NHL Game Summary - Montreal at San Jose
(Monday, March 3rd)
Final Score: San Jose 6, Montreal 4
San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Joe Thornton had a four-point night, with two goals and two assists, as the San Jose Sharks beat the Montreal Canadiens, 6-4, at HP Pavilion.
Jonathan Cheechoo added a goal and two helpers, while Brian Campbell tallied and had an assist in his home debut for the Sharks, winners of a season-high six straight. Patrick Marleau and Jody Shelley also scored, while Evgeni Nabokov made 27 saves for San Jose, which was coming off an eight-game road trip.
Tomas Plekanec scored twice for the Canadiens, who had a three-game win streak broken but retained the top spot in the Northeast Division following Ottawa's loss to Anaheim on Monday.
"Usually when you come off the road like we have for seventeen days there's a little bit of a letdown but Patty (Patrick Marleau) started us off with a great individual effort and it rolled off from that," said Thornton. "Just an excellent game, it went back and forth all night but obviously we pulled out the two points. They're the best in the East right now and hopefully we'll be the best in the West come shortly."
Ryan O'Byrne and Maxim Lapierre also scored for Montreal, while Carey Price surrendered all six goals on 39 shots faced, dropping his first game since the departure of Cristobal Huet prior to the trade deadline.
"We gave up six goals so I think there's a few he'd like to have back but that's where we're at," said Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau. "We're playing well but we still have a young team that's learning to play in those occasions. We did some really good things this week and had a really good weekend. In the paper everybody was talking about our defense and our goaltender and you saw the result today."
With the Sharks up 4-3, Cheechoo added a highlight-reel goal in the third, as he cut through the defense, used a quick inside move to weave around Josh Gorges and lifted the puck over Price's right shoulder at 3:25.
The Habs got it back rather quickly, as Lapierre jammed the puck over the goal line during a scrum in front only 53 seconds later to make it a 5-4 game.
Nabokov buckled down the rest of the way, though, and Campbell added a late tally for the Sharks, as he lit the lamp on the power play with 1:39 left in regulation.
The Sharks needed just 56 seconds to net the game's first goal, as Marleau sped down the left wing, took a feed from Devin Setoguchi, and backhanded it over Price for the 1-0 lead.
Montreal tied it only 1:26 later, as Plekanec knocked home his own rebound, but San Jose was quick to answer. Thornton lit the lamp 24 seconds after that, as he banked the puck off the left leg of a fallen Price and watched it trickle over the goal line.
The Habs then made it a 2-2 game on the power play, as O'Byrne notched his first NHL goal on a slapper from the high slot that skipped just under the crossbar with 2:33 left in the stanza.
San Jose went back on top during a 4-on-3 power play early in the second, as Thornton drilled a long shot between the pads of Price at 5:04.
Plekanec, following some terrific work along the boards, also notched his second of the night and made it 3-all with a little more than five minutes left. Plekanec ripped a one-touch pass from Alexei Kovalev into the back of the net, just seconds after snagging the disc away from two Sharks' defenders.
Shelley put the Sharks back on top with 3:24 remaining in the second, as his shot skipped behind Price and quickly wrapped around the inside of the left post.
The Sharks hosted the Habs for just the 12th time in 16 years...Exactly four years had passed since Montreal's last game in San Jan Jose, a 4-3 Sharks win on March 3, 2004...Sharks forward Jeremy Roenick missed the game with the flu...Kovalev has four goals and 11 assists in his last 10 games...Shelley scored his first goal as a Shark and first since February 25, 2007...San Jose played its first home game since Feb. 14...The Habs opened a four-game swing against Pacific Division opponents...The Habs allowed six goals after giving up only four in their previous three games.
03/04 02:11:12 ET