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game recap

Devils 3, Sharks 2

Monday, 06.18.2012 / 11:10 PM

San Jose Sharks Staff

 
NEWARK, N.J. – Despite a late flurry by the San Jose Sharks, the New Jersey Devils held on for the 3-2 victory at the Prudential Center on Wednesday night.

With an extra-attacker on, the Sharks nearly pounced on a loose puck that would have tied the game in the final minute, but a quick whistle by referee Gord Dwyer negated San Jose’s comeback chances as the Devils escaped with the victory.

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Jeremy Roenick had the puck on his stick with a wide open net staring back at him when the referee lost sight of the puck and blew the play dead. Roenick jammed the puck in the net in frustration after the whistle and then bumped Devils netminder Martin Brodeur who took exception on the play.

The loss is San Jose’s fourth straight in regulation, the first time this season the Sharks have gone four consecutive games without claiming a point, and the first career regulation loss for Sharks rookie goaltender Thomas Greiss.

Greiss started just his second career NHL game, giving No. 1 netminder Evgeni Nabokov the night off to rest. The Koln, Germany native was aggressive in net, challenging Devils shooters at the top of his crease all night while stopping 17 of 20 shots.

Captain Patrick Marleau made his return to the lineup after missing four consecutive games with a groin injury. Marleau played 21:04, second only to Joe Thornton on the evening, skating on Joe Pavelski’s left wing at even strength and quarterbacking the power play from the point.

Both teams were cautious in the early stages of the first, making safe plays in their own zones and keeping chances limited. The first real scoring chance of the game came with just over six minutes to play in the first. Following an icing infraction on the Devils, Thornton cleanly won a faceoff to himself and controlled the puck. The puck eventually made its way down to Jonathan Cheechoo who in turn set up Milan Michalek for a one-timer that was turned aside.

Consecutive penalties on New Jersey’s Dainius Zubrus and Vitaly Vishnevski gave San Jose a five-on-three advantage for five seconds in the closing minute of the first. The Sharks threatened when Joe Pavelski cranked a one-timer on Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur in the final seconds of the period, but Brodeur calmly slid across to make the save to close the scoreless opening frame.

San Jose wasted no time in the second, scoring on the remaining power play time on Vishnevski’s minor to take the 1-0 lead. Marleau controlled the puck at the point and snapped a shot towards the net that was deflected by Michalek. The puck then careened off the active end boards towards the front of the net where Cheechoo redirected the puck for the power play tally.

Armed with a 1-0 lead, the Sharks looked poised to strike again when Devils defenseman Andy Greene was called for delay of game for closing his hand on the puck. However the Devils had other ideas, first killing San Jose’s power play, then tying the game.

Sharks goaltender Thomas Greiss makes one of his 17 saves on Devils forward Brian Gionta on Feb. 20, 2008. (Getty Images/Bruce Bennett)
An innocent looking play turned sour for the Sharks when a slow-moving puck trickled towards the San Jose net. Greiss left his crease to play the puck, but a strong forecheck by Jamie Langenbrunner pushed the puck towards the pile. Zach Parise gathered the puck and put it into the open net, tying the game at 1-1.

With 4:00 left in the second, a highlight-reel save by Brodeur ended a Sharks bid for a 2-1 lead. Without looking at the puck, Brodeur snapped his glove hand over his head to deflect the shot that looked like it was on its way into the New Jersey net.

No more than a minute after Brodeur’s miraculous save, John Madden gave the Devils their first lead of the night. A strong play by Paul Martin and Sergei Brylin forced the puck into the Sharks zone where Madden grabbed the puck and tucked it in five-hole past Greiss.

Just over a minute after Madden made it 2-1, Brylin found the net again on a shot from the slot. Jay Pandolfo found a wide-open Brylin who snuck a shot through Greiss for the 3-1 lead. Brylin’s goal with under two minutes to play in the second would prove costly as it would hold up as the eventual game winner.

Kyle McLaren pulled the Sharks within one when he one-timed a Roenick offering past Brodeur. As strong outlet pass by Mike Grier sprung Roenick through the neutral zone with speed.

Roenick gained the line and left a little drop pass for McLaren who unloaded a heavy shot. McLaren’s blast was redirected New Jersey’s Brian Gionta just enough to handcuff and slip through Brodeur making it a 3-2 contest.

Greiss left the ice in lieu of the extra attacker with 1:08 to play, but Roenick’s chance with 42.2 seconds would be the closest San Jose would come to tying the game, falling to the Devils 3-2.

LINEUP
Marleau – Pavelski – Bernier
Michalek – Thornton – Cheechoo
Rissmiller – Mitchell – Grier
Shelley – Goc – Roenick

Murray – Vlasic
Carle – Rivet
McLaren – Ehrhoff

Greiss – Nabokov

NEXT GAME
The Sharks return to action on Thursday night, playing their fourth game in five nights, in Philadelphia against the Flyers. The game time is set for 4:00 PM (Pacific) and will be broadcast on FSN Bay Area, KFOX 98.5 FM, Sharks Radio Network Affiliates and SJSHARKS.com.



From the AP Wire


NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - The New Jersey Devils have finally figured out how to win at home. The San Jose Sharks don't seem to remember how to win on the road.

Ever since a recent team meeting, things have turned around for the Devils. Their latest conquest at their new home digs came on the strength of a big second period and extended the road woes of the sinking Sharks.

John Madden and Sergei Brylin scored 1:10 apart during New Jersey's three-goal period, and the Devils took advantage of backup goalie Thomas Greiss and beat San Jose 3-2 Wednesday night.

New Jersey is tied for first place in the Eastern Conference, while the Sharks have slipped to the edge of the playoff race out West.

