NHL Game Summary - San Jose at Boston
(Tuesday, January 10th)
Final Score: San Jose 6, Boston 2
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Patrick Marleau, Jonathan Cheechoo and Nils Ekman each scored a goal and added two assists, as San Jose dominated Boston, 6-2, in Joe Thornton's short-lived return to TD Banknorth Garden.
Just 5:13 into the game, Thornton was ejected after being assessed a questionable five-minute major and a 10-minute misconduct for intent to injure after checking Hal Gill from behind.
"I guess because there's an injury on the play, you could call a penalty but when we watched the replay, it was a clean hit, shoulder to shoulder and Hal Gill went in sideways into the boards," said San Jose head coach Ron Wilson. "We were shocked they threw him out of the game but I was very proud of our team, that despite that adversity, we were dressing seven defenseman, and we're down to 10 forwards right off the bat, but we never lost our focus and probably played our best game all season."
Josh Langfeld added two goals for the Sharks, who have won four straight games and are 11-4-1 since Thornton's arrival. The Bruins dealt Thornton to San Jose in exchange for Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau and Brad Stuart on November 30.
Evgeni Nabokov finished the game with 21 saves for the Sharks.
Milan Jurcina scored twice for Boston, which lost for the first time in three games. The defenseman has four goals in the Bruins last two contests.
"I'm a positive guy by nature and we take that approach with our players," said Boston head coach Mike Sullivan. "I don't know that we can take a positive out of tonight."
Andrew Raycroft, who was questionable with a minor knee injury, allowed five goals on 26 shots before being replaced by Tim Thomas late in the second period. Thomas finished the game with six saves.
The Sharks did not miss Thornton one bit, as the team used three power-play goals in the blowout victory.
The Sharks drew first blood with Langfeld netting his first goal of the season 3:15 into the opening period. After a scrum in front, Langfeld found a loose puck at the right of the crease and backhanded it home.
Shortly following the goal, Gill chased a loose puck into the right corner and as he played the disc and went to turn up ice, Thornton slammed into him. Gill was down in pain for a few minutes and needed to be helped off the ice. He did not return after suffering a pinched nerve and stinger.
"It's just unfortunate," said Thornton. "It's too bad. I talked to Hal and he saw me coming. It's just one of those things where I kind of pinched his shoulder but he's going to be okay. Things happen, it's just bad luck. Hal's a good friend of mine and obviously I don't want to hurt anybody. I'm not that kind of player. It's just unfortunate he didn't come back. Hopefully, he comes back next game."
Langfeld struck again in the first, scoring a shorthanded goal at 13:12. Alyn McCauley forced a turnover in the neutral zone and on a 2-on-1 rush into the Boston zone, feathered a pass across to Langfeld, who beat Raycroft top left corner.
Boston responded less than two minutes later with Jurcina firing a shot from the right point that beat Nabokov low to the stick side to make it a 2-1 game with the power-play tally.
The Sharks scored the next four goals to take command of the game.
San Jose made it a 3-1 game early in the second stanza with Scott Hannan scoring a power-play goal. Hannan slid in from the left point and redirected Marleau's pass from the right corner into the net.
Midway through the second, San Jose went up three goals with Marleau netting a power-play tally. Ekman set up behind the Boston net and flipped a pass out to the slot where Marleau one-timed it past Raycroft for the 4-1 lead.
At 16:19 of the second, Cheechoo's power-play goal made it a 5-1 game and sent Raycroft to the bench as Thomas replaced him.
Nineteen seconds into the final frame, Ekman scored off a feed from Marleau to give the Sharks a solid five-goal cushion.
With 1:56 left in the game, Jurcina added his second goal with a wrist shot from the slot.
San Jose improved to 7-12-2 on the road and will visit Ottawa on Thursday in the second game of a three-game road trip...The Sharks ended the contest 3- for-9 on the power play while Boston went 1-of-3...Hannan added an assist for San Jose...Sturm picked up his 17th assist of the season on Jurcina's first goal. He has 14 points since the trade.
01/10 23:02:34 ET