Chara’s shootout goal lifts Bruins past Sharks, 2-1

San Jose Sharks

SAN JOSE
– The Boston Bruins snapped a three-game losing streak by edging
the San Jose Sharks 2-1 after a four-round shootout at sold-out HP
Pavilion.
Bruin Zdeno Chara’s hard slapshot from 20 feet out inside the
left post was the lone goal among eight shooters in the
overtime.
SAN JOSE – The Boston Bruins snapped a three-game losing streak by edging the San Jose Sharks 2-1 after a four-round shootout at sold-out HP Pavilion.

Bruin Zdeno Chara’s hard slapshot from 20 feet out inside the left post was the lone goal among eight shooters in the overtime.

The one point allowed San Jose to retain a share of the overall NHL lead with Chicago with 68 points.

Boston holds a 14-6-5-0 edge over San Jose. After five overtime games between the two ended in a tie, the shootout produced the first winner after the game was tied after regulation in the series.

The Bruins, despite holding down the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference, had scored more goals (117) than only one NHL team, Carolina (115), entering Thursday’s game.

Boston collected a 1-0 lead 2:50 into the second period thanks to a fortunate bounce for the visitors.

Shawn Thornton keyed the scoring play when he stopped a potential clearing pass at the right point and sent a low pass toward the net. Goalie Bruin Daniel Paille was in the low slot and shoved a shot toward the left post. Goalie Evgeni Nabokov slid to his right to block the shot, but the short rebound went off the skate of Shark defenseman Dan Boyle, then behind Nabokov into the net for the 1-0 edge for the Bruins.

San Jose, tied with Chicago at 152 for the most goals by a Western Conference team before Thursday’s games, has not been shut-out for more than three months. San Jose made sure the streak would continue at least two more days when Joe Thornton scored the equalizer 9:56 into the second period.

Thornton, second in the NHL scoring derby, passed the puck along the right boards in the Bruins zone to Boyle. A hard, high shot from Boyle skimmed off the stick of Dany Heatley before it caromed off the shoulder of goalie Tim Thomas and behind the netminder in the crease. Thornton sped to the right post and jammed the puck over the line for his 12th goal of the season.

“Í took a whack at it and it happened to go in,” Thornton said.

The first two periods were played without a penalty. The third period netted four penalties, giving each team a pair of power plays.

Paille had an opportunity to snap the tie while the clubs were playing 5-on-5. Paille circled around the defensive pressure of Boyle and moved toward the net on a breakaway. Nabokov dove to his left and covered Paille’s backhand attempt.

San Jose fashioned a 12-9 edge in shots on net for the third period. Heatley had a good scoring chance late in San Jose’s second power play. When Thornton slid a pass across the crease to Heatley at the inside edge of the left circle, Heatley’s quick one-timer nudged off the left post and against Thomas’ right pad before the puck was cleared.

The Sharks host Edmonton Saturday at 1pm before completing the homestand Monday at 7pm against the Calgary Flames. San Jose visits the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday before starting a five-game homestand Thursday against Anaheim.

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