Atlanta bounces back from 2-0 deficit to defeat Sharks 4-2

San Jose Sharks

– Two goals by the visiting Atlanta Thrashers in the third
period led to a 4-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks at sold-out HP
Pavilion Saturday night.
SAN JOSE – Two goals by the visiting Atlanta Thrashers in the third period led to a 4-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks at sold-out HP Pavilion Saturday night.

Familiar nemesis Dustin Byfuglien and sophomore sensation Evander Kane scored goals in the third period to give the winners a 3-2-0 mark in the young season.

San Jose earned three points in last weekend’s two-game series against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Stockholm, Sweden. Back on the ice for a regular season game for the first time in seven days, the Sharks grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first period against Atlanta. The Thrashers rebounded with four answered goals to leave San Jose with a 1-1-1 record.

San Jose completes a two-game homestand Tuesday at 7:30pm against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Sharks begin a three-game roadtrip to Northwest Division cities Thursday in Denver against the Colorado Avalanche.

Byfuglien, who sparked the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-0 sweep of San Jose in last spring’s Western Conference finals, was ready in the high slot to grab a long rebound and whip a shot past a screened goalie Antti Niemi 13:40 into the third period. The power play goal gave the Thrashers a 3-2 lead.

Kane, the fourth overall pick in the 2009 Entry Draft, added his third goal of the season at the 15:51 mark at the end of a 3-on-1 Atlanta rush.

Dany Heatley produced the game’s first goal while the Sharks were on a 5-on-3 power play in the first period.

Captain Joe Thornton sent a cross-ice pass to Patrick Marleau at the left face-off dot. Marleau’s hard shot was stopped by goalie Chris Mason, but the rebound came at the edge of the crease. Heatley chopped at the puck, sending it over Mason’s shoulder for the 1-0 San Jose advantage at 15:20 of the first period.

The goal was the 300th of Heatley’s career.

Shark Logan Couture was whistled for interference 10 seconds later to set up a 4-on-4 situation. San Jose needed only 11 more seconds to go ahead 2-0. Ryane Clowe controlled the puck out of the San Jose zone before dropping the puck to Torrey Mitchell. While Clowe sped to the net, Mitchell drilled a shot from the top of the right circle as defenseman Tobias Enstrom applied pressure. The shot skimmed off the raised stick of Clowe and inside the right post for Clowe’s first goal and team-leading fourth point of the season.

San Jose fashioned an 18-9 edge in shots on net in the second period, yet Atlanta produced the only two goals of the middle period to leave it a 2-2 game.

Only one minor penalty was called in the period, interference by Atlanta’s Alexander Burmistrov 1:11 into action. When San Jose lost the face-off in the Thrasher zone, Atlanta’s Bryan Little sped away on a 2-on-2 break with linemate Andrew Ladd. Little whipped a shot from the left flank toward the net. Niemi kicked the puck into the low slot with his right pad. Ladd was in position in the slot to push the puck into the open net at the 1:23 mark.

One night after recording a hat trick in a 5-4 Atlanta victory over Anaheim, Anthony Stewart scored 13:58 into the second for a 2-2 deadlock. Ladd began the scoring play by intercepting a San Jose dump-in attempt at the Thrasher blueline. Stewart collected a long pass from Ladd inside the San Jose blue line, then directed a low shot that dropped under the right pad of Niemi and inside the far left post.

Stewart has eight goals in 110 career NHL games.

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