Final, Sharks 2-1: The Sharks hold on to take this one despite a late push by the Bruins.
Zdeno Chara cut the deficit to one late and Tim Thomas kept the Bruins in the game with some strong work in goal, but it wasn't enough as Boston opens in three-game California tour with a loss in San Jose.
The Bruins had a season-low 17 shots in the game as their road struggles continued. They've now lost four straight away from Boston and are just 5-9-1 in their last 15 road games. They'll look to reverse that trend when the road trip continues Saturday night against the Kings in Los Angeles.
Third Period, 19:01, Sharks 2-1: Thomas now goes to the bench as the Bruins have the extra attacker out with the net empty looking for the tying goal in the final minute.
Third Period, 18:42, Sharks 2-1: Thomas keeps the Bruins hopes alive as he robs Joe Thornton at the left post off a feed from Dan Boyle.
Third Period, 15:45, Sharks 2-1: The Bruins pull within one on a crafty goal by Zdeno Chara.
Chara followed up the play and collected a loose puck in the slot, then drove down the left side. He went below the goal line, but banked a shot in off Niemi for Boston's first goal.
Third Period, 14:56, Sharks 2-0: The Bruins have put Tyler Seguin back up with David Krejci and Milan Lucic in an effort to spark some offense late in this one.
Third Period, 11:38, Sharks 2-0: Adam McQuaid with a nice save at the blue line that leads to a Greg Zanon shot from the opposite point. That followed a Benoit Pouliot one-timer a few shifts earlier as the Bruins are starting to get more chances, but Niemi has been up to the challenge so far.
Third Period, 9:15, Sharks 2-0: The Bruins are running out of time to rally in this one, down two goals nearly halfway through the third period. The Bruins are outshooting San Jose in the third, but just by a 3-2 margin. Three shots in the third, and just 12 shots total in nearly 50 minutes of play, aren't going to get the job done.
Third Period, 6:05, Sharks 2-0: The Bruins are playing with some desperation now and starting to create some pressure, but they have yet to get anything past Niemi.
Third Period, 2:17, Sharks 2-0: The Sharks add a huge insurance goal early in the third as Daniel Winnik scores to put the Bruins in a deep hole in this one.
Boston had an odd-man rush in the San Jose zone, but Tyler Seguin lost the puck on his shot attempt and the Sharks turned it into a 3 on 2 the other way, with Winnik firing home a shot to the near top corner from the left side.
Third Period, 0:00, Sharks 1-0: The final frame is under way in San Jose, where the Bruins need to get something going offensively after being blanked in the first two periods and managing just nine shots.
Second Intermission Notes: The Bruins continue to struggle to generate offense, managing just four shots in the second period and only nine through 40 minutes.
Only the strong play of Tim Thomas has kept the Bruins in this one, down just 1-0 despite San Jose leading 20-9 in shots overall and 12-4 in the second. Thirteen different Sharks have shots on goal, while just seven Bruins have managed to get a shot on net. Of those, only Zdeno Chara and Brian Rolston have more than one, with two each.
Chara is leading the way physically with seven hits through two periods. That's one area the Bruins have a big edge, up 22-9 in hits. Milan Lucic also has three hits and came within inches of tying the game late in the second with a redirection in front off the crossbar. But Lucic also has three giveaways, including one early that helped lead to the only goal of the game.
End Second Period, Sharks 1-0: Two periods are in the books and the Bruins remain down a goal. the deficit is still just one thanks largely to a strong effort by Tim Thomas so far.
Second Period, 18:34, Sharks 1-0: The Sharks threaten again with Dan Boyle open for a bid from the right circle, but Thomas comes up big again to turn the shot aside.
Second Period, 17:12, Sharks 1-0: The Bruins come within inches of tying it as Lucic drive hard to the net down the middle. David Krejci sends the puck in from the right boards and Lucic redirects it on, but it clangs off the crossbar.
Second Period, 16:50, Sharks 1-0: Thomas continues to keep the Bruins in this one, and Boston is finally starting to create some offensive pressure and push the play into the San Jose end.
