If not for some dazzling saves by Nittimaki, it could have been 10-4 Sharks. Big night for our defense once again.Sharks 5, Flyers 4, OT
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -After just six games with the Sharks, Dan Boyle is learning about the silver lining to his teal jersey.
Scoring slumps have a way of disappearing whenever Joe Thornton is passing the puck to you.
Boyle scored on a sublime setup pass from Thornton 85 seconds into overtime, and San Jose rallied from a two-goal deficit for a 5-4 victory over Philadelphia on Saturday night, keeping the Flyers winless.
Boyle had a goal and two assists in his most productive game since joining the Sharks in a summer trade with Tampa Bay. The veteran defenseman acknowledged being a bit tight during his first few weeks in San Jose, but his first goal for the Sharks was among the simplest of his career.
"I knew who I was out there with," Boyle said. "It's 4-on-4 (in overtime), and there was a lot of room. Joe made a great play, and it was an open net. It was pretty easy. You've got to get open when he's got the puck."
Thornton, the former NHL scoring champion, collected the puck and avoided two defenders before putting it on the tape of Boyle, who hit an open net.
"As long as I'm getting chances, I'm happy, and I've been getting a lot of chances," said Boyle, who has five points in six games. "But it's nice when it goes in there, because that starts to kind of get to you after a while. I'm just glad I could chip in there and help out."
Devin Setoguchi tied it with 4:44 left in regulation for the Sharks, whose four-game winning streak to start the season ended in Anaheim on Friday night. San Jose struggled against goalie Antero Niittymaki despite a 44-17 shot advantage, but Jonathan Cheechoo's alert tip-in goal late in the second period started the Sharks' comeback from a 3-1 deficit.
"It was a pretty resilient effort on our behalf, and I think our players can take something from that," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "They have the ability to come back, but we don't want to be in that spot very often."
Evgeni Nabokov made just 13 saves for San Jose, and Christian Ehrhoff and Cheechoo each had a goal and an assist.
Joe Pavelski scored a tying goal early in the third period for the Sharks, who played without high-scoring forward Milan Michalek and defenseman Doug Murray. Both missed their first games of the season with undisclosed injuries.
Danny Briere scored two goals for the Flyers, who after reaching the Eastern Conference finals last season are winless through five games for the first time since 1999. The latest setback came even though they held a lead most of the night.
Philadelphia hasn't beaten the Sharks in eight tries over the last nine years, and the Flyers hurt their chances at the Shark Tank with 12 penalties.
"It's not the start we envisioned," said Niittymaki, who made 39 saves. "It is what it is right now. We just have to paddle through it and find a way to win. At least we played better this game."
Jeff Carter scored a short-handed goal for the Flyers, who broke down defensively at the most inopportune times - a recurring theme in their miserable start. Braydon Coburn also scored for Philadelphia, which held a players-only meeting after coach John Stevens made several alterations to his top three lines following Thursday's loss at Colorado.
"I think we did a lot of things better tonight," captain Mike Richards said. "We forechecked better. We were a tougher team to play against. We turned the puck over a bit too much and we didn't get very many shots."
Briere got his first goal of the season in the first period before adding a breakaway score with 8:49 left in regulation, and it's likely no coincidence his scoring drought ended in his first game back at center on a line with Simon Gagne and Mike Knuble, his linemates early last season.
The former 95-point scorer began this season at right wing alongside Gagne and centered by Richards.
Notes: The clubs meet again in Philadelphia on Tuesday, when San Jose begins a three-game road trip. ... The Flyers moved up the start time of next Saturday's game against New Jersey from 7 p.m. to 4 p.m. to avoid conflict with the Phillies' World Series game across the street. ... Cheechoo had a golden chance on a 2-on-1 with 2:50 left, but Niittymaki did the splits while making a breathtaking glove save.