Nieto scores winner as Sharks beat Devils 4-2
- Article by: TOM CANAVAN
- Associated Press
- March 2, 2014 - 4:40 PM
NEWARK, N.J. — Matt Nieto scored the go-ahead goal at 6:20 of the third period and Alex Stalock made 21 saves and the San Jose Sharks defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on Sunday.
Logan Couture and Raffi Torres also scored and U.S. Olympian Joe Pavelski had the primary assists on the tying and winning goals as the Sharks won for the fifth time in six games.
Patrick Marleau iced the game with a breakaway goal with 2:25 to play, his 25th of the season.
Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias scored for the Devils, who had a two-game, post-Olympic break winning streak snapped. Cory Schneider had 18 saves for New Jersey.
Nieto may have found a home on the Sharks' top line with his big goal. He replaced Brent Burns on the No. 1 line with Pavelski and Joe Thornton and the trio had the biggest goal of the game.
Thornton made a pass from the left boards to Pavelski in the middle of the ice. He found Nieto coming down the right side and the forward ripped a shot into the top corner of the net for his seventh goal of the season.
Stalock had made the goal meaningful just seconds before stopping five shots in a flurry that was highlighted by a two-on-none save against Elias.
The Sharks and Devils took turns taking the lead in the second period that featured four goals.
Couture and Torres, who returned to the Sharks' lineup after the Olympic break, scored in the second period and each has three goals since returning.
Henrique, who has four goals since the break, and Elias, who has two, tallied for the Devils.
Couture snapped a scoreless tie at 3:26 of the period, putting in the rebound of a Marleau deflection into an open net. Schneider contributed to the goal by playing the puck poorly behind his own net to set up a point shot by Jason Demers.
Henrique tied the score a little more than a minute later, depositing a nice cross-ice pass from the right corner by Steve Bernier into an open net for his career-best 18th goal.
Elias put New Jersey ahead about 10 minutes later, deflecting a point shot by rookie defenseman Jon Merrill past Stalock.
The lead stood for 92 seconds as Torres and Pavelski worked a beautiful give-and-go on a 2-on-1 break that led to Torres' third goal. He missed the Sharks' first 59 games while recovering from knee surgery. He scored twice in his debut against Philadelphia on Thursday and sat out Friday's game against Buffalo.
NOTES: This was Larry Robinson's first game back at the Prudential Center since the former Devils assistant and head coach left to join Todd McLellen's staff in San Jose. ... This was LW Ryane Clowe's first game against the team that drafted him in 2001. ... Devils captain Bryce Salvador (collarbone) and RW Damien Brunner (leg) each missed their second straight game after being hurt on Thursday.
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