A slow start by the Sharks and late comeback by the Islanders would leave the Sharks 0-2 after their second game of their road trip.
They fell to the New York Islanders 3-2 after a huge momentum switch and three goals within the first five minutes of the third period.
Prior to the Sharks battle with the New York Islanders, Captain Patrick Marleau
was placed on injured reserve after being scratched for three games because of a sore groin. To fill in for the injured center, San Jose called up Mike Iggulden from Worcester. Iggulden leads Worcester in points, goals and assists with 43 points (18 goals, 25 assists) in just 49 games.
There was also a change in goaltenders as Dimitri Patzold was sent down to Worcester. Thomas Greiss
took the place of Patzold and returned to the NHL for the first time since his debut on Jan. 13. He has a 13-14-1 record with a .892 save percentage and a 3.20 goals-against average in 28 games for Worcester this season.
The Islanders started the first period without their head coach Ted Nolan, who was reported to be taking care of personal matters.
Early in the first, Islander Mike Comrie took a hooking penalty to give San Jose the first man advantage of the game. Despite a strong effort, the Sharks were unable to convert.
Within minutes, the Sharks were given their second power play opportunity as New York took a high stick penalty. Although no score was posted, more action was generated. Great work down low by Thornton and Michalek lead to a hard shot by Carle that hit the cross bar.
The Islanders answered back with a few rushes that put Nabokov to work, but Nabokov stood strong after a pass from Mike Comrie to former Shark Bill Guerin, who took a slap shot from the top of the right circle.
A turnover in the Islander zone and a hard hit by Sean Bergenheim on Patrick Rissmiller lead to a scoring opportunity for the Islanders. A shot by Marc- Andre Bergeron rebounded and Satan picked it up to put it in the net after the whistle.
Although the goal did not count, the play drew two delayed penalties against the Sharks. At 12:24, defenseman Craig Rivet was called for crosschecking and Jody Shelley for hooking, giving New York a five-on-three.
Hard work by Mike Grier on the blue line helped the Sharks kill the penalty
Then at 14:46, less than two minutes after the Sharks killed a five-on- three, hooking penalties were called against New York’s Aaron Johnson and Freddy Myer, provided the Sharks their first five-on-three opportunity of the game. The Sharks looked good as Cheechoo had a chance to tip it in off a pass across the crease from Thornton, but San Jose continued to be scoreless on the power play.
Islander Trent Hunter was called for interference at 18:55, giving the Sharks their fifth power play. The penalty would roll over to the second period and the Sharks had an advantage for the first 47 seconds.
Despite late period action by both teams, both teams were scoreless at the end of the first.
The Islanders head coach Ted Nolan returned at the beginning of the second period.
The Sharks did not gain from their penalty left over from the first period, but that did not matter because at 2:16 Goc got his fifth goal of the season from Jeremy Roenick and Jody Shelley. A screen and strong play by Shelley to lift the stick of Comrie allowed Goc to come from behind the net and score top shelf on the stick side.
Some tough play lead to a bit of a grapple between the teams.
Kyle McLaren went up against Andy Sutton of New York and was able to throw a few punches. Both McLaren and Sutton were called for roughing at 4:00. However, a roughing call for Cheechoo would give New York an advantage.
Team Teal would not allow the Islanders to get a shot off despite a pass across the crease by Mike Comrie.
With nine minutes of play gone by there was only one shot between the teams.
Going into the second half of the period, the Islanders broke out of their zone with a strong rush that led to a hard shot by Radek Martinek from the blue line that made its way through the traffic in front.
Nabokov would dive forward in attempt to cover up the rebound, as Rivet shoved Satan out of the way, creating a pile up on top of Nabokov. A diving play by Matt Carle to clear the loose puck from the goal line knocked the net off its moorings stopping the action.
During the action, the puck broke a piece of Nabokov’s mask, cutting his face causing him to bleed from his nose and mouth area.
