BOSTON — Benn Ferriero, who famously scored an overtime playoff goal on his birthday last spring, found himself in another big situation Saturday night when the Essex native's San Jose Sharks visited the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.
With 11:12 remaining in a tie game, Ferriero scored the game-winning goal as the Sharks bested the Bruins, 4-2.
The spotlight found Ferriero in his hometown just two days after he was called up from the minor leagues and in just his second NHL game of the season.
"I was really excited in getting to come back and play in my hometown against the Bruins. It was pretty special for me," the 24-year-old Ferriero said after the game. "I mean I grew up in Boston. I was a (former Bruin and current Sharks captain) Joe Thornton fan growing up when I was younger ... I'm just happy to get out here and play."
Skating with center Michal Handzus and fellow winger Jamie McGinn, Ferriero cut across the front of the crease to corral a rebound, sweep by the diving Bruins goalie Tim Thomas and his team ahead, 3-2, with his first NHL goal of the season.
"It was just a rebound and I had a wide open net," said Ferriero. "A lot of goals come like that, near the crease, so you have to get your stick down and bury those chances."
"Bascially, as soon as it got to me the guy cut across the put it in," said Thomas. "I don't know if he kicked it forward or dug it out."
The last week was a whirlwind for Ferriero, who played 33 NHL games last year including one in Boston but began the 2011-12 season with the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League.
"Benn [Ferriero] is really growing as a player. His training camp was good. Didn't quite make it, but in the time between now and then our team has faltered a little bit," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan. "He has got the opportunity and we always said there would be some internal competition and he's made good on it. We're happy for him."
Ferriero was called up to the Sharks on Thursday and played his first NHL game Friday in New Jersey. The Essex native and Boston College product was certainly grateful for the timing, which allowed him to play in Boston and hopefully stick with San Jose for the foreseeable future.
"I'm getting there and working hard and hopefully I stick around here for a while," he said. "I want to improve defensively and get stronger; those are the areas I'm trying to improve most."
Boston's Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin scored 29 seconds apart in the third to make it 2-2 before Ferriero's winner. Joe Pavelski had a goal and an assist for San Jose with Antti Niemi making 37 saves.