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Sharks Fall To Kings 6-5 In Shootout

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
The Sharks opened their preseason schedule Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Kings. Each squad featured a mix of established NHL veterans and hopeful prospects looking to make a name for themselves. Count Devin Setoguchi, Lukas Kaspar and Torrey Mitchell in the group of prospects who put their names on the radar in the 6-5 shootout loss at the Staples Center.


Click here to view photos from the game.

Mitchell, who made the jump to the professional ranks in March April after finishing his third season at the University of Vermont, scored two of the goals and assisted on the third. Setoguchi scored a goal and assisted on Mitchell’s pair, while Kaspar earned the primary assist on their three tallies.

“We played well together and just fed off each other,” said Setoguchi. “But at the same time, this game is over and we need to take these positives and build off them.”

That sort of tempered enthusiasm is music to head coach Ron Wilson’s ears. The veteran bench boss has seen too much to make a huge deal out of one preseason game. Especially considering that many of the opposition’s regulars are out of the lineup. But he did appreciate the effort from the trio.

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” warned Wilson. “We did a lot of good things, but there is still a lot to work on. It was good to see some instant chemistry from that line though and their speed showed. They are trying to make an impression.”

The line scored the Sharks first goal on the power play. Spending the first minute of a power play focusing on puck movement, Setoguchi pressed matters by blistering a slap shot from an odd angle below the left face-off circle that rebounded to Mitchell. Setoguchi continued moving his feet and cut across the net. Kaspar was camped in between the faceoff circles and Mitchell fed him a one-timer. Setoguchi’s perseverance paid off and had him on the doorstep awaiting the rebound.

“We just got the puck in the offensive zone and that’s how you get chances,” said Kaspar. “We were able to take advantage of it there.”

Mitchell then had a two-goal second period. They were both one-timers off of Kaspar passes. On his second goal, all three players were involved. Setoguchi provided needed camouflage for the play, driving the net and attracting all the attention. Kaspar, meanwhile, saucered a pass behind Setoguchi and across the goal mouth to Mitchell, who was waiting on the other end unnoticed.

“Setoguchi really used his speed out there and created a lot of havoc,” credited Mitchell. “He made it easy for me to find soft spots.”

The three were definitely the offensive story of the game for the Sharks. They combined for 12 shots and also represented Wilson’s selections for the shootouts. Unfortunately, they failed to convert their opportunities, although Mitchell came the closest. He was robbed by goaltender Dan Cloutier, who sprawled out and made a difficult glove save, to preserve the Kings win.

MICHALEK MISSED
Left wing Milan Michalek left the game in the second period. The forward went down with an apparent arm injury. He was labeled as day-to-day.

With Michalek out due to injury and Steve Bernier missing due to his game misconduct, the Sharks were playing two forwards short for half the game. It caused Wilson and staff to do some creative line shuffling.

MURRAY UP AND DOWN

It isn’t often that defenseman Douglas Murray is knocked off his feet. So when Kings left wing Jeff Giuliano knocked him over the boards at the Sharks bench, eyebrows were raised. Murray wasn’t too put off by the hit as he was trying to advance the puck.

“I wasn’t even sure who got me or how I was hit,” said Murray. “I just wanted to make sure that I got the puck deep and I did.”

Murray would get his revenge in another way. With 3:15 left in the game, he tied the contest with an odd, but effective wrist shot.

“That puck had eyes,” laughed the bruising defenseman. “It went through two sets of legs, a few sticks and found its way in.”

Murray enters 2007-08 looking for his first regular season goal. He has played 69 career games and has four assists.

MINK GETTING HIS HANDS DIRTY
Graham Mink had a few hits and scored an important third period goal. The goal was reminiscent of his play last season in Worcester, the Sharks primary affiliate in the American Hockey League. The right wing scored a career-high 31 goals last year, with the majority coming within two body-lengths of the net.

Tuesday night was no different. Joe Pavelski wrapped around the net and threw a shot at the pads of Cloutier. Mink was right in front of the net and powered a puck through the five-hole of Cloutier.

THE LEARNING CURVE
Torrey Mitchell is really enjoying his first training camp. He got his first taste of professional hockey last year, playing 17 games between the regular season and playoffs with Worcester. Earlier in camp, Worcester head coach Roy Sommer said that Mitchell was one of his most reliable players during that time. The 22-year-old forward was grateful for the experience.

“Getting that chance to play in the playoffs really showed me the pro style of play,” said Mitchell. “It gave me a better idea of what to expect this year.”

He realizes that he is a long way from being a finished product. Looking around the locker room, he is still a bit in awe of all the talent on the Sharks. He indicated that Jeremy Roenick has been pulling him aside and giving him a few pointers.

“I got to play with him in the Teal and White game and that was awesome,” said Mitchell. “He’s been great with me. I watched him play growing up and now I get to learn from him. I’ve really enjoyed it.”

A LOOK AT THE PHYSICAL PLAY

-Graham Mink took the body of Brian Boyle around 11:30 of the first period. Boyle, listed as a centerman, was featured on defense all night.
-Steve Bernier recorded the hit of the night on the Kings Peter Harrold. Bernier leveled him, coming in with a left shoulder just as Harrold was turning. The referee judged that Bernier caught him with an elbow, resulting in a five-minute major penalty for elbowing and a game misconduct. Both teams came together after the hit, but no gloves were dropped. Harrold was shaken up and laid on the ice during the melee. The Sharks Brad Norton served the penalty for Bernier.
-Raitis Ivanans took a run at Ryane Clowe just after Norton finished serving Bernier’s penalty. After the big hit that knocked Clowe down, he tried goading the Sharks power forward into a fight. Seeing that the ref had a delayed penalty signaled, Clowe wanted no part in it. The two have a bit of history as they saw a lot of each other in the American Hockey League when Clowe was with the Cleveland Barons and Ivanans was with the Hamilton Bulldogs. The two teams were heated rivals.
-Kevin Dallman got a little aggressive with a hit on Pavelski along the side boards. He got his stick up and cut Pavelski resulting in a double minor.
-Norton engaged with Ivanans in a fight with 15:56 left in the third period. Ivanans got the decision after Norton lost his balance. Regaining his feet, the two exchanged blows and Ivanans took Norton to the ground.

CAPTAIN UPDATE
Patrick Marleau assumed his normal captain position for the game. The surprise was the pair that assumed the assistant captaincy. The A’s were worn by left wings Ryane Clowe and Milan Michalek.

SCRIBBLES ON A NOTEBOOK
Steve Bernier was able to set up camp just to the left of the right faceoff circle all night. In the first seven minutes, he had three one-timers from the same spot on the ice…A few fans in the upper bowl booed Roenick every time he touched the puck. It grew and the entire crowd soon got behind it. The 19-year veteran played the 2005-06 season with the Kings…Roenick wasn’t the only one on the receiving end of the cat calls. The Kings own Jaroslav Modry and Dan Cloutier were taunted relentlessly. It almost felt like watching a game in Philadelphia or New York, where fans are vocal about their likes and especially, their dislikes…Marleau completely burned past Jaroslav Modry at the beginning of the second period. The Sharks captain kicked it into another gear after crossing the blue line and Modry had to take a penalty to prevent a quality scoring chance…Roenick rang a one-timer off the post five minutes into the second period on a power play

LINES
Michalek – Marleau – Bernier
Clowe – Pavelski – Roenick
Kaspar – Mitchell – Setoguchi
Norton – Plihal – Mink

Carle – Murray
Vlasic – Semenov
Wishart – Spang

Patzold
Greiss
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