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Sharks strike early, then hold off Devils

7:18 AM, Nov 24, 2013   |    comments
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San Jose, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Tyler Kennedy potted the game-winner in the first period to lead the San Jose Sharks to a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils.

Scott Hannan added a goal and Joe Thornton notched his NHL-leading 22nd assist for the Sharks, winners in five of their last six games. Antti Niemi turned aside 18 shots in the win.

"We kind of talked off the first. They're known to be stronger late in games. They played well, made it a close game, but at this point we're happy to just get two points," Thornton said.

Patrik Elias scored the lone goal for the Devils, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Martin Brodeur stopped 28 shots.

Thornton corralled a loose puck in the corner and fired it out to Hannan at the blue line, who fired a slapshot past Brodeur for a 1-0 lead 4:25 into the game.

Kennedy added a goal with just over five minutes remaining to make it 2-0. Martin Havlat fired a behind-the-back pass out to Kennedy at the left circle, and Kennedy blasted into the back of the net.

Elias got the Devils on the board with his power-play marker at the 8:10 mark of the final session. Elias received an Andy Greene pass just inside the blue line, skated to the right circle and sniped a wrister past Niemi to cut the New Jersey deficit in half.

A scary moment late in the third left Brodeur on the ice after he was hit in the back of the neck with a shot. He remained down on the ice, but stayed conscious throughout the ordeal and stayed in the game until he was pulled in favor of an extra attacker.

"I got a shot right in the back of my neck. I felt a little woozy, I guess. My whole body went numb there for a second so I wasn't sure if I wanted to move or not," he said. "Right now it's just sore so hopefully it's not bad. I feel fine now, I'm just kind of a little sore in the neck."

With the extra man on the ice in the closing moments, the Devils had several chances to score, but Niemi stayed strong and sealed the win for the Sharks.

Game Notes

Thornton has 24 points this season ... The Sharks were 0-for-3 on power play opportunities ... Despite the setback, the Devils are 7-2-1 over their last 10 games.

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