Sharks edge Adler in shootout
-- Dan Boyle
and Ryan Clowe saved the day by scoring during the shootout to give the San Jose Sharks a 3-2 win against DEL team Adler Mannheim in a Compuware Premiere Challenge game.
The Sharks trailed 1-0 for a better part of the contest before storming back with third-period goals by Joe Thornton
and Devin Setoguchi
. But Jame Pollock wouldn't let Adler go quietly, scoring the tying goal less than a minute after Setoguchi gave the Sharks the lead.
Adler was actually one save away from winning the shootout, but Clowe roofed a backhander over goaltender Lukas Lang to force the fourth round. That's when Boyle skated in slowly and slipped the puck around the fallen Lang and gave the Sharks the win.
The Sharks appeared to have the win with 46 seconds left in overtime when the puck trickled behind Lang, but a referee's whistle blew the play dead before the puck crossed the line. But a penalty on Scott King during the attack gave the Sharks a power play for the final moments.
It appeared yet again that the Sharks were on the verge of winning seconds later when Lang was lying prone on the ice with the puck in Adler's zone. But once again, a referee's whistle blew the play dead. This time it was for Lang, who was grabbing at his legs and appeared seriously injured, resulting in the whistle.
After trailing 1-0 for most of the game, Thornton would get the Sharks on the board late in the third period to even the score. Setoguchi drove the net and was stopped by Lang, but tumbled over the goalie in the process. Thornton was there to scoop up the rebound and even the score.
Setoguchi put the Sharks ahead for what looked like the regulation win with 4:12 left in the third period with a 5-on-3 goal. His initial one-timer was stopped by Lang, but there was no one to pick up the rebound, which Setoguchi roofed.
But Pollock answered Adler less than a minute later with a 4-on-4 goal that set the stage for the frenzied finish.
With a raucous crowd at SAP Arena chanting, cheering and banging a drum, Manuel Klinge whipped the home fans into an even bigger frenzy by scoring in the first four minutes to grab a 1-0 lead.
A long dump-in by Nathan Robinson bounced and flipped and handcuffed Sharks goalie Antti Niemi
, who fumbled the puck and left it a few feet in front of him. Defensemen Mike Moore
and Niclas Wallin
couldn't clear, and the puck found its way onto the stick of Klinge, who buried it into a gaping net.
Adler carried the play from get-go, applying constant pressure in the Sharks zone and generating chances off the rush. Not long after Klinge made it 1-0, Adler's Michel Periard rang a blast off the crossbar over Niemi's right shoulder.
The Sharks' best chance in the first period came on the power play. Boyle skated the puck to the middle of the zone and ripped a shot through a screen, but Brathwaite found a way to track the puck and keep Adler ahead 1-0.
Brathwaite departed in the second period with 10:30 remaining and received a standing ovation from the Adler fans. There were no shot totals available at press time, but it's likely he made between 15 and 20 saves before giving way to Lang, who was getting his first action of the year after not playing a single minute in the DEL.
And Lang picked up where Brathwaite left off.
Not long after entering, Lang was asked to stand on his head as Adler had to kill a four-minute Sharks' power play. His best save came when he slid post to post to rob Thornton's deflection attempt of a cross-crease pass.
Thornton had given Sharks fans a moment for pause earlier in the second period when he went to the bench in pain after colliding with teammate Jamie McGinn
. But Thornton returned for his next shift and looked fine throughout the rest of the game.
Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo