detroit.”
“It was their best night (of the series) and probably not ours,” Boyle said. “We still found a way to win. The power play came up huge and the penalty kill, that was a big kill in overtime. Our penalty kill finds a way.”
San Jose knew consistently controlling play against the Wings would be more difficult on the road.
“They probably outplayed us a little bit and were harder in the areas we were in Games 1 and 2,” Ryane Clowe said. “You’re not going to play a perfect series.”
San Jose surrendered three goals on the night, but it could have been more, and a loss, had Antti Niemi not been on top of his game.
“At the end of the day, when Nemo makes big saves at the right time, it lets you stay in games,” Clowe said. “We’ve got confidence we can come back and that we can put the puck in the net.”
Niemi and the Sharks defense were at their best when killing off an overtime penalty.
“You never know what’s going to happen,” Niemi said. “I think we were able to keep the pressure up so they didn’t have too many really good open chances. It’s been great, we’ve been able to step our game at the most important moments.”
They attempted not to focus on it, but there was knowledge in the Sharks dressing room that they were playing on the anniversary of their come-from-behind victory in Detroit last year.
“I think all the guys would be lying if they said they didn’t think about that a bit, especially when you’re on the bench and you’re down 3-2,” Clowe said. “You’re looking for that shot and Boyler’s had about six looks like that and it was only a matter of time before it went in. It crossed our mind when we got in the dressing room, let’s do it again.”
What the Sharks don’t want to repeat is the Game 4 loss that cost them the sweep last year in the Motor City.
“It’s completely irrelevant and I hope it is because we took one heck of a licking in Game 4 last year,” McLellan said.
When all was said and done, everyone in both lockerrooms understood the difference between San Jose being up one game and being up three games.
“That’s huge, it would be almost even if it was 2-1, but it’s 3-0,” Niemi said. “We’ll be sure we’re ready the next game.”
DID IT OR DIDN’T IT?
When Boyle tied the contest late in the third period, he didn’t begin celebrating as one might expect for a goal of that magnitude. He simply wasn’t confident the puck crossed the line on first glance.
“I’m pretty sure it hit his glove, so it was one of those, are you? Oh, o.k.,” Boyle said. “I haven’t been very lucky as far as goal scoring this year and this series. I just wasn’t sure for a second.”
Logan Couture’s parents couldn’t make the game because of expired passports, but their son noted they were probably cheering a bit from their home.
“I’m sure they were right by the TV and my dad was going crazy when we scored, probably jumping up and down” Couture said.
Game 4 will be Friday at 4 p.m. and will be on Versus, 98.5/102.1 FM and www.sjsharks.com.