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Sharks try to pick up pieces after 7-3 loss

by Dhiren Mahiban
VANCOUVER – San Jose Sharks rookie Logan Couture, who had the game's opening goal Wednesday night, summed it up best when he said his team's effort was "embarrassing."

The Sharks were out-shot, out-hit, and lost the special teams battle in a 7-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals at Rogers Arena.

"You lose 7-3, not many people play well, I didn't play well and the list goes on," he said. "It's embarrassing. That's the only word that comes to mind about tonight. We're in the conference finals, in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and to put an effort out like that … we can't feel bad for ourselves. I feel bad for the fans and for the coaching staff that we gave an effort like that tonight."

San Jose battled back to tie things 2-2 on Patrick Marleau's fifth goal of the playoffs, but it was all Vancouver after that. The Canucks scored five unanswered -- including two power-play markers -- to send this best-of-seven series back to San Jose leading 2-0.

"The PK was bad. There were times we missed assignments," Couture said. "I missed a couple assignments. Against those guys, on the power play, they're too skilled and they'll make you look stupid."

The Sharks were out-shot 25-18 in the final 40 minutes, and despite going 2-for-2 on the power play, San Jose surrendered three goals on seven Canucks chances.

"We've made some mental errors, some mistakes and they've been able to capitalize so we'll clean those things up and we got to get our game going," said Marleau, who stretched his goal-scoring streak to three games. "(We need to) play some more time in their end. We haven't really done that yet and if we do that, we'll get our opportunities."

San Jose surrendered four even-strength goals in the loss, and through the first two games of the series have just two 5-on-5 goal of its own. The loss also stretched the Sharks' losing streak in the Western Conference Finals to eight games dating back to 2004, when they lost to Calgary.

"I think we have to give credit to the opponent and we have to remember they're playing awfully hard, they have a good game plan," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan. "They're executing it better than we're executing ours. They're playing a little bit harder than we are. As a result, you tend to make more mistakes, you tend to get frustrated.  When you get frustrated, you tend to take penalties.

"It's just a vicious circle."

Despite the two losses at Rogers Arena, McLellan is convinced the series is far from over.

"A real wise guy once told me that you're never really, really in trouble in a series until you lose a game at home," he said. "We haven't done that and we don't plan on doing that. We've got to regroup. We've got to find some composure, take our battle level up."
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