Through their first 19 games the San Jose Sharks have, quite simply, been men among boys. They continued their early season dominance on Sunday, coming from behind in Chicago to pull out a 6-5 win, improving to 15-3-1 on the season. The Sharks' 31 points are currently leading the NHL, three points ahead of the Rangers who have played one more game.
Entering the third period down a goal, Dan Boyle scored his second goal of the night to tie the score at five, while Devin Setoguchi (are you voting for him yet?) put in the winner with just under five minutes to play in regulation.
The Sharks had to rally in the third after watching Chicago erase a 4-2 deficit in the second period, as they received goals from Kris Versteeg, Cam Barker and Patrick Kane in the final ten minutes of the period. Barker and Kane's goals came just 30 seconds apart.
Naturally, as is the case when 11 goals are scored, it wasn't a night for the goalies, as Chicago's Cristobal Huet turned aside only 25 of 31 shots, while Brian Boucher allowed five pucks to get behind him in the win.
Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell, playing in his first game against his former team, picked up a goal and two assists in the loss. Campbell was acquired by the Sharks, from Buffalo, during last season's trade deadline in exchange for Steve Bernier and a first-round pick.
Chicago has now lost three straight.
The Rick Tocchet era began for Tampa Bay on Sunday night in Carolina, and it was a familiar result for the Lightning as they fell, 3-2, in a shootout, dropping their fourth game in a row.
Tampa Bay actually found itself with a 2-0 lead late in the second period, thanks to goals by Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, only to watch it slip away thanks to a pair of Hurricanes goals in just over a minute. Wade Brookbank, of all people, slipped the first shot behind Tampa Bay goalie Mike Smith, while Rod Brind'Amour tied the score just moments later.
Brookbank, who logged only 1:58 of ice time during the game, scored his first goal since February 16. He's scored one goal per season for three consecutive years, so he's probably already reached his quota for the season.
Tuomo Ruutu and Brind'Amour scored in the shootout for Carolina, while Cam Ward stopped both shots he faced. He turned aside 26 of 28 shots during the game, earning the No. 1 star in the win.
If there was one noticeable difference for Tampa Bay, it's the fact No. 1 overall pick Steven Stamkos logged over 15-minutes of ice-time, a season-high for the rookie. Under former coach Barry Melrose, Stamkos was lucky to top the 12-minute mark on most nights, including five games where he was limited to less than ten minutes of ice-time.Jonas Hiller Earns First NHL Shutout
Jonas Hiller stopped all 29 shots the Los Angeles Kings threw his way, as the 26-year old goaltender picked up his first career shutout in the Ducks' 2-0 win. Corey Perry scored the game-winning goal 11 minutes into the second period, while Bret Hedican notched his first of the season late in the third period for insurance.
Yesterday's Newsmakers in the NHL: San Jose Keeps Winning originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Mon, 17 Nov 2008 01:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.