TAMPA, Fla. – Brian Boucher credits his teammates for his perfect start.
The backup goalie made 22 saves for his second shutout this season and the San Jose Sharks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-0 on Saturday night.
“Right now, it’s been two wins and two shutouts, but I wouldn’t look too much into it,” Boucher said. “It’s more of a byproduct of the guys playing well.”
Boucher turned aside 21 shots in his first game of the season in San Jose’s 1-0 win over the Los Angles Kings on Oct. 12.
“We didn’t give them a chance to get going,” Boucher said. “When you play offence in their end the amount of minutes that we did, that’s the best defence you can have. It keeps their guys on the ice, and gives them nothing offensively.”
Marcel Goc, Ryane Clowe and Devin Setoguchi scored for the Sharks, who have opened the season by winning seven of nine.
Tampa Bay goalie Mike Smith stopped 42 shots. The Lightning, under new coach Barry Melrose, are 1-3-3.
“It was very embarrassing,” Melrose said. “Our goaltending has been great every game. But we’ve scored 11 goals in seven games. It doesn’t take Albert Einstein to figure out that’s not enough.”
Goc stopped a 22-game goal-scoring drought to put San Jose up 1-0 from the top of the left circle at 7:57 of the second. Former Lightning defenceman Dan Boyle, playing in Tampa for the first time since an off-season trade to San Jose, had the assist.
Boyle and teammate Brad Lukowich were members of Tampa Bay’s only Stanley Cup championship team in 2004. Both received a warm ovation from the Tampa Bay fans.
“It meant a lot to me and Luk,” Boyle said. “A pretty emotional game. Leaving here without the win would have been (bad). Plus, we have a five-hour flight home.”
The Lightning nearly tied it later in the second, but Martin St. Louis’ shot during a power play hit the crossbar. Boucher also made a nice save on a slot shot by Vinny Prospal.
Clowe made it 2-0 on a power-play goal with 2 minutes left in the second when he redirected Christian Ehrhoff’s blue-line shot. Setoguchi gave the Sharks a 3-0 lead with 3:32 remaining in the third.
Smith stopped 16 shots in a scoreless first, including a sliding save on an in-close rebound by Milan Michalek late in the period. The Lightning got nine shots, including two by 2008 first overall draft pick Steven Stamkos over the stretch.
“To come out of the first period 0-0 and not take advantage of it is very disappointing,” Melrose said. “We’ve got to figure out what’s going on with this team.”
Stamkos is still looking for his first NHL point after playing in seven games.
Notes: Boyle got the game puck and gave it to Boucher. “He deserved that puck,” Boyle said. … San Jose C Joe Thornton, bothered by a sore groin muscle, had an assist. … Lightning RW Radim Vrbata (groin) didn’t play. … D Marek Malik, signed to a one-year contract Thursday, made his Tampa Bay debut. … Goc’s goal was his first since Feb. 18 against the New York Islanders. … Former Lightning GM Jay Feaster was at the game.