For the second night in a row, the Sharks were on the losing side of the scoresheet as their offense failed to generate any serious numbers and they fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 at Nationwide Arena.
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Evgeni Nabokov made the start in goal and tallied 16 saves on the night while Joe Thornton
scored San Jose's only goal, a redirected pass off a Blue Jackets defender.
Following yesterday's dissapointing 5-1 loss in Detroit, Ron Wilson rearranged the lines and reunited Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo to try and jump start the offense. The change paid off with an early goal by San Jose.
After Ryane Clowe
picked off a bad clearing attempt in the Blue Jackets zone, the left winger passed the puck along to Thornton at the edge of the circle. Thornton spun around his defender and shuffled the puck back towards the goal. After hitting the skate of Adam Foote, the pass was redirected into the open net and the Sharks took the 1-0 lead at 7:12.
Columbus came right back a little more than a minute later and tied up the game on their first shot of the night. In similar fashion to San Jose's goal, Manny Malhotra picked off a pass at the Sharks blue line and fed the puck to Dan Frische. The forward one timed the shot over the glove of Nabokov to tie the game at one.
Noticeably missing from the Sharks lineup was the ever dependable Mike Grier. Friday's showing against Detroit resulted in a loss on the scoresheet, but also in the line up. Grier (groin) and Rob Davison (finger) were scratched from the game due to injuries suffered last night.
Wearing their road-white jerseys, San Jose had three power play opportunities in the first period, including a Jason Chimera hooking penalty that followed through to the second. After one minute of failing to set up in the offensive zone, San Jose's man advantage expired for the third time in a row.
Marcel Goc had a great shot on Pascal LeClarie early in the second and after the Blue Jackets goalie made the glove save, a scrum ensued infront of the crease. No penalties were handed out, but Goc and Curtis Brown made the Sharks physical presence known in the Blue Jackets end.
With a little over 13 minutes remaining in the second, the referee raised his arm indicating a penalty after Thornton was tripped in Columbus' defensive corner. The puck was cleared from the zone and Nabokov started skating towards the net. However, when a Blue Jacket touched the puck and continued the play, Nabokov reeled back to the cage, realizing the penalty was coming to San Jose. The penalty was called on Thornton for holding at 6:47
Thirty seconds into the penalty kill, Curtis Brown was called for hooking to give Columbus a 5-on-3 advantage. The Sharks were able to kill the first penalty and get a short handed scoring chance when Thornton jumped out of the penalty box, and then killed off the remainder of the second without allowing a Blue Jackets score.
Patrick Rissmiller laid a solid open-ice hit on Nikolai Zherdev with ten minutes remaining in the second, causing Rissmiller to loose his stick and visibly shaking up Zherdev.
The game picked up intensity in the late stages of the second period. The Sharks had numerous scoring chances off Zherdev's interference penalty at 13:11, and Rick Nash had a short-handed opportunity against Kyle McLaren that resulted in a backhand shot on net.
The Sharks were put on their heels Douglas Murray
recieved a double minor penalty after catching a Blue Jackets player with a high stick. Columbus capitalized with the man advantage at 18:34 of the second when Sergei Federov launched a wrist shot from the blue line over a screened Nabokov. The go-ahead goal was Federov's third power-play goal of the season.
Columbus started the third period on the power play, but the Sharks were able to kill the brief man advantage and return to even strength.
In the ninth minute of play, Ryane Clowe
and Adam Foote went hard into the boards and Clowe was slow to get up. The winger slowly skated off the ice, visibly favoring his left foot and received treatment upon getting to the bench. He was later taken to the Sharks locker room and did not return to the game.
Evgeni Nabokov awed the Columbus crowd halfway through the third when he made a spectacular glove save on a wide open shot from the top of the crease by David Dyborny.
The Sharks pulled Nabokov in the final minute to try and even the score, but couldn't materialize any offense in the Blue Jackets zone. When the horn rang ending the game, all the players jumped into the crease for some pushing and shoving. CLASSIC KFOX
Classic Rock 98-5 KFOX, has a history of celebrating old time radio theater, but with a different twist - the radio plays are written by their in house rock star Greg Kihn! The latest 30 minute pre-recorded radio offering is for Halloween. Move over Charlie Brown, it's time for the Not Ready for Alien Abduction Players as they perform 'Plan 98-5 from Outer Space', starring the entire KFOX air staff, and various celebrity guests including Tony Lindsay, lead singer of Santana, and Dan Rusanowsky, radio voice of the San Jose Sharks!
Tune in to 98-5 KFOX for the premier this Sunday night at 8:30, with replays on Halloween - 5pm for pre-trick or treat listening, and again at 9:30, for the post trick or treat haul overview, followed by a special Halloween edition of Stone Trek.
'Plan 98-5 from Outer Space' will also be available for listening at www.kfox.com Wed. Nov. 1 - Sunday Nov. 4. NEXT GAME
The Sharks continue on the road and take on the Dallas Stars on Monday, October 29 at 5:00 p.m. PST. The game will be broadcast on Versus in HD, 98.5 KFOX FM, and SJSHARKS.com