Boucher shines as Sharks cruise past Lightning

TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) — Brian Boucher made veteran defenseman
Dan Boyle’s return to Tampa Bay a successful one.

Boucher made 22 saves and Boyle recorded an assist in his first
game against his former team as the San Jose Sharks recorded a
3-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

Boucher notched his second shutout in as many games this season
and 16th career for the Sharks, who completed a 2-1-0 road trip
that included a 4-3 loss to the Florida Panthers on Friday. The
veteran turned aside nine shots in the first period, seven in
the second and six in the third.

“I thought we played a really good game,” Boucher said.
“Obviously, this is our third game in four nights, and maybe
they felt we were going to come out and be tired. But we
weren’t happy with the effort (Friday) in Florida, or our last
couple of efforts for that matter.”

San Jose, which entered having allowed four goals or more in
each of its previous four games, received the brilliant outing
from Boucher it desperately needed. The 31-year-old had
recorded 21 saves in a 1-0 win at Los Angeles on October 12 in
his first appearance of the season.

“I think we’ve been sloppy and the guys really played hard
tonight. I thought we took it to them,” Boucher said. “We
didn’t even give them a chance to get going.”

Marcel Goc netted his first goal of the campaign in the first
period to give Boucher all the support he needed. Boyle made a
cross-ice pass to Goc, who fired a slap shot from above the left
faceoff circle past goaltender Mike Smith at 7:57 of the second.

Boyle, who extended his points streak to four games, spent the
previous five-plus seasons with Tampa Bay. He signed a six-year
contract extension with the club in February but was traded
along with Brad Lukowich to San Jose over the summer.

“Obviously, that meant a lot to me and (Lukowich). That was a
great team effort,” Boyle said. “Our goaltending played well,
and defensively, we were much better because we’ve been
struggling there the last few games.”

Boyle, who won a Stanley Cup with the Lightning in 2004, posted
66 goals and 187 assists in 394 games with the team.

“I was very involved in the game,” Boyle said. “I obviously
know what they can do, and we needed to be prepared. But it was
game time, I had my game face on, and we just had a great team
effort there.”

Ryane Clowe netted a power-play goal with exactly two minutes
left in the second to double the lead to 2-0. Defenseman
Christian Ehrhoff fired a slap shot from just inside the blue
line that Clowe deflected past Smith while on the doorstep.

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“When you play offense in their end the amount of minutes that
we did, that’s the best defense you can have,” Boucher said.
“It keeps their guys on the ice and gives them nothing

Devin Setoguchi also scored for San Jose, which has won three of
four. The 21-year-old gained possession behind the net and
skated to the left side before blasting a wrister past Smith
with 3:32 remaining in the third for his fifth goal of the

Setoguchi notched just 11 goals in 44 games as a rookie last

Smith made 42 saves for Tampa Bay, which fell for the sixth time
in seven games.

“We’ve been getting great goaltending,” Lightning coach Barry
Melrose said. “(Smith) was awesome. … To come out of the
first period 0-0 and not take advantage of it is very
disappointing, and we have to figure out what’s going on with
our team. But goaltending has been great every game this year
for us. It’s never been a problem with our goaltending, but
we’ve scored 11 goals in seven games.

“We’re just not getting the puck to the net, not playing with
any speed. Totally outworked tonight by San Jose. It was an
embarrassing effort by our team tonight, very embarrassing.”

The Sharks have won their last three meetings with the
Lightning, including a 4-2 victory in Tampa Bay in their last
encounter on October 29, 2006.

Tampa Bay rookie Steven Stamkos was held scoreless again. The
first overall pick in this past June’s draft has yet to record a
point in seven games this season.

“They definitely outworked us, outplayed us,” Stamkos said. “I
thought we played well in the first but didn’t carry it. I
mean, they were giving us a chance to win. Obviously, (Smith)
played good, but we’ve got to change something up. It’s a
little frustrating for everyone here.

“Our offense has got to come and our top guys have to keep
pushing and keep going, and hopefully, we’ll start getting some

Stamkos also was impressed with Boucher’s effort.

“He did the job,” Stamkos said. “We didn’t make it tough on
him. We didn’t have that many shots. We didn’t get pucks deep,
we didn’t get close to the net and create traffic in front. For
the most part, it was pretty simple for him.”