NHL Game Summary - San Jose at Tampa Bay
(Sunday, October 29th)
Final Score: San Jose 4, Tampa Bay 2
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Evgeni Nabokov stopped 18 shots in net as the San Jose Sharks doubled up the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-2, at the St. Pete Times Forum.
Joe Thornton scored a first period power-play goal, his first tally of the season. Ryane Clowe also added his first, Mike Grier his second, and Patrick Marleau netted his sixth for San Jose, which stopped a two-game losing skid.
Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis lit the lamp, and defenseman Dan Boyle registered two assists.
Marc Denis made 25 stops between the pipes for the Lightning, who have lost back-to-back games this weekend to halt a three-game winning streak.
For the fourth straight time on their Eastern road swing, the Sharks scored first, benefiting from a broken play on the man-advantage. Milan Michalek's attempted shot from the high slot was blocked before reaching Denis, but it bounced right to Thornton, who was able to settle the puck and put a quick wrister behind the Tampa netminder.
San Jose upped the lead to 2-0 in the second with some hard work from their grinders. Defenseman Scott Hannan stretched out to prevent a Tampa clearing pass, and then dumped the puck along the left boards all the way behind Denis. Grier interecepted the puck, and sent a blind backhand feed into the slot, which Clowe met a step ahead of the Tampa defense. He quickly wristed it home before Denis could get across, at 2:51.
The Lightning finally broke through within a goal at 16:08. With the Sharks on the penalty kill, Lecavalier broke up a pass in the neutral zone, skated over the blue line, and dropped a pass to linemate Vaclav Prospal. Prospal held on through the left circle before whipping a diagonal feed back to Lecavalier, who redirected it past Nabokov.
Midway through the third, San Jose would go up by two once again, courtesy of a lucky break on the power play. This time, Hannan sent a blistering slap shot through the slot, where it hit Marleau's stick with enough velocity to snap it in half. The force of the shot breaking the shaft caused the puck to change direction, and slide under Denis.
However, a little more than two minutes later, Tampa cut the lead to a single goal. Boyle's right point drive was tipped in the slot by Nikita Alexeev, but the redirection was pushed wide of the net. Always buzzing around the puck, St. Louis stashed home the errant shot as he moved in toward the crease with a little less than seven minutes remaining.
St. Louis then missed a golden opportunity to tie the game with 5:20 left. The speedy winger found himself all alone to the right of the San Jose crease, with Nabokov out of the play. However, he could not corral a bouncing puck from a sharp angle along the goal line, and put his chance over the top of the net.
Tampa had several more point-blank chances thereafter, but Nabokov turned them aside. He then withstood the pressure of a late-game shorthanded situation to preserve the victory.
Grier closed out the scoring with 1:21 remaining, taking a Patrick Rissmiller feed and breaking ahead of the Lightning defense for an empty-net goal.
San Jose had not won in Tampa since February of 2000...Lecavalier and St. Louis both upped their point streaks to five games...Tampa was 2-of-7 on the power play, while San Jose cashed in on two of their three chances.
10/29 20:31:07 ET