For the Sharks, Thursday’s loss was as painful of a loss as there has been all season. Not only were they up 2-1 with less than a minute to play, they were on the power play to boot.
“We have to put teams away,” said Jeremy Roenick. “These games can bite us in the (rear) at the end of the season when one point is the difference between being top three in the conference and sixth or seventh place.”
“It’s happened too often,” said Evgeni Nabokov. “I don’t know what to say. It stinks to lose that way. We gave up a goal with 40 seconds left and we’re on the power play. We got one point. Do we like it? No.”
San Jose couldn’t control the puck on the faceoff in their defensive zone and they paid the ultimate price when it ended up on the stick of Shane Doan, who sent the game to overtime with a long distance slap shot.
Phoenix did have even numbers in the attacking zone because of the extra attacker who had replaced Ilya Bryzgalov, but that was not the problem.
“The power play gave the puck up on the faceoff,” said Wilson. “It’s embarrassing. If we hold on to possession of the puck, the game is over. We shouldn’t put ourselves in that spot.”
Wilson was disappointed in several of his players.
“We’ve got some guys who should be ashamed of the way they played,” said Wilson. “The fact that this team came all the way across the country (and we let them) be in the game. We’ve got four to five guys we count on and they weren’t ready to play.”
POWER PLAY PROBLEMS
Although the Sharks managed to score with a two-man advantage, they were 0-8 while up one man.
“I don’t think we’re establishing a presence on the point,” said Wilson. “Once one guy starts improvising, no one else knows what is going on.”
“They puck wasn’t bouncing the right way,” said Patrick Marleau
Roenick was near the goal line on the five-on-three when he jammed it past Bryzgalov near the goal line.
“Especially five-on-three, the goalie has to stay up and he can’t go down,” said Roenick. “That power play should have been enough, but it wasn’t.”
The first penalty of the two-man advantage came after a major scuffle between the two clubs that resulted in a five-minute major to Daniel Carcillo for jumping in as the third man in a fight. After the play, Carcillo had to leave the contest due to a knee injury. His former teammate Roenick was trying to hold him back and was the first to waive for a trainer to come to the ice.
“There were a lot of emotions out there,” said Roenick. “He was jumping on guys and his leg folded. I know him really well and he was hurt pretty good.”
In the scenario, 45 minutes in penalties were handed out, including five each to Marleau and Nick Boynton, although it was more of a wrestling match.
“If I’m getting five for fighting, I’d like to throw at least one punch,” said Marleau.
NABOKOV AGAIN 2 OR LESS
Evgeni Nabokov faced 37 shots on the night, allowing just two goals against.
“Nabby was fantastic and gave us a chance to win,” said Wilson.
“He made great saves all game,” said Marleau.
When Nabokov was finally scored on by Mike York, it marked the end of a 271 minute and 30 second shutout streak he owned against Phoenix spanning more than five contests. It marks the second longest streak of any NHL goaltender against one team since the 1989-90 season and also is a Sharks team mark for a shutout streak against one team and an individual mark for any Sharks goaltender against one club.
Still Nabokov wasn’t happy with his performance.
“I didn’t like the first goal personally,” said Nabokov.
On the late tying goal, the Nabokov was handcuffed by the perfectly placed shot.
The Sharks won’t have time to sulk as Anaheim comes to town for their third battle with Team Teal inside a week.
“We have Anaheim on Saturday and we have to get ready for another big game,” said Nabokov.
San Jose must figure out a way to solve Anaheim and also come up with some home victories to go with the NHL best road record.
“We have to protect home ice,” said Nabokov.
With an assist on Roenick’s goal, Joe Thornton
recorded his 700th career NHL point (224-476=700).
The Sharks will host Anaheim Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at HP Pavilion. Limited tickets are available at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The game will be available on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.