Antero Niittymaki got the start for the San Jose Sharks on Saturday in their second of two games against the Columbus Blue Jackets. A turnover by Dany Heatley led to an Ethan Moraeu score in OT to give the Blue Jackets a 3-2 win.
Much like the previous game, penalties were a prevalent theme in the Swedish affair. The Sharks would get on the board first when Antoine Vermette took an early penalty and Devin Setoguchi notched his first of the season. Ryan Clowe was the set-up man man who fed a back-hand pass from the left boards to a waiting Setoguchi for a 1-0 Sharks lead.
Columbus would respond shortly after, when Jackets’ captain, Rick Nash, took a sharp-angled shot from the corner of his offensive zone beating Niittymaki on the short-side. The Sharks’ goaltender did not squeeze the post tight enough allowing the puck to sneak through for Nash’s first of the season.
A myriad of penalties in the second period for Columbus, including four straight minors, allowed the Sharks to work on their powerplay but the Blue Jackets did a great job of blocking shots and getting into the shooting lanes.
In an almost identical play from the previous night, the Jackets took a 2-1 lead early in the 3rd period when Nakita Filatov made a great pass to Kristian Huselius who put the puck top shelf on Niittymaki’s blocker-side. Columbus’ diamond setup on the powerplay allowed Huselius to get the puck in a prime-scoring area after Anton Stralman made a quick pass to Filatov who stayed high and wide in the left face-off circle.
Columbus defenseman, Mike Commodore, took another stupid penalty right after his team took the lead and the Sharks converted on the opportunity. Patrick Marleau fed a pass to Dany Heatley down low, who then found a streaking Joe Thornton to tie the game 2-2. The powerplay goal gave Thornton his second goal in as many nights.
In overtime, Heatley received a break-out pass and took the puck up ice but was rubbed out in the neutral zone by Samuel Pahlsson. Defensman, Fedor Tyutin picked up the loose puck and hit Ethan Moraeu with a cross-ice feed who beat Niittymaki on the blocker-side for the Jackets’ first win of the season. Columbus goalie, Steve Mason, stopped 30 of the 32 shots faced and looked very sharp throughout the tilt.
The Sharks left Sweden with 3 of 4 possible points and will host the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday, October 16th at HP Pavilion. Since their return to North America, the Sharks have assigned rookie Tommy Wingels to Worcester of the AHL. Wingels appeared in the season opener registering no points and no shots in 4:55 minutes of ice-time.
About the Author
Written by Alex Wasserstrom
Native Californian, former minor league pro, and current men's league superstar, Alex Wasserstrom is ProSportsBlogging.com's San Jose Sharks correspondent. Wanna talk puck? Shoot him an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or follow him on Twitter (@Awassers).