When an NHL team is down 3-0 with under a minute left in the second period, Paul Bissonette has found the back of the net, and their backup with no NHL experience replaces the starter, the game is pretty much over right?
The San Jose Sharks had other plans last night as they mounted a comeback of epic proportions scoring 5 straight in a win over their division rivals, the Phoenix Coyotes. Phoenix’s tough guy and oft-healthy scratch, Paul Bissonnette, or Twitter aficionado @Biznasty2point0 (whichever you prefer) found the back of the net for the first time this season to put his team ahead 3-0 midway through the 2nd stanza. The goal chased Antti Niemi who stopped 24 of the 27 shots faced.
Enter Alex Stalock who’s been tremendous at the American League level for the Worcester Sharks but had yet to see any NHL action. Joe Pavelski made it a hockey game, getting his team on the board with 8 seconds left in the 2nd. If Pav doesn’t score there, the Coyotes probably win the game and I get to go to bed early.
Pavelski would score another early in the third to pull the Sharks within one. Kyle Wellwood, who actually began the year with Phoenix on a PTO before embarking on his KHL adventure full of borscht and tax-free money, scored to even the game at 3-3. Wellwood showed tremendous hand-eye coordination by batting the puck out of mid-air, off the pad of Bryzgolov, then out of mid-air a second time, and into the net.
Patrick Marleau, who was honored for his 1000th regular season game last night, showed his experience by stripping Kyle Turris of the puck to score a shorthanded goal that would prove to be the game-winner.
Captain Thornton would add an empty net goal to seal the deal for San Jose and Stalock stopped all 9 shots he faced to earn his first NHL victory.
I’m not going to dismiss the fact that the team played like complete garbage for close to 2/3 of the game but it’s wins like this that guys in the room can build on when facing some adversity.
Now 5-0-1 in their last six, the Sharks will travel to Anaheim tonight to face the Ducks. Logan Couture was a late scratch last night, apparently coming down with the flu. No word yet on if he will be in the lineup tonight.
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).