Christian Ehrhoff scored with the man advantage with 35.8 seconds left to give San Jose a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers. “We take a lot of pride in our special teams,” San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. “I wasn’t sure we would get a power-play goal, but we were finishing hard. It’s nice that we finally got a puck through to the net.
Ehrhoff gave San Jose its ninth victory in 13 games when his slap shot went off the ankle of Florida’s Ville Peltonen near the blue line and floated over the shoulder of Alexander Auld.
“I’ll take it,” said Ehrhoff, who has four goals this season. “I’m pretty happy. We needed that one and we got it.”
San Jose came into the game with the best power play in the NHL at 28 per cent but was 0-for-4 on Tuesday before Ehrhoff scored.
Joe Thornton also scored for the Sharks, who extended their unbeaten streak against Florida to eight games (7-0-1). San Jose hasn’t lost against the Panthers since a 4-1 defeat at Florida on Feb. 9, 2000.
San Jose got its last power play when Martin Gelinas was called for hooking Thornton just inside the Florida zone.
“Big apologies to all the players here,” Gelinas said. “We work so hard for 89 minutes, I take a penalty and they score. That’s a tough way to lose.”
Olli Jokinen scored and Auld stopped 26 shots for the Panthers, who lost their second consecutive game at home after starting the season 4-0.
“I thought we played a very good game against a very good hockey club,” Panthers coach Jacques Martin said. “To lose it that way it’s difficult, but we’ve got to bounce back.”
Vesa Toskala made 24 saves for the Sharks. It was his first game since his franchise-record 12-game winning streak was snapped in a 4-3 loss to Nashville on Thursday night.
San Jose trailed 1-0 going into the third but tied it 1:31 in. Six seconds after the end of a Sharks power play, Thornton beat Auld with a high wrist shot through a screen.
After being outshot 5-4 in the second period, San Jose had a 14-8 advantage in the third.
“We were kind of flat the first two periods, I don’t know why,” Thornton said. “Then we were starting the power play with the fresh ice in the third period and we were kind of excited.”
Jokinen put Florida in front at 6:06 of the second on the Panthers’ first shot of the period. He one-timed Nathan Horton’s pass over the left shoulder of Toskala.
Notes: Peltonen’s assist on Jokinen’s goal was his first NHL point since the 2000-01 season when he played for Nashville. Peltonen spent the past five seasons playing in Finland. … Florida C Joe Nieuwendyk missed his third consecutive game because of a back injury. … San Jose kept intact its streak of rotating between Toskala and Evgeni Nabokov in goal every game. … Jokinen has recorded 12 of his 13 points at home. … San Jose D Rob Davison missed the game after being sent home Monday night to be with his wife, who was due to deliver their first child. “I’d shoot him if he thought this was more important,” Wilson said. “He’ll forget about this (game) in two weeks; you never forget the birth of your child.”