FLA
7-5-6
SJS
10-9-4

Bjugstad lifts Panthers past Sharks in shootout

Eric Gilmore  - NHL.com Correspondent | Friday, 11.21.2014 / 3:00 AM

SAN JOSE -- Florida Panthers center Nick Bjugstad opened the season by going 10 games without scoring a goal. He's been making up for that drought ever since.

Bjugstad stayed hot Thursday, scoring two goals in regulation and getting the deciding goal in the shootout to lift the Panthers to a 3-2 victory against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center.

Bjugstad, the 19th player taken in the 2010 NHL Draft, scored two goals for the third time in his career and the second time this season. Florida's top-line center had two goals and four points Sunday in a 6-2 victory at the Anaheim Ducks. He has four goals and seven points in his past three games, and six goals in his past seven games. The scoring surge has given his confidence a huge boost.

"Scoring goals kind of changes your mentality," Bjugstad said. "It really shouldn't, but it does. It just gets the adrenaline going a little bit. Yeah, you just got to keep going when you're riding that wave. When it's going in, it's going in. It wasn't going in for me at the beginning of the year. Took me a while. So yeah, I've got a little ground to make up."

Bjugstad scored 24 seconds into the game and had a power-play goal late in the second period that put Florida ahead 2-1. But Sharks forward Patrick Marleau forced overtime by scoring with 33.1 seconds remaining in regulation after San Jose pulled goaltender Antti Niemi. Marleau took a pass in the lower right circle from Joe Thornton and snapped a shot past Roberto Luongo to the far side.

The Panthers got a power play when Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic was called for high sticking with 11 seconds left in regulation. The power play carried into overtime, but Florida was unable to capitalize. Sharks forward Logan Couture, who scored a second-period power-play goal, ripped a shot from the right circle with 1:00 left in overtime, but Luongo made the save.

Jussi Jokinen scored for Florida in the first round of the shootout. Couture tied it by beating Luongo in the second round, but after Sharks defenseman Brent Burns started the third round by hitting the post with his attempt, Bjugstad ended the game by whipping a high wrist shot past Niemi's glove.

"You don't really think too much when you're doing it," Bjugstad said. "You're just trying to get it through the net. I just tried getting it through, getting it off quick. That's the main thing."

Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said it was an easy decision to give Bjugstad his first chance of the season in a shootout.

"Tonight he was hot," Gallant said. "So I thought we'd go with him. He was putting the puck in the net and he hit a couple of posts too. That was a good shootout win for us."

Luongo made 28 saves through 65 minutes. Niemi stopped 26 shots.

The Panthers improved to 7-1-0 in their past eight games against San Jose. They beat the Sharks for the third straight time overall and swept the two-game season series. Florida won for the fourth straight time at SAP Center.

San Jose, which played 16 of its first 21 games on the road, opened a six-game homestand with a disappointing loss, though the Sharks did salvage a point.

"Obviously it didn't look too good with 30 seconds left so we'll take the point," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "Would have preferred two, tried to find a way to get that in the shootout.

"We get scored on on the first shot of the game, coming home from that long road trip, and we could have responded differently. At least we responded positively. I thought we found our game after that and were pretty good for about 36 minutes until they scored. Then I thought well into the third period we were on our heels and maybe the fear of losing crept into our thoughts."

The Sharks outshot Florida 25-15 through the first two periods, but the Panthers outshot San Jose 10-3 in the third and appeared headed for a 2-1 victory until Marleau delivered.

The Sharks had a prime chance to pull even with 6:53 left in regulation when Marleau was awarded a penalty shot after defenseman Brian Campbell slashed him from behind on a breakaway. But Luongo made a blocker save, preserving Florida's lead.

The Sharks pulled Niemi with 1:40 left in the third period but didn't put a shot on net until Marleau's game-tying goal.

Bjugstad gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead on the game's first shift. Huberdeau sent a cross-ice pass to defenseman Dmitry Kulikov above the right circle. Kulikov fired a shot, and Bjugstad redirected the puck from the circle past Sharks defenseman Justin Braun and Niemi.

"He's been a force for our team," Luongo said of Bjugstad. "We need it. It's nice to see him picking up his game and carrying the team now."

Kulikov, who returned to the lineup after missing four games with a knee injury, got an assist, as did Huberdeau.

The Sharks outshot Florida 12-6 in the first period but didn't have many good scoring chances. Their best one came late in the period while they were shorthanded. Tommy Wingels had a shot from short range, but Luongo caught it.

