San Jose, CA -- Following a delay due to an electrical outage, and in a tightly-checked contest, the Boston Bruins battled to a 2-1 win over the San Jose sharks on Saturday night. With less than a minute to go, veteran D-man Aaron Ward scored the winning goal.
"We know we have things to work on," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien after the game. "That's no big secret.
"But we continue to improve, and I think we did that on this trip."
The Black & Gold, who raised their record to an impressive 3-2-0 on their season-opening five game road trip to the west coast, rode dramatic goals from Patrice Bergeron and Ward, as well as the strong goaltending of Tim Thomas, to the victory.
Delayed almost a half hour due to a power outage at the HP Pavilion, an outage that put the building in total darkness for about 20-seconds, the Boston Bruins and the San Jose Sharks hit the ice without the now requisite loud music or video graphics or even an opening ceremony. To start the game, it was just hockey.
"We're pro hockey players and a lot of us have been through the minors where you see weird stuff like that happen all over the place," said Thomas. "So we just stayed with it, and tried not to let it bother us.
"We knew that they had to go through the same thing.
"There's no use complaining about it, you just have to do your job," he said.
Indeed, and in what seemed to be an effort to bring some more power back to the building, the beginning of the game featured some big hits by both sides and a breakneck pace that delighted the crowd.
Music returned to the arena as the period neared its midpoint, and as the fans enthusiasm rose with the music and, eventually the volume of the in-stadium prompting, the Sharks seemed to be able to keep the puck in the Boston zone for long stretches.
However, many of their shots did not come near Thomas, the Bruins netminder, and "The Tank" finished the stanza with only four saves.
Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, right, is hugged by teammate Glen Murray after scoring against the San Jose Sharks in the first period.
A Mike Grier interference penalty put Boston on the power play late in the opening frame. The Bruins did not score on that power play, but an outstanding second effort by Bergeron, who pulled the puck out of a scrum in front of the San Jose net, and, while he fell, shot the puck over a sprawling Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov to put Boston on top at 16:23.
Thanks to the Bergeron goal, the Bruins went to the first intermission up, 1-0, and leading in shots, 12-4.
Boston began the second period in the box as the B's were penalized consecutively. Thomas and the Bruins successfully killed both indiscretions and the Black & Gold's goalie quickly entered the evening's limelight.
The B's were not credited with any shots on goal, but the Bruins goalie was peppered during the second period and needed to make 13 saves to send the Bruins to the locker room leading 1-0 after 40-minutes.
"I thought we battled," said Julien. "What probably hurt us in the second period, even though we battled, we didn't make real good decisions.
"And that kind of took away from our game a little bit."
Thomas needed to be strong at the beginning of the third period too, as the Sharks upped the even strength attack and then upped the ante on the power play.
After Boston killed off the Sharks power play, the game began to resemble a Stanley Cup playoff match up. A Bruins upswing followed a television time out midway through the third period, and Boston stepped up their attack.
But this time it was Nabokov who kept his team in the game.
San Jose's Grier hit the post with just over six minutes to go in the game -- the fourth time the Sharks had done so -- but the Bruins tied up the rebound and stayed in control of the scoreboard.
Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas lunges for the puck.
Boston's defense began to regain control of the contest during the last five minutes and combined with Thomas' stinginess (and a little bit of luck), kept the Sharks scoreless. However, as the majority of play remained in the Boston end, it couldn't last for long.
It lasted 59-minutes and change.
San Jose's Milan Michalek scored with 38.1 left on the clock to tie the game, 1-1, but the goal did not prevent the Bruins from enjoying their flight home.
With 12 ticks remaining in regulation, veteran defenseman Ward scored the game-winner and sent the Bruins to the airport 2-1 victors.
"We had good strong goaltending and we had guys making sacrifices," said Ward. "For us, it was a unified effort."
Notes: Essentially, after an initial internal power outage, the delay at the beginning of the hockey game enabled workers to "reboot" the HP Pavilion one system at a time until enough systems were working correctly enough to play the game...Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli and the Sharks Doug Wilson were in contact with the NHL in Toronto so as to make a decision on the fate of the game in conjunction with the league...scratches for Boston were Bobby Allen, Brandon Bochenski and Jeremy Reich...scratches for San Jose were Doug Murray and Jeremy Roenick...attendance was 17, 496 -- a sellout.