|SJS||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|FLA||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
The San Jose Sharks have had little trouble scoring on the power play - or against the Florida Panthers.
With a chance to win consecutive road games for the first time this season, the Sharks look to continue their recent dominance of the Panthers when the teams meet at the BankAtlantic Center on Tuesday.
San Jose (8-4-0), concluding a five-game road trip, lost two straight before scoring a pair of power-play goals in a 4-2 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday.
Twelve of the Sharks' last 17 goals have come with the man advantage and they have one of the league's top power-play units, converting 28.0 percent (21-for-75) of their chances.
San Jose coach Ron Wilson joked that the NHL might be limiting the Sharks' power-play opportunities because they've been so efficient.
"Maybe the memo's gone out and the referees are not going to give us power plays to see if we can figure out another way to win," Wilson said.
San Jose hasn't had trouble finding a way to win against Florida (5-6-2), which has been outscored 28-7 in losing five straight in the series. The Sharks have six victories and a tie in their last seven meetings with the Panthers since a 4-1 road loss on Feb. 9, 2000.
Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau scored power-play goals, Ryane Clowe added his first career goal, Mike Grier had an empty-netter and Evgeni Nabokov made 18 saves to lead the Sharks on Sunday. Thornton scored his first goal since last April, but ranks among the NHL's leaders with 13 assists.
Clowe, who returned after missing six games because of a foot injury, scored his first goal in 22 NHL games.
"I really stopped thinking about it," Clowe said. "When you just go out and play, it will happen. That's what I tried to do this year. It's really special. It feels great."
Nabokov has four wins, a tie and a 1.97 goals-against average in five games against the Panthers.
Florida, coming off a 1-1-1 road trip, is opening a three-game homestand. The Panthers play eight of their next 11 at home, where they are 4-1-0.
"We have a good stretch at home, and we need to be ready to compete," Florida center Stephen Weiss said. "We're going to have a lot of practices, and that's probably a good thing. We have some stuff we need to work on to get better. We'll compete hard and make sure we're sharp when the games come on. ... It'll be good to be home."
Florida lost 4-3 in the 10th round of a shootout against the New York Islanders on Saturday. Jay Bouwmeester, Nathan Horton and Joel Kwiatkowski scored for the Panthers, who have won only twice in their last eight games.
Horton scored on Florida's first power play to give the Panthers at least one power-play goal in 10 of their first 13 contests. Joe Nieuwendyk missed his second straight game with back problems, and his status for Tuesday's game is uncertain.
Panthers coach Jacques Martin needs one win to become the 13th NHL coach with 450 wins.
|Oct 31 '06||SJS 2 at FLA 1||C. Ehrhoff|