Nabokov had to leave the ice and Greiss was brought in, giving him his first chance to play since being re-called.
At 12:09, Bill Guerin slashed Steve Bernier giving the Sharks their sixth power play of the game.
However, with one minute left in the Sharks power play Cheechoo took a hooking penalty. This was his second penalty of the period and eliminated San Jose’s man-advantage. Goc’s shot from up-close was the only opportunity the team had during the four-on-four situation.
Then the Sharks had to kill a 49-second power play for the Islanders. Torrey Mitchell
had a strong hit against Guerin to help make the kill successful.
A late opportunity with Cheechoo on the doorstep would cause Rick DiPietro to come up big.
At the end of the second period, the Sharks lead 1-0.
Nabokov returned at the beginning of the third period with a few stitches on his nose to close up the cut from his mask.
San Jose wasted no time getting back into the game, as Thornton would score at 2:19 of the third. Cheechoo passed it to Rivet at the point who threw the puck in the front of the net. The puck bounced off the skate of a New York defenseman and Thornton coming up the middle with speed, used his backhand to lift it over the right shoulder of DiPietro and into the back of the net.
The Islanders answered right back with their first score of the game. Only a minute and eight seconds after Thornton’s goal a turnover by Steve Bernier in the Sharks' zone gave Andy Hilbert the goal. Bernier turned it over to Guerin who just shoveled it to the side of the net, where it took a weird bounce and Hilbert hit it in.
New York continued to dominate the period as Hilbert pick-pocketed Grier down low and cleared it up the ice creating a go-ahead pass for Comrie. With Mitchell on a line change, the ice was open for Comrie to dribble deep into the Sharks territory for a one-on-one situation.
McLaren played the puck instead of the player, and Comrie was able to go through McLaren and beat Nabokov up high on the short side.
Comrie’s goal tied the game at 2-2.
San Jose went on the kill for a holding call against defenseman Matt Carle at 5:31. Although dangerous players Burgeron and Comrie were on the ice, the Sharks were able to kill it. There were also some great shorthanded opportunities for San Jose. Mitchell from Ehrhoff that was stopped by the pad of DiPietro. Also for Pavleksi from a pass by Cheechoo.
The troubles would not end for the Sharks, as a “Hail Mary” shot from the blue line, courtesy of the Islanders’ defenseman Freddy Meyer, would beat Nabokov far side. The goal put the Islanders ahead 3-2.
Shortly after the goal, Douglas Murray
took a five-minute major boarding penalty and was handed a game misconduct, after shaking up Blake Comeau.
San Jose made a great effort and successfully killed the entire five minutes. Grier and Ehrhoff had a rush for a shorthanded chance.
Late in the third, another hard rush by the Islanders and a re-directed pass forced Nabokov to make the kick save. The traffic in front ensued into pushing and shoving where Ehrhoff took on Comrie, and Shelley challenged Satan. All the players ended up with roughing minors at 18:35 that left some bad blood for the rest of the period.
With about two minutes left, the Sharks pulled Nabokov for the extra skater and took some shots, but they would not be enough to tie the game. The Sharks fall 3-2 to the Islanders to extend their losing streak to two games.LINES
Cheechoo- Thornton- Michalek
Shelley- Roenick- Pavelski
Iggulden- Goc- Bernier
Nabokov-GreissNABOKOV FINE AFTERWARDS
Evgeni Nabokov was happy to return after being cut in the first period. “I felt the blood come right away and it was very painful. I went to the locker room and they said there was no concussion, so I wanted to go back in.”
Sharks head coach Ron Wilson referred to his net minder, “Nabby was fine. He had a big deep cut, but he still wanted to play and he has earned that right.”NEXT GAME
The San Jose Sharks will take on the New Jersey Devils Wednesday, February 20 at 4pm PST. The game will air on FSN Bay Area. The game can also be heard on 98.5 KFOX and at sjsharks.com.