The Sharks lost their second consecutive contest at HP Pavilion Thursday night, but the silver lining was the return of Dan Boyle
. With Boyle back, the power play seemed to click more and he nearly converted on a couple of offensive chances, including one that required an amazing stop by Carolina’s Michael Leighton.
“I’m glad I got through it,” said Boyle. “We’ll find out tomorrow how it feels.”
“I thought he played really well for a guy who hadn’t played in 10-12 days,” said Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan. “I thought the power play moved better.”
The silver lining couldn’t overcome the fact that San Jose twice led by two goals, but wound up on the losing side following the shootout.
“It a game we gave away,” said Boyle. “Their three goals were a result of turnovers.”
The Sharks seemed to be in control most of the contest, but ill-timed turnovers by some normally sure-handed players allowed Carolina an opportunity they pounced on.
“On their three goals tonight, we assisted on every one,” said McLellan. “They were individual mistakes. The too many men on the ice penalty was a mental thing.”
“That is what a team like that does on the road,” said Ryane Clowe
, who scored the Sharks opening tally. “They got the penalty shot and they redirected the second goal.”
The Sharks simply feel that enough is enough even thought a two-game losing stretch is not a major problem in the scope of 41 home games.
“Two losses in a row is enough,” said Marc-Edouard Vlasic
. “Good teams don’t lose more than that.”
There may be two straight losses on the record, but the Sharks played better than the previous contest.
“They weren’t in our end a lot,” said McLellan. “They didn’t have us running around a lot, but they did capitalize. We made some errant passes that allowed them a few scoring chances. I don’t know how much it was ‘team’ tonight. It was more individual.”
Carolina’s goal came on a questionable call when Matt Cullen was being chased by Christian Ehrhoff from behind. Whether a penalty shot should have been awarded or not, the Sharks did not place the blame at the feet of the man in the striped shirt, noting they still had control of the game.
“We scored right after to make it a two-goal lead,” said Clowe. “We can’t let teams off the hook when we’ve got them down.”
“They played better than we did in the third,” said Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Vlasic’s tally in the third ended a 23-game goal less stretch.
“It’s been a while since I scored and I was just trying to put it on net,” said Vlasic.
While Boyle returned, San Jose was forced to play down a defenseman on the evening when Douglas Murray
missed a bulk of the contest.
“Doug got dinged up in the first period and we’re waiting on a report,” said McLellan.
With Clowe’s 20th goal, the Sharks became the second NHL team this season to have three 20-goal players. The first was Pittsburgh (Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Petr Sykora). Clowe is now on a four-game point streak (1G+4A).
Alexei Semenov scored his first goal of the season.
Milan Michalek’s three assists tied his own career single-game high. He has now accomplished the feat three times, with the last time being on March 15, 2007 at Phoenix.
LOT OF SHOTS
The Sharks outshot the Hurricanes 40-29. It is the sixth time the Sharks have lost despite outshooting their opponent by 11 shots or more.
HURRICANES, HEAD COACH PAUL MAURICE
“We were able to weather the storm early and I thought we got better as the game went on. And for our goaltender (Leighton) to play as well as he needed to play, it was big. You hope psychologically there is a lift too. We understand that this has only happened a handful of times in this building this year and that it should be good for our team.”
“For us this is playoff hockey and when you play a playoff game and lose, it can become so painful that you have to mentally cut it off and get ready for the next game and we were able to do that.”
The Sharks will visit Columbus on Saturday night in a 4 p.m. contest that will be available on CSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.