Pavelski Steals St Louis’ Thunder in 5-4 Sharks Win at Tampa

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

Hat’s Off- Joe Pavelski three second period goals offset a four goal performance from Tampa Bay’s Martin St Louis (saint lou’ee) as the San Jose Sharks edged the Lightning 5-4 Saturday afternoon in Florida’s Bay Area. The Sharks rallied from a two goal deficit in the second period overcoming St Louis’ one-man show as the Sharks swept their three game road trip through Washington, Sunrise and Tampa, Florida. Antti Niemi did not have his best day in the net as he gave up the four goals to St Louis over a 10 minute span of playing time that carried over into the second period. Niemi still went on to make 25 saves and slammed the door on the Lightning when he needed to in the third period. The Sharks with the win pick up two points on the idle Anaheim Ducks in the Pacific Division while increasing their lead over the Los Angeles Kings to four points in the division standings. The Sharks head back home to face the Calgary Flames Monday night as the Sharks will look to extend their winning streak to four.

Jan 18, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis (26). Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Hot Biscuits All Day- The opening period after seeing no goals scored in almost the first ten minutes of action would see a flurry of scoring before the period was over. Matt Nieto got the Sharks on the board in the first period taking a rebound of his own blocked shot on and drill a wrister past Tampa goalie Ben Bishop. The Sharks one goal lead however would not hold up for long thanks to a hooking penalty to Tyler Kennedy. It only took the Lightning 16 seconds from the face off to tie the game as St. Louis would drill what would be the first of his four goals past Niemi. St Louis was able to take advantage of the Sharks being a man down and had a rather sizable opening to shoot at. Tampa had tied the game but the tie would not even stand up for a minute as Patrick Marleau was able to drill a hard slap shot past Bishop as he hit the left corner of the net top shelf after taking a feed from Brent Burns. The Sharks led 2-1 and started to apply the pressure and seemed to have control of the Tampa zone. A few moments later Burns hard shot on goal rebounded of Bishop right to Jean-Philippe Cote who immediately got a brake-away pass to St Louis who was able to backhand the puck into the net to tie the game again. St Louis continued his assault on Niemi with just 30 seconds remaining as a tip in attempt off of St Louis’ stick ricocheted of Braun and bounced into the net to give Tampa the lead. Just two minutes and seven seconds in the second period St Louis would get his fourth goal of the day just seconds into another Lightning power play giving the hosts a two goal lead.

Jan 18, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; San Jose Shark left wing Matthew Nieto (83) celebrates after scoring a goal during the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Pavelski Crashes St.Louis’ Party- With the Sharks down two goals for a short while it seemed as if the Sharks were going to have to settle for two out of three on the road trip. The Sharks got pressure on Bishop for much of the second period but could not seem to crack the code to get one past Bishop. With 7:25 remaining in the middle period the Sharks caught a break when a delayed penalty was called on the Lightning. With the extra attacker on the ice the Sharks were able to effectively get some puck movement going and keep the hot biscuit away from the Lightning until Kennedy hit Pavelski with a feed pass. Pavelski launched the puck immediately upon getting ahold of it and drilled it past Bishop to cut the Tampa lead to one. Pavelski was just getting warmed up meanwhile. Just 21 seconds later the Sharks took advantage of another Tampa penalty when Eric Brewer was sent to the penalty box for hooking. Following up a rebound of a Dan Boyle shot, Pavelski having fallen down on the ice in front of the Lightning goal crease still was able to corral the puck with his stick and sweep it past Bishop to tie the game. With just one minute left in the second period Matt Irwin drilled a shot that grazed Pavelski’s stick which sent another puck past Bishop to give the Sharks the lead. The goal was thought originally to be Irwins’ but would later on be credited to Pavelski who on the replay clearly got a piece of the puck.

The Defense Doesn’t Rest- Both the Sharks and the Lightning took a defensive minded stance in the third period as both shots and scoring opportunities where very much limited. The Sharks really had very few scoring chances to speak of while Tampa struggled to get quality shots on Niemi. In the last 1:15 of the game with the Lightning having pulled Bishop out of the net Niemi made two critical saves on hard shots on goal from Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson. The Sharks held the Lightning to just six shots on goal in the final period. On the afternoon it was St Louis who supplied the Lightning.  However it was Pavelski and the Sharks who stole the thunder on this Saturday afternoon matinee.

Next Sharks Game- Monday Night at 7:30pm the Sharks open a four game home stand at the Shark Tank with the Calgary Flames being first up. The game can be seen on CSN in Northern California and heard over the Sharks Radio Network.

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Topics: Antti Niemi, Joe Pavelski, Matt Nieto, Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks

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