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Video: Niemi stops back-to-back blasts from Perry

Dec 31, 2013, 9:15 PM EST

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Goaltender Antti Niemi and the San Jose Sharks were down 1-0 after 20 minutes, but it could have been worse. It would have been if Anaheim Ducks sniper Corey Perry had gotten his way.

Late in the first period, Perry had two quick opportunities to fire hard shots at Niemi and was denied both times. You can see the video of that below:

That kept the game from slipping away and made Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle‘s early second period marker a game-tying goal.

Perry is tied for fourth in the NHL with 22 goals in 41 contests. Meanwhile, Niemi is going for his fourth straight victory to tie Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury for first place with 22 wins.

This is a key game for both teams as they battle for the Central Division title. Anaheim has a five-point edge over San Jose in that battle, but the Sharks have played in two fewer contests, so a win tonight would put them within striking distance.

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