Heatley’s two goals lift San Jose by Blues, 4-2

San Jose Sharks

SAN JOSE
– Two goals in the third period lifted the San Jose Sharks by
the St. Louis Blues 4-2 in a Western Conference showdown Saturday
night at sold-out HP Pavilion.
Dany Heatley netted his second goal of the night and Jamie
McGinn produced his first goal in 43 games this season to snap a
2-2 tie.
SAN JOSE – Two goals in the third period lifted the San Jose Sharks by the St. Louis Blues 4-2 in a Western Conference showdown Saturday night at sold-out HP Pavilion.

Dany Heatley netted his second goal of the night and Jamie McGinn produced his first goal in 43 games this season to snap a 2-2 tie.

The largest outpouring of Shark goals in an eight-game stretch allowed San Jose to stop a six-game losing streak. St. Louis has also dropped six of its past seven games.

San Jose opens a two-game road trip Monday night against the Phoenix Coyotes before taking on the Vancouver Canucks Thursday. The Sharks will host the Minnesota Wild Saturday before visiting the Los Angeles Kings Jan. 26 to complete the pre-All Star Game portion of the schedule.

San Jose entered play Saturday tied for 10th place with Minnesota and Los Angeles, each with 47 points. The win allowed San Jose to jump past St. Louis (48), although the bunched standings in the Western Conference make it unlikely San Jose can slip into the top eight until after the All-Star Game.

After the Sharks gave up the lead in the second period, once Heatley redirected Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s shot from the high slot into the net 4:35 into the third period, the Sharks kept the lead the rest of the game.

Heatley, placed on Joe Thornton’s line by coach Todd McLellan, kept pace atop the team scoring list with the captain with 41 points each. Logan Couture, out one game due to a lower body injury, also skated on the Thornton line.

“We had a really good third period,” said Thornton. “Hopefully, it’s a sign of things to come.”

San Jose created some breathing room at the 12:57 mark when McGinn collected a long rebound of a Scott Nichol shot and flipped it inside the right post for the 4-2 final.

After six consecutive games with at least 35 shots on net, the first period flew by with only four shots by the Sharks. San Jose was able to turn one of the shots into a tying goal at 14:18, a power-play tally by Heatley.

The Blues claimed a 1-0 lead 5:23 into play when BJ Crombeen’s hard shot from the top of the left circle hit goalie Antti Niemi’s right shoulder before dropping behind the netminder and into the net.

The Sharks responded by converting their first power play of the game. After Roman Polak was whistled for holding, San Jose needed 56 seconds to tie the score. As the Sharks spread out in the offensive zone, Joe Pavelski slid a long cross-ice pass to Thornton near the right dot. Thornton’s one-timer toward the net found Heatley at the front of the crease for the stuff shot under goalie Jaroslav Halak’s pads.

Thornton’s assist left him atop the Sharks franchise list for assists, 390, one ahead of Patrick Marleau.

San Jose utilized the power play in the second period to secure a brief 2-1 advantage.

Blues defenseman Ian Cole went to the box for holding Ben Ferriero. The Sharks needed 71 seconds to convert, Dan Boyle’s blast for the right point turning into a short rebound that Thornton whacked under Halak at 11:57.

San Jose relinquished the lead at 17:53 of the second period. Erik Johnson skimmed a low shot from the left of the net that dropped under Niemi’s pads.

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