For the San Jose Sharks, they saw an incredible early start to Game 3 fade into the sunset as a 3-0 lead dissipated into a 4-3 loss.
San Jose’s 3-0 lead was amazingly accrued in the game’s first three minutes and 33 seconds, but that would be the last of the Sharks scoring, and some penalties that were difficult to swallow proved to be the difference.
Calgary’s first goal came later in the first when Patrick Marleau
, who had already been cut above the right eye earlier, was hit flush in the face with an elbow, bringing more blood from his nose. When Matt Carle and Ryane Clowe
came to their Captain’s defense, the end result was a power play for the Flames. The Calgary player who delivered the blatant elbow was not even served a minor penalty and Jarome Iginla ended up putting Calgary on the board.
“I clearly thought it was an elbow to the face,” said Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson. “He came out with blood on his nose. On the first hit, he had blood over his eye. I’m glad Matt Carle jumped right in. I’m surprised they ended up with (a power play).”
For Calgary’s second goal, it was another power play that was hard for San Jose to see go against them. This time Kyle McLaren was given a questionable elbowing penalty and Calgary took advantage of the situation when Daymond Langkow scored.
“They called an elbow, so I guess if an elbow (can come from five feet out), it’s an elbow,” said Wilson. “The guy right on the play could clearly see it wasn’t.”
The Sharks felt like they still could have overcome what they were presented with.
“It’s human nature to sit back,” said Clowe, who opened the scoring. “We’ve just got to bear down on the power play. We can’t take our foot off the gas. We knew the game was far from over.”
“We should have kept pushing the pace,” said Marleau, who was sporting several stitches above his eye after the game.
Clowe mentioned how the terrible hit on Marleau could have been used a bit differently.
“It could have been a rallying point for us,” said Clowe.
The type loss was a bit too familiar for some and the Sharks hope they will overcome nights like Sunday.
“Some of the boys have got to become a man,” said Nabokov. “That is the bottom line. We have to change. We had two guys jump in (after the Marleau hit) and try to respond to that play, but we didn’t respond after that.”
Marleau is confident this team will respond.
“In the past, we let this bug us, but his time it’s not going to,” said Marleau.
“It’s one game, but the series isn’t over,” said Wilson.
Even with things not going their way, the Sharks still lead 3-2 heading into the final stanza. Calgary used the power plays to jump back in, but the Sharks talked at the break about how they still had the upper hand.
“We were on the road leading 3-2 (after two periods),” said Clowe.
“We mentioned that before both periods,” said Vlasic.
The trouble started 1:18 into the third with a simple shot to the crease that hit the skate of Marc-Edouard Vlasic
and then went in off his own stick.
“It hit my skate and stick unfortunately,” said Vlasic. “Right before that we turned the puck over in the zone. Against a good offensive team like that, a turnover will end up in your own net.”
“They had a better third than we did,” said Joe Thornton
. “It will be a crucial Game 4 for us.”
In the end, it was too much for the Sharks to overcome.
“They scored two power play goals and two times the wing did not get the puck out and it came back to haunt us,” said Wilson.
The Sharks three goals in 3:33 of clock time were the Sharks fastest three goals ever in the postseason and the fastest from the start of a game. The tallies came from Clowe, Marleau and Douglas Murray
The Sharks lost Game 1 and picked it up for Game 2 and now they must respond for Game 4 as well.
“We’ve got good character in the room and we’ll come out hard,” said Clowe.
Nabokov discussed the game-winner by former Shark Owen Nolan in the third.
“I saw him turn,” said Nabokov. “I’ve got to look at (on video). I think it went through my arm.”
Prior to Game 3, the Sharks were concerned with solving Kiprusoff, but when he was pulled because Calgary was down 3-0, an old Sharks nemesis, Curtis Joseph, was brought in.
“Now we’ve got to figure out a way to solve Cujo,” said Wilson. “He made two to three great saves (on the power play).”
Game 4 will be Tuesday night in Calgary and will be available on CSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and www.sjsharks.com.