San Jose at Columbus

Couture, Sharks skate past Blue Jackets in opener


STOCKHOLM -- Logan Couture scored on a power play midway through the third period to help the San Jose Sharks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.

San Jose's Torrey Mitchell opened the scoring 2:11 into the first period, and new Sharks captain Joe Thornton made it 2-0 on a power play midway through the opening period.

"It was kind of a lucky one. I think it tipped off a defensman's stick," Thornton said. "For the guys to bear down and get the two points tonight was very important."

Columbus' Kristian Huselius, from Sweden, and R.J. Umberger tied it with goals in a 15-second span late in the first period, with Huselius scoring on a power play.

Antti Niemi, making his regular-season debut for San Jose after helping lead Chicago to the Stanley Cup title last season, made 30 saves. Steve Mason stopped 25 shots for Columbus.

The teams will meet again in Stockholm on Saturday night.

The Blue Jackets had three Swedes in their lineup, and the Sharks two.

"It's good to be home, I was a little nervous today," said Niclas Wallin, San Jose's Swedish defenseman. "I had a lot of people down here."

It's the third straight year that NHL teams have played in the Swedish capital, and there were a mixture of jerseys from teams across the league among the near-sellout crowd of 13,500 at the Globen Arena.

Much of the action happened in the frantic first period. And the intensity of the regular season traveled across the ocean, with a couple of fights that had the fans on the edges of their seats yelling and cheering.

The Sharks topped the Western Conference with 113 points last season, but their playoff run end in the conference finals when they were swept by Chicago.

It was Columbus coach Scott Arniel's first game in charge of the team.

"We did lots of good things," Arniel said. "Five on five I really liked the way we played. We gave up on goals-scoring chance in the third period and they scored their goal."

Former Vancouver captain and Swedish star Markus Naslund received a standing ovation and the loudest cheers of the evening when he dropped the puck during a ceremonial faceoff.

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The Blue Jackets' Jared Boll fights with the Sharks' Frazer McLaren during a scrappy game in Stockholm, Sweden.  (AP)
The Blue Jackets' Jared Boll fights with the Sharks' Frazer McLaren during a scrappy game in Stockholm, Sweden. (AP)
San Jose  (1-0-0) «2013
Columbus (0-1-0)2002
Three Stars
R. Clowe

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
K. Huselius

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
J. Pavelski

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2

Related Video

Scoring Summary
02:11Torrey Mitchell (1), Wrap Shot. Assist: Clowe, Pavelski
10:57Power Play - Joe Thornton (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Pavelski, Niemi
16:55Power Play - Kristian Huselius (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Filatov, Stralman
17:10R.J. Umberger (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Moreau, Pahlsson
10:15Power Play - Logan Couture (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Clowe, Boyle
Penalty Summary
04:10Heatley, 2 min, Holding the Stick
06:03Wallin, 2 min, Slashing
09:26Boll, 5 min, Fighting
09:26McLaren, 5 min, Fighting
10:25Dorsett, 2 min, Tripping
12:46Huselius, 2 min, Tripping
16:31Mitchell, 2 min, High-Sticking
02:10Nichol, 2 min, Slashing
02:10MacKenzie, 2 min, Cross-Checking
03:48Heatley, 2 min, Cross-Checking
06:36Moreau, 2 min, Charging
08:38Hejda, 2 min, Hooking
10:38Clowe, 5 min, Fighting
10:38Commodore, 5 min, Fighting
10:38Clowe, 2 min, Slashing
13:07Murray, 2 min, Cross-Checking
17:36Stralman, 2 min, Hooking
02:56Pahlsson, 2 min, Tripping
02:56Wallin, 2 min, Diving/Embellishment
06:13McGinn, 2 min, Tripping
08:26Commodore, 2 min, Boarding
Shots On Goal
San Jose1014428
Antti Niemi60:00302
Steve Mason57:58253
Game Information
Attendance - 11324
Referees - Stephane Auger, Eric Furlatt
Linesmen - Vaughan Rody, Dan Schachte
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