Two of the NHL’s hottest teams met in New Jersey on Friday night. The San Jose Sharks (9-1-1 in their last 11 games) hit a road block when they met a feisty New Jersey squad, intent on making a playoff push. The Devils at 22-30-4 have won 12 of their last 15 games and continue to fight to keep their playoff hopes alive. The game was scoreless through 2 periods as the Sharks managed to control the game, out shooting the Devils 24-11. However, once Marleau tapped in a rebound of Niclas Wallin’s shot with 6:02 left in the 3rd period, the Sharks thought that they sealed the deal. Unfortunately for the Sharks, six minutes is a lot of time. Instead of capitalizing on the late one goal lead, the Sharks picked up their first two penalties as Joe Thornton was called for hooking and Logan Couture was whistled for a tripping penalty on an odd-man Devils’ rush. New Jersey spared little time scoring on a 4-3 advantage as Rolston took a pass from Kovalchuk and ripped a blistering shot past Niemi to knot the game up at one.With 3:59 left to play, it was Kovalchuk who would be the hero. Travis Zajac won a faceoff in the Sharks’ end and Kovalchuk swooped in from the left side of the circle, skated to the right edge and snapped a shot that beat goaltender Antti Niemi. Any chance the Sharks had of tying ended quickly when Torrey Mitchell picked up a four-minute high sticking penalty to put the Devils on a power play the rest of the game.
Players of the Game:I. Kovalchuk: 1 assist, 1 goalJ. Hedberg: 31 saves