Saturday, February 08, 2014
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Sharks outlast Blue Jackets

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[February 08, 2014]  SAN JOSE, Calif.  The Sharks had just enough energy to post one last victory before the much-anticipated Olympic break.

Outshooting the visitors 47-21 despite continued struggles on the power play, San Jose beat a tired Columbus Blue Jackets team 3-2 on Friday.

"They played last night and we know that," Sharks forward Tommy Wingels said of Columbus' game in Los Angeles. "We knew we would have to play 60 minutes hard here. You wear them down throughout the game and I think we did a good job of that."

Wingels scored his career-high 12th goal of the season at 5:11 of the third period to cap a long San Jose cycle that featured a full line change without the puck exiting the zone.

Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was brilliant during the sequence, first stopping San Jose defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic and then defenseman Jason Demers before surrendering the tap-in goal by Wingels as the Sharks fired 13 of the period's first 14 shots.

"That's kind of been lacking lately," Wingels said.

"That was a tough one to swallow," Columbus left winger Matt Calvert said. "It was a missed assignment on my part. They finished the play."

The two-goal lead appeared comfortable until Demers committed a bad giveaway, enabling Columbus left winger Boone Jenner to score from the slot at 10:45.


"We were able to fight back. Obviously you don't want to go into a break with a loss but we have been playing great hockey the past few games," Columbus center Ryan Johansen said. "The boys battled hard and we just fell a little short."

Penalty killing and Bobrovsky kept the Blue Jackets in the game during the second period, in which Columbus scored the only goal to cut the deficit to one after 40 minutes.

Johansen intercepted an attempted clear by San Jose center Joe Thornton and surprised Sharks goalie Antti Niemi with a shot just inside the blue line for his 24th goal of the season 18 seconds into the second period.

"We played last night, but no excuses, we had to find a way to win this game," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "They were better than us. They were faster than us and they worked harder. Our effort was there."

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The Sharks scored two goals in the opening 8:13 thanks to a fast start.

San Jose center John McCarthy scored his first goal in 36 games this season by redirecting left winger James Sheppard's turn-around shot from the right circle just inside the near post at 3:23.

It was McCarthy's third career goal was his first since Nov. 6, 2010, a span of 73 games as the forward has spent a majority of the time between goals in the minors.

"It was just one of those goals where I meant to tip it, but it just hit me and went in," McCarthy said. "It's the type of goal you like to get."

After the Sharks killed a Columbus penalty in which the Blue Jackets put four shots on goal, the hosts struck again.

Bobrovsky made a great save on right winger Brent Burns in front after Thornton threaded a perfect feed from behind the net. But the rebound went to pinching Sharks defenseman Scott Hannan, whose low drive was tipped by left winger Patrick Marleau on the way in at 8:13.

Marleau's 23rd goal was his first in seven games.

"It was nice to see us getting second and third opportunities," Marleau said.

Jenner put a puck past Niemi, but the no-goal ruling for use of a high stick at 10:02 was upheld upon video review.

"It was a close play but I'm going to argue for the goal because we're the ones who would have gotten it," Richards said.

NOTES: Todd McLellan surpassed Darryl Sutter with his 435th game as Sharks coach to become the franchise leader on Friday. ... Rookie LW Matt Nieto did not play as result of an injury sustained blocking a shot against Dallas on Wednesday. RW Tyler Kennedy missed his fifth straight with a lower-body injury, leaving only D Matt Irwin as a healthy scratch. ... Columbus came in on an 11-3-1 run in its previous 14 games. ... San Jose D Jason Demers returned after missing three games with a groin injury. ... Injured C Logan Couture (hand) and RW Raffi Torres (knee) are expected back when the Sharks next play on Feb. 27. ... LW Blake Comeau, D Tim Erixon and D Cody Goloubef did not dress for Columbus.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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