Second Period, 13:27, Sharks 1-0: The Bruins can't get much going on that man advantage, managing just one shot before the sides return to even strength.
Second Period, 11:27, Sharks 1-0: The Bruins finally get their first power-play chance of the night with Justin Braun going to the box for slashing.
Second Period, 7:35, Sharks 1-0: The Bruins finally get a chance of their own as Brian Rolston fires in a blast from the right circle. The Sharks had a 7-1 edge in shots in the second period before that bid.
Second Period, 4:24, Sharks 1-0: The Sharks are creating chances now, but Tim Thomas has come up big with several stops. He snared a blast from Dan Boyle through traffic in front, then made an even better save, going post to post to rob Martin Havlat at the left post off a crossing pass through the crease to keep this a one-goal game.
Second Period, 3:06, Sharks 1-0: The Bruins continue to try to ramp up the physical play, with Adam McQuaid landing a big hit on Daniel Winnik at center ice that sends Winnik's stick flying.
Second Period, 1:35, Sharks 1-0: The Bruins create a chance with Brad Marchand snagging the puck off a faceoff and leading a 2-on-1 break down the right side. he had Seguin with him, but took the shot himself, which was turned aside by Niemi on Boston's best scoring chance of the game so far.
Second Period, 0:00, Sharks 1-0: The middle frame is under way in San Jose, where the Bruins will try to bounce back from a sloppy start and overcome the early deficit they face in this one.
First Intermission Notes: The Bruins got off to a sloppy start in this one, but settled in as the period wore off, perhaps shaking off the effects of the cross-country travel.
They didn't survive that early sluggishness unscathed though, with San Jose taking advantage of a Bruins turnover for the lone goal of the game and a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. Old friend Joe Thornton started that scoring play, swiping the puck from Milan Lucic for a chance in front. Joe Pavelski eventually put home a second-chance opportunity at the right post. Thornton picked up an assist, and also has a shot, two takeaways and is a plus-1 in 6:15 against his original club.
the Bruins have been outshot 8-5, with the Sharks attempting 17 shots to just 13 for Boston. that reverses trends for both teams, as the Bruins have limited shots on Tim Thomas of late, while San Jose has given up 40-plus shots in each of their last two games.
The Bruins turned up their play after a key penalty kill midway through the period, then ramped up the physical play a bit to get back into things. They have an 11-4 edge in hits, with Zdeno Chara matching the entire Sharks squad with four hits of his own. The Bruins also have a 7-5 edge in faceoffs, with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci each 3-0.
End First Period, Sharks 1-0: The opening frame comes to a close and the Sharks will take a one-goal lead into the break thanks to a series of early Bruins defensive breakdowns leading to the lone goal of the game so far.
First Period, 17:40, Sharks 1-0: The Bruins threaten thanks to Chara's long reach, which he uses to keep the puck in at the blue line, then fire it on goal with Tyler Seguin in front, but Seguin can't get a stick on the puck to tip it home.
First Period, 15:25, Sharks 1-0: The Bruins have settled down after that sloppy start and have begun to mount some pressure on San Jose. The Krejci line had a solid shift in the Sharks zone, but Boston still remains down a goal with less than five minutes left in the opening period.
First Period, 13:10, Sharks 1-0: The Bruins are able to kill off that penalty despite the Sharks setting up in the Boston zone for most of that power play, and Campbell is out of the box to put the sides back at even strength.
First Period, 11:10, Sharks 1-0: The Sharks will now go on the power play as Gregory Campbell picks up the first penalty of the night for tripping Jason Demers.
Shawn Thornton got involved in a shoving match with Demers after play was finally whistled down following the delayed call, but no further penalties were called.
First Period, 10:03, Sharks 1-0: The Bruins came within inches of being down two goals as Dan Boyle blasts a one-timer from the left point that clangs off the post.
