03/07 00:20 CST Sharks rally past Penguins 5-3
Sharks rally past Penguins 5-3
AP Sports Writer
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) --- Joe Thornton scored the tiebreaking goal with 5:39
left in regulation to help the San Jose Sharks overcome a two-goal deficit to
beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 on Thursday night.
Justin Braun started the comeback with a goal late in the second and Patrick
Marleau and Brent Burns scored tying goals earlier in the third for the Sharks,
who have 10 wins and one tie in their last 11 home games against Pittsburgh.
Burns added an empty-net goal and Antti Niemi made 19 saves for San Jose.
Olli Maatta scored two goals and Chris Kunitz also scored for the Penguins, who
last won at the Shark Tank on Oct. 22, 1997. Jeff Zatkoff made 42 saves in his
first appearance since beating Los Angeles on Jan. 30.
But Zatkoff would probably like another chance to stop the goal scored by
Thornton. On what looked like an innocent play, Thornton flipped a shot from
the blue line that fooled Zatkoff and went in over his shoulder. It gave the
Sharks just their third win all season when trailing after two periods.
The goal capped a wild third period that featured the Sharks tying the game
with a short-handed goal, falling back behind and then tying the game again all
in a span of 1:34.
The scoring spree started after Matt Nieto was given a double-minor for
high-sticking Simon Despres. The Sharks killed off the first penalty and then
tied the game at 2 on a spectacular goal from Marleau, who took a pass from
Jason Demers, faked out Evgeni Malkin and then beat Zatkoff with a backhand.
The Penguins went back ahead 21 seconds later with their second power-play goal
of the game when Brandon Sutter set up Maatta for his first-career two-goal
That lead was also short-lived when Burns took a pass in the slot from Joe
Pavelski 1:13 later and beat Zatkoff with his second goal in as many games
after a 19-game scoring drought.
Trailing 2-0, the Sharks took over control of the play in the final half of the
second period thanks to some hard hits dished out by Raffi Torres, Jason Demers
and Brent Burns.
That energy translated into a goal when Tommy Wingels prevented Zatkoff from
freezing a puck to set up Braun's point shot through a screen by Adam Burish.
The goal ended an 18-game drought by San Jose's defensemen since Dan Boyle
scored against Detroit on Jan. 9.
The Penguins got some reinforcements from deals made before Wednesday's trade
deadline with forward Lee Stempniak and center Marcel Goc making their debuts
for Pittsburgh after arriving in town shortly after the morning skate.
The game got off to a fast-paced start with no stoppage in the first 5-plus
minutes. The Sharks threatened on a power-play midway through the period before
the Penguins got goals from Maatta and Kunitz in the final 5 minutes to take
the 2-0 lead. That was San Jose's biggest deficit after the first period all
NOTES: Goc had an assist on the first goal. ... Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby
has not scored a goal in six career games against San Jose. The only other
teams he has failed to score against are St. Louis (seven games) and Chicago
(three games). ... Olympic figure skater Polina Edmunds, who trains at the
Sharks' practice facility, dropped the ceremonial first puck.