Five-goal first period carries Sharks by Lightning

Sharks

SAN
JOSE – A five-goal outburst in the first period was enough offense
to lift the San Jose Sharks past the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-2
Wednesday night at sold-out HP Pavilion.
The victory,
pushed the Sharks atop the Pacific Division with 39 points in 32
games. Dallas has 39 points in 33 games. Phoenix is third with 37
points. Los Angeles, San Jose’s opponent Friday, holds down fourth
with 34.

The Sharks,
earning a third consecutive win, established a franchise record for
fastest five goals at the start of a game with Wednesday’s
performance in 14:47. The record was 18:50 in 1996 against
Chicago.

Benn Ferriero,
recalled from Worcester to replace the injured Marty Havlat, showed
off his speed to key the game’s first goal.

Ferriero raced to
the endboards to prevent the Lightning from clearing the zone.
Another 15 seconds elapsed with the Sharks in the Tampa Bay zone
before Ferriero pulled the puck away from Lightning defenseman Eric
Brewer and pushed the puck to Joe Thornton. When Ferriero moved to
the front of the crease, he received Thornton’s pass and took two
whacks at the puck, producing his second goal of the season at
3:26.

San
Jose went 2-for-2 on the power play in the first
period.

Lightning
defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron was called for tripping Ryane Clowe
at 4:26 and San Jose needed 25 seconds to make it 2-0. When Brent
Burns one-timed a cross-ice feed from Thornton, the short rebound
was controlled by Joe Pavelski in the low slot. Pavelski pulled a
shot inside the left post past goaltender Mathieu Garon at 4:51 for
his 14th goal of the year.

Andrew Desjardins
netted his third goal of the season at 6:21 for a 3-0 cushion.
Andrew Murray stole the puck on the left boards and set up
Desjardins for a hard shot from the slot. The rebound went to the
endboards, where Murray found the puck again and fed Desjardins for
a wrap-around goal that sent Garon to the bench for the rest of the
game.

Logan Couture
scored the next two goals, pulling him into a tie at 14 with
Pavelski.

Couture’s
50th career goal, at 13:13, was a wrist shot inside the
left post off a cross-ice helper from Patrick Marleau. At 14:47,
the Sharks were on the power play when Couture buried a rebound of
a Clowe shot for the 5-0 advantage.

Tampa Bay produced one goal for the
period, Dominic Moore redirecting a long shot from Brewer past
Antti Niemi at 15:38.

San
Jose coach Todd McLellan called it “a complete game. That initial
penalty-kill was important for us. Their system is very effective
when they get a lead.”

After a scoreless
second period featuring 34 shots on net, the teams each scored
again in the closing period.

Burns accepted
Michal Handzus’ face-off win at the right dot and one-timed a long
shot into the top left corner of the net against a helpless
goaltender Dwayne Roloson at 1:15 for a 6-1 lead.

“A great face-off
by ‘Zus,” said Burns about his sixth goal of the year.

Martin St. Louis, back in the
Lightning line-up after a five games away because of an injury,
buried his 10th goal of the season from the high slot
off a feed from Teddy Purcell at 7:45. Prior to the injury on Dec.
8, St. Louis had the NHL’s third-longest active consecutive games
player streak at 499.  

The Sharks
reached seven goals for the first time this season when Marleau
scored off a rebound of a Couture shot at 12:41.

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