First Period, 6:47, Sharks 1-0: The Bruins continue to be sloppy in their own end, with Joe Thornton again stealing the puck from Lucic for another chance. The Bruins have given up more scoring chances to San Jose in the opening minutes of this one than they did in the entire game against Toronto on Monday.
They'll have to clean up their defensive play if they want to extend their win streak to three games.
First Period, 3:57, Sharks 1-0: The Sharks strike early as Joe Pavelski bangs home a rebound at the right post.
The play began with a giveaway by Milan Lucic to Joe Thornton, who had a chance in front. Thomas made the stop there, but the sharks kept the puck in and got another opportunity in front, which Pavelski finally put home on a second chance.
First Period, 0:00, 0-0: This one is under way in San Jose, where the Bruins will look to extend their two-game win streak and the Sharks will try to snap a two-game skid.
10:30 p.m.: The Bruins will open this one with Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Jordan Caron up front, Zdeno Chara and Andrew Ference on defense and Tim Thomas in goal.
The Sharks counter with Ryan clowe, Logan Couture and Martin Havlat up front, Douglas Murray and Brent Burns on the blue line and Antti Niemi in net.
10:25 p.m.: The Bruins will have the same lineup as their last two games, with Joe Corvo, Mike Mottau and Trent Whitfield remaining the healthy scratches and Rich Peverley (knee), Nathan Horton (concussion) and Tuukka Rask (groin) still out injured.
The Sharks have scratched Jom Vandermeer, Colin White, Brad Winchester, TJ Galiardi and Benn Ferriero. Tommy Wingels and Martin Handzus both return from injury.
10 p.m.: As expected, Tim Thomas and Antti Niemi led the teams out for warm-ups in San Jose and will be the starters in goal for this one.
Nothing new there. Thomas is playing in his 14th straight game, while Niemi starts is 13th consecutive game for the Sharks.
9:50 p.m.: The Sharks allowed 42 shots to Los Angeles on Tuesday and 40 to Anaheim on Monday, the first time since the 1994-95 season they've given up 40-plus shots in back-to-back games.
The Bruins are coming off allowing a season-low 13 shots in Monday's 8-0 win over Toronto. Boston has allowed 20 or less shots in four of its last nine games.
9:30 p.m.: The Bruins will begin their last extended road trip of the season with a stop in San Jose beginning in about an hour.
They have to hope that this trip goes a little better than their last one. Boston went 0-3-0 and was outscored 17-5 in a three-game trek through Pittsburgh, Tampa and Florida last week.
They did regain their form at home, beating Philadelphia in a shootout and routing Toronto. Now they'll have to maintain that momentum on the road as they head into the final 10 games of the regular season looking to secure the top spot in the Northeast Division and home ice for the playoffs.
8 a.m. ET: The Bruins open a key West Coast trip with a stop in San Jose on Thursday to face a desperate Sharks club.
While the Bruins have gotten back on track with back-to-back wins over Philadelphia and Toronto, the latter an 8-0 whitewash on Monday, the Sharks have dropped two straight and are just 3-5-3 overall in March. That slump has dropped San Jose out of a playoff spot, as the Sharks (36-27-10, 82 points) sit 10th in West, two points out of the final playoff spot.
San Jose did beat the Bruins in their first meeting this season, taking a 4-2 decision at the Garden on Oct. 22. The Bruins (42-27-3, 87 points) are now just 2-4-0 against the sharks since trading Joe Thornton to San Jose back in 2005. But Thornton and the Sharks have been welcoming hosts since then, with the Bruins winning on both visits to San Jose by identical 2-1 scores. Aaron Ward scored the winner with 12 seconds left on Oct. 13, 2007 and Zdeno Chara had the only goal in the shootout on Jan. 14, 2010.
Thornton, who leads the Sharks in scoring again this season with 16-52-68 totals in 73 games, has had more success returning to Boston, where the sharks are 4-0-0 since Thornton went West.
The puck drops at 10:30 p.m. Tune in to NESN to watch the game, and stay with the NESN.com live blog, as we'll keep you up to speed on everything happening.
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