All good things must come to an end and that is what happened to the Sharks eight-game winning streak when Team Teal fell to Dallas 3-2 Saturday night.
It’s not as if the Sharks played a bad game, but the hockey gods definitely were not on their side. San Jose surrendered a rare shorthanded goal early in the first and the saw two Dallas goals redirected, including one by a Sharks player past Antti Niemi
. Even though the San Jose had the third period lead, the two points managed to slip away.
“It was a playoff type game and both teams were playing hard. We had to match their intensity and we just fell short at the end,” Jason Demers
said. “We had a few lapses and it can’t happen going down the stretch. We need these points.”
“They found a way to win and throwing pucks at the net will do that,” Kyle Wellwood said.
There was not much that could be done about the deflected pucks.
“I think (third) bounced there in the middle and the second from the blueline bounced too,” Niemi said.
“I was trying to take that lane away and I obviously put it in. I owe Nemo one for that,” Heatley said of the game winning tally.”
ODD PENALTYAntti Niemi
was called for a delay of game penalty and not everyone was sure what happened when he covered the puck a bit too far from the crease and the ref put his hand up.
“I didn’t even know at first that I got the penalty,” Niemi noted. “I asked about that later and I think I covered the puck outside the crease. That’s it. I think it’s because I came from behind the net. That’s why.”
POWER PLAY STRUGGLED
The Sharks power play did not have a lot of chances, but they could not find an extra goal.
“I think the power plays they gave us we had to finish and we didn’t,” Demers stated. “We’ll take a look at it and get ready for the next game.”
Part of the problem may have been trouble getting the puck through and it’s not just because Dan Boyle
was out of the lineup.
“They put a lot into blocking shots and we played into them a little bit,” Demers said. “We had a little trouble getting in the zone, but I think we had chances.”
“We talked about when they do take a penalty for trying to goad us into something, it’s up to the power play to take advantage of that,” Marleau pointed out.
Both of the Sharks goals were the results of pretty plays. Kyle Wellwood scored when Torrey Mitchell
delivered the puck right out front for the opening Sharks tally.
“It was nice. That shift, we were throwing things at the net,” Wellwood pointed out. “Mitchy found me hiding in the crease and I was able to get my stick on it.”Patrick Marleau
’s tally came courtesy of Dany Heatley serving as the playmaker instead of the customary finisher on a two-on-one rush.
“I drove the net and Heater made a great pass,” Marleau said.
was hammered illegally into the boards by Steve Ott and during the skirmish that followed, Demers accidently popped an official. Demers discussed it after the game.
“I talked to him and apologized,” Demers noted. “I wasn’t looking at him at all, I was looking through to Ott and he jumped in the way. He was fine with it, but I didn’t have any intention to do that. He was all right with it (when) I apologized.”
SHARKS HEAD COACH TODD MCLELLAN
“I didn’t’ think we were sharp enough especially early, it took us too long to get in and we wasted some valuable minutes when we thought we could maybe establish some momentum.”
“I wasn’t particularly pleased with the power play, it had enough opportunities to make an impact on the game, and obviously a short handed goal one minute in doesn’t help.”
“We weren’t as good as we need to be, I thought they had a little puck luck in the third period. Obviously, we knock a puck out of the air and it goes right to them and the winning goal goes off a skate, and off a stick and in.”
STARS HEAD COACH MARC CRAWFORD
“I thought the way we played at the end to protect the lead was much better. We did a lot of good things tonight.”
“It starts and ends with your goaltender making the saves that he has to make, and he had to make a few tonight.”
“I think offensively we had good command with the puck. We extended in the defensive zone. We showed some poise and patience with the puck, and that opened up some seams for us and we ended up getting some offensive chances because of that.”
San Jose will host Nashville Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The contest will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and www.sjsharks.com.