Hockey / Sports

Sharks edge Jackets, 3-2

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Todd McLellan got what he wanted on the night that he set the San Jose Sharks' franchise record for longevity behind the bench.

Goals by John McCarthy, Patrick Marleau and Tommy Wingels gave the Sharks a 3-2 victory Friday night over the Columbus Blue Jackets in the last game before the Olympic break for both teams.

But McLellan couldn't have been happy with two giveaways that made the game as close as it was with Ryan Johansen and Boone Jenner tallying for Columbus.

In the days before his 435th game as Sharks coach, McLellan had raised the possibility that some players may have been too focused on the 20-day Olympic break and not the games leading up to it.

But he thought they might have extra incentive against Columbus because the Blue Jackets swept three games from San Jose last season by a collective score of 14-5.

"Let's play a good competitive game because we have nothing to save it for," McLellan said before the game. "We'd like to end on a positive note, especially here at home and against a team that's really drilled us the last few times we've played them."

San Jose was more than competitive in the first period, jumping out to a 2-0 lead for the 16th time this season.

The Sharks were on the board early when McCarthy won a faceoff, got the puck to James Sheppard and then got between his shot and Columbus netminder Sergei Bobrovsky for the deflection at 3:43.

McCarthy went back and forth to Worcester this week, recalled when Matt Nieto was hurt Wednesday. All that travel paid off with his first goal since Nov. 6, 2010, and his third in 87 NHL games.

The lead grew to 2-0 at 8:13 when Bobrovsky robbed Brent Burns, but the rebound went to Hannan at the blue line, and his slap shot was tipped en route to the net by Marleau.

Later in the period it looked as if Columbus had cut the lead to one when Boone Jenner got his stick on Jack Johnson's centering pass and the puck bounced off the Blue Jackets forward's body and past Sharks goalie Antti Niemi. But the goal was waived off because Jenner's stick was above the crossbar when he hit the puck and nothing changed after a video review in Toronto.

Columbus needed only 18 seconds of the second period to cut the San Jose lead to 2-1 as Johansen picked off a weak clearing attempt by Joe Thornton in the middle of the ice, then turned and fired a shot before Niemi could get in position.

One reason the Sharks couldn't regain their two-goal edge in the second period was a power play that continued to struggle. San Jose had four chances with the man advantage and the closest either team got to scoring was Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert's short-handed breakaway.

The Sharks clearly had more energy in the third period than Columbus, which had played the previous night in Los Angeles, and it paid off at 5:11 when Wingels tapped the puck in after Bobrovsky got only a piece of a shot by Jason Demers for a 3-1 lead.

But it was a giveaway by Demers deep in his own zone midway through the period that made it a one-goal game again as the Sharks were outnumbered in front of their own net and Jenner beat Niemi to make it 3-2 at 10:45.

-- McLellan joked around when asked if it felt like he had been here five-plus seasons or arrived only yesterday. "Depends on the day," he said.

--Demers was back in the lineup after missing the two previous games with a groin pull.

(c)2014 San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

Visit the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) at www.mercurynews.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


blog comments powered by Disqus