Ryane Clowe scored the lone goal early in the first period and Antti Niemi made it stand up with 26 saves for his fifth shutout as the San Jose Sharks returned home from a grueling road trip and beat the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 on Tuesday night.
The Sharks had gone 2-6-1 on the 17-day trip that knocked them out of first place in the Pacific Division and into a precarious position for a playoff berth.
With little room for error in the final quarter of the season, the Sharks managed to hold on thanks to a strong bounceback performance by Niemi to beat the Flyers for the ninth straight time.
Niemi lost four of five games on the trip and didn't even make it out of the first period in two of those games. But he was up to the task in his first meeting against the Flyers since beating them to win the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2010.
The Sharks allowed 35 goals during the road trip but gave up none to the NHL's highest-scoring team, surviving a wild scramble in front of the net in the ...