San Jose pulled even on Couture's power-play goal at 6:19 of the second period. Luongo made a sprawling pad save on Joe Pavelski's shot from in front of the crease, but Couture swooped in for the rebound and put the puck into a wide-open net for his eighth goal of the season, snapping a seven-game goalless streak.

Marleau, playing his franchise-record 400th consecutive game, and Pavelski got the assists.

Florida went back in front when Bjugstad struck again, this time on the power play at 17:23 of the second period. Bjugstad took a pass from Erik Gudbranson above the left circle and unloaded a slap shot that beat Niemi to the far side.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
00:24FLA Nick Bjugstad (5) ASST: Dmitry Kulikov (5), Jonathan Huberdeau (4) 1 - 0 FLA
2nd Period
06:19SJS PPG - Logan Couture (8) ASST: Joe Pavelski (10), Patrick Marleau (12) 1 - 1 Tie
17:23FLA PPG - Nick Bjugstad (6) ASST: Erik Gudbranson (2), Jonathan Huberdeau (5) 2 - 1 FLA
3rd Period
19:26SJS Patrick Marleau (6) ASST: Joe Thornton (13), Tomas Hertl (6) 2 - 2 Tie
OT Period
NONE
Shootout
1SJSJoe Pavelski - Save
2FLAJonathan Huberdeau - Missed
3SJSLogan Couture - Goal
4FLAJussi Jokinen - Goal
5SJSBrent Burns - Missed
6FLANick Bjugstad - Goal
Shootout Summary
RNDSan Jose SharksFlorida Panthers
1Joe PavelskiJonathan Huberdeau
2Logan CoutureJussi Jokinen
3Brent BurnsNick Bjugstad
Three Stars of the Game
Nick Bjugstad
1st
Nick Bjugstad
G: 2Shots: 5
A: 0Hits: 2
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 19:53
Patrick Marleau
2nd
Patrick Marleau
LW
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 1Hits: 2
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 20:54
Roberto Luongo
3rd
Roberto Luongo
SA: 30TOI: 65:00
GA: 2EV: 23-24
PIM: 0PP: 2-3
SV%: .933SH: 3-3
Penalty Summary
1st Period
18:07SJS Andrew Desjardins  Holding against  Willie Mitchell
2nd Period
04:41FLA Dmitry Kulikov  Cross checking against  Tommy Wingels
13:16FLA Willie Mitchell  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
15:56SJS Tommy Wingels  Holding the stick against  Brian Campbell
3rd Period
00:54SJS Justin Braun  Hooking against  Jonathan Huberdeau
06:45FLA Jussi Jokinen  Hooking against  Tommy Wingels
10:38SJS Brent Burns  Tripping against  Jonathan Huberdeau
19:49SJS Marc-Edouard Vlasic  Hi-sticking against  Rocco Grimaldi
OT Period
NONE
shots by period
PeriodFLASJS
1st612
2nd913
3rd103
OT32
Total2830
Team Stats
CategoryFLASJS
Power Plays1/51/3
Hits2027
Faceoff Wins3143
Giveaways1319
Takeaways79
Blocked Shots2620
Penalty Minutes610
  • FLORIDA
  • SAN JOSE
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
4D. OlsenD0000015:17
5A. EkbladD00-13022:17
7D. KulikovD0113223:42
11J. HuberdeauL0214017:54
12J. HayesR00-11013:35
14T. FleischmannL0000016:26
16A. BarkovC0002017:24
17D. MacKenzieC0000013:50
21V. TrocheckC00-12014:11
22S. ThorntonL0000010:26
23R. GrimaldiC0003013:25
24B. BoyesR0010017:51
27N. BjugstadC2015019:53
33W. MitchellD0011222:40
36J. JokinenL00-11215:45
44E. GudbransonD0101020:33
51B. CampbellD00-11023:56
82T. KopeckyR0001015:17
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
1R. Luongo2830.93365:00
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
5J. DemersD0003018:02
8J. PavelskiC0113022:20
10A. DesjardinsC0000210:37
12P. MarleauL1103020:54
15J. SheppardL0000013:34
19J. ThorntonC0100019:49
25T. McGinnL000108:49
27S. HannanD0001020:17
39L. CoutureC1015021:12
41M. MuellerD0002015:36
44M. VlasicD00-14223:59
48T. HertlC0101015:01
57T. WingelsC0001216:52
61J. BraunD00-10221:55
81T. KennedyR000007:37
83M. NietoL0001015:16
88B. BurnsD0015226:29
89B. GoodrowR0000013:23
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
31A. Niemi2628.92963:51