Bruins vs. Sharks: San Jose Fights to a Much-Needed Regulation Win over Boston

David Barclay@@DjamesIIICorrespondent IMarch 23, 2012

With points becoming much more scarce for teams in the Pacific Division, the San Jose Sharks' victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night was a much-needed breath of fresh air.

The Sharks have earned a total of 84 points, and now sit just one point out of the playoff picture.

Rallying from goals from Joe Pavelski (27), Daniel Winnik (6) and a very strong performance from goaltender Antti Niemi, who carried a shutout late into the third period, the Sharks topped the Bruins 2-1.

San Jose's defense held one of the league's most potent offenses to just 16 shots on goal, and looked determined from the opening puck drop. 

More than the defense, the Sharks' forecheck looked almost better than it has all season.

San Jose's first goal happened when Bruins forward Milan Lucic tossed the puck away at the defensive blue line and brought Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Pavelski to the net, with Pavelski getting the goal to put the Sharks up 1-0.

Overall, the Sharks painted a very good picture for the fans and for their head coach Todd McLellan, who has never coached a team fighting for dear life to make the playoffs.

Said McLellan when asked about his team's current struggles and attempt to make the playoffs this season, "First of all, we understand where we're at. There's an anxiousness around our team, which should be there. I feel at times it's a nervousness that holds us back. We have to be able to go out and play free."

For one night at least, it looks like the Sharks did just that, and they came out victorious.

  • Sharks goaltender Niemi improved his overall record against Boston to 5-0.
  • San Jose ended a two-game losing streak with their win, and in return ended the Bruins' two-game winning streak.
  • Sharks center Michal Handzus made his return from a lower body injury that sidelined him six games.
  • Healthy scratches for the Sharks were Colin White, Jim Vandermeer, Brad Winchester and Benn Ferriero. T.J Galiardi missed his fourth game with an upper-body injury.

 

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