SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks, struggling mightily since a 7-0 start, might have found their lucky charm Wednesday night.
With Howard Stern Show regular Eric (The Actor) Lynch in attendance for his first-ever hockey game, the Sharks scored three goals in the first 10 minutes and routed the Pacific Division leading Anaheim Ducks 4-0.
"Anytime you want to come back, you just let me know," Sharks captain Joe Thornton told Lynch in the team dressing room after the game.
The motivation behind Thornton's invitation wasn't confined to the result of this game. Thornton is a longtime Stern Show fan, dating to his years in Boston. In fact, Lynch's visit Wednesday stemmed from a recent postgame interview in which Thornton, speaking before the HP Pavilion crowd, was briefly interrupted by somebody shouting "Baba Booey" — universal code among Stern fans.
Thornton broke interview to acknowledge the verbal gang sign — "Stern fan," he said to the interviewer, chuckling — and that set events in motion.
Sharks publicist Tom Holy, another longtime Stern fan, contacted a friend at Sirius/XM radio, which carries the Stern show. That led to an on-air interview with Stern staffer Shuli Egar — an interview that Thornton, a six-time All Star and the 2006 league MVP, called one of the highlights of his career.
Wednesday night provided another highlight.
"Look who we got here!" Thornton exclaimed as he introduced his teammates to Lynch, a 38-year-old Sacramento man confined to a wheelchair, and a 10-year regular caller to the Stern Show.
Lynch's visit was arranged by Holy and two members of the Comcast SportsNet television staff — Sharks reporter Brodie Brazil and publicist Jay dela Cruz. Both are Stern show fans who have befriended Lynch.
At one point, Thornton and his brother John, who also serves as the player's agent, crouched at either side of Lynch for a photograph.
"This is going to be our Christmas card," Joe Thornton said.
"We've been talking about this (visit) for the last couple days — not just me but everyone in here who's a Howard fan."
The Sharks, clinging to the eighth playoff spot as the season approaches its final month, play host to the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. Lynch, although flattered by the attention he received, won't be in attendance. The lucky charm will be at AT&T Park in San Francisco where the Giants meet the Oakland A's in the opener of a three-game exhibition series.