"It's second nature. When you battle for positioning or you look at other teams it's important you know where you stand," Devils goalie Martin Brodeur said. "Sometimes you see something and it motivates you. You always look at it."

Devils forward John Madden raises his arms after scoring a goal past Sharks goalie Thomas Greiss in the second period on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

During a rare night off for San Jose ironman Evgeni Nabokov, the Devils scored three goals on 10 shots in the pivotal period and won their third straight and fifth in six games (5-0-1), dating to the Feb. 8 team meeting. They were outshot 32-20 and went without a power-play chance until the third.

The Devils were 3-6 in their previous nine home games.

"Timing is one thing for meetings," captain Jamie Langenbrunner said. "It may have put guys at ease a little bit."

San Jose has hit the skids and dropped its season-worst fifth in a row overall (0-4-1), including the first three of an eight-game Eastern road swing. The Sharks were 16-3-2 away from home on Jan. 1, but have gone 1-5-1 on the road since - losing four straight.

After Jonathan Cheechoo gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead with a power-play tally in the opening minute of the second, New Jersey stormed back on goals from Zach Parise, Madden and Brylin in a 10-minute span.

"We're right in the thick of things," Sharks forward Jeremy Roenick said. "If we win some hockey games we'll be OK. We're not playing bad hockey. We've got to score more goals and we have to stay away from the mistakes."

San Jose cut the deficit to 3-2 with 6:06 left on Kyle McLaren's goal that deflected in off the stick of Devils forward Brian Gionta.

Brodeur earned his NHL-best 33rd victory.

Greiss made his third career appearance and second start in place of Nabokov, who sat for the second time in San Jose's 60 games. Greiss had a brief relief outing in the Sharks' 3-2 loss Monday to the New York Islanders after a shot broke the cage on Nabokov's mask and bloodied his nose.

"It doesn't matter," Greiss said of his scarce playing time. "I just try to go into every game the same way and just be ready."

Nabokov came back for the third period, but couldn't protect a 2-0 lead. With the Sharks playing their fourth game in five days Thursday in Philadelphia, Nabokov would've had a day off anyway.

San Jose center Patrick Marleau, the subject of trade rumors as Tuesday's NHL trade deadline approaches, rejoined the Sharks lineup after missing four games due to a groin injury. He had an assist, but it wasn't enough.

Marleau averaged 30 goals the previous four seasons but has scored only 10 in 55 games this season for the Sharks, who came in averaging only 2.56 goals per game, sixth fewest in the NHL.

Devils goalie Martin Brodeur is shoved by Sharks center Jeremy Roenick as the two exchange words in the third period on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

During its previous three games - all regulation losses - San Jose managed just five goals, but Cheechoo has enjoyed an offensive surge with five goals in six games.

Marleau's shot from the right point hit the stick of linemate Milan Michalek and caromed off the end boards. The puck found it's way into the crease, and Cheechoo got his stick on it with a poke as it was on Brodeur's goal stick 35 seconds into the period.

The Devils tied it at 7:56.

A loose puck slid, tantalizingly slow, off Langenbrunner's stick toward the net, and Greiss charged to the hash marks as Parise raced toward him. Parise got there as the puck went behind Greiss and slipped a shot into the vacated net for his 24th.

"I gave up a couple soft goals," Greiss said. "I should have just stayed in the net and go from there."

"That was Zach going hard to the net again," Langenbrunner said. "When there is a puck laying around the net, he likes chasing it down."

Brodeur made a brilliant glove save over his head with just over 4 minutes left in the period when Marcel Goc got the shaft of his stick on a shot in front.

"I just waved my glove and I felt it. I said, 'Wow, I hit the one.' Pretty lucky," Brodeur said.

Madden tucked a shot in at the right post with 3:04 left, and Brylin squeezed a shot under Greiss' arm, off a pass from Jay Pandolfo, at 18:06 to make it 3-1.

Notes: Devils D Colin White sat out with an upper body injury sustained Monday. ... Pandolfo's assist gave him 200 NHL points. ... Greiss made his NHL debut with an overtime loss at Anaheim on Jan. 13, the only other game Nabokov missed. ... Joe Thornton took the only penalty for the Sharks, who were 1-for-4 on the power play.

scoring summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
00:35
SJS
PPG - Jonathan Cheechoo (16) Tip-in - ASST: Milan Michalek (22), Patrick Marleau (19)
1 - 0 SJS
07:56
NJD
Zach Parise (24) Wrist shot - ASST: Jamie Langenbrunner (25), Patrik Elias (26)
1 - 1 Tie
16:56
NJD
John Madden (16) Wrist shot - ASST: Sergei Brylin (8), Paul Martin (21)
2 - 1 NJD
18:06
NJD
Sergei Brylin (6) Snap shot - ASST: Jay Pandolfo (9), Patrik Elias (27)
3 - 1 NJD
3rd Period
13:54
SJS
Kyle McLaren (2) Slapshot - ASST: Jeremy Roenick (13), Michael Grier (11)
3 - 2 NJD
penalty summary
1st Period
16:43
NJD
Dainius Zubrus  Hooking against  Joe Thornton
18:39
NJD
Vitaly Vishnevski  Interference against  Steve Bernier
2nd Period
03:57
NJD
Andy Greene  Closing hand on puck
3rd Period
02:46
NJD
Brian Gionta  Tripping against  Marc-Edouard Vlasic
10:36
SJS
Joe Thornton  Interference against  Zach Parise
goalie stats
Thomas Greiss
Thomas Greiss
SA: 20TOI: 58:40
Saves: 17EV: 13 - 16
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 2
SV%: .850SH: 2 - 2
Martin Brodeur
Martin Brodeur
SA: 32TOI: 60:00
Saves: 30EV: 25 - 26
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 5
SV%: .938SH: 1 - 1