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Special Teams Hurt Sharks

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
The Sharks were a very unhappy bunch following their 5-4 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night. There was barely a peep made about an apparent go-ahead third period goal that was waived off as the Sharks were taking the blame instead of passing it on to the striped shirts.


“I thought it was good, but the ref already made up his mind he was blowing the whistle,” said Dan Boyle.

Patrick Marleau skated directly toward the official, but was quickly rebuffed by a clear cut rule.

“I just said I thought the puck went in before the whistle, but I guess the rule is intent,” said Marleau. “He said I pushed the goalie in. (Those) calls are part of the game.”

The Sharks lost the contest because they allowed L.A. three goals in seven minutes during the second period and simply did not play as well as they could have.

“I thought we were pretty sloppy tonight,” said Dan Boyle. “Usually four goals is good (enough) to win a hockey game.”

“I didn’t think we had all our guys on board tonight and it cost us a little bit,” said McLellan. “As a group, we need to be sharper.”

Even an area of strength for the Sharks let them down as the club allowed two power play goals.

“A couple of mental errors cost us,” said Malhotra. “It’s a detail area we have to clean up.”

“The penalty kill was uncharacteristic tonight,” said McLellan. “It was a little disappointing in that area.”

The power play scored once, but it was the missed opportunities that stuck out.

“The power play let us down,” said Boyle. “(We could have) put away the game and we didn’t do it.”

“We need to get back to work and do the simple things,” said Marleau. “You can’t always do the homerun passes.”

RALLY
The Sharks were able to clinch a point thanks to a late tally by Malhotra that ensured the Sharks had a three point division lead following the game instead of just a two point lead on the Kings. The goal had the Sharks flying on the ice, but Malhotra said that should be happening anyway.

“We have to get over riding the momentum swing,” said Malhotra.

The overtime loss allowed the Kings to close the Pacific Division gap by just one point.

“Tonight was not good enough against a team right behind us,” said Boyle.

“We have to take advantage of opportunities like this so teams behind us don’t hand around,” said Marleau.

HOME
The Sharks are on their longest homestand to date of the season, but are not having the success they imagined, going just 1-1-2 through four games.

“We’re at home and we need to take advantage,” said Boyle.

FINAL GOAL
The Sharks fate was sealed when an errant pass created the overtime winner.

“It’s a goal we’d like to have the save on, but we need to move on,” said McLellan.

DOWN A MAN
The Sharks skated shorthanded in the third as Douglas Murray was not available. He had an earlier collision with Dany Heatley.

“We were banged up, so we played with five (defensemen) down the stretch,” said McLellan. “We’ll see how he is in the morning.”

START AND FINISH
When the Sharks tied the game at one midway through the second, it was due to a play that literally began and ended with Joe Pavelski. The U.S. Olympic hopeful sent a pass up ice to Ryane Clowe near the offensive blueline.

Clowe fought off a defender to hold on to the puck and hit Kent Huskins coming down the far side. However, during that time Pavelski streaked up the ice and Huskins immediately returned the puck to Pavs. With the defender already committed to Huskins, Pavelski roofed his shot for the tying tally.

CLOSE
With 15:04 to go in second, the puck was loose near Evgeni Nabokov’s crease and Alexander Frolov had an open half of the net to shoot at. However, Scott Nichol was the man on the spot and tied up Frolov’s stick to prevent the tally.

Unfortunately, less than a minute late, the Kings scored to take the lead.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY
On Thursday Rob Blake, the Sharks elder statesman, will celebrate his 40th birthday.

10
With two assists on the night, Ryane Clowe’s career-long point streak has reached ten games. He now has 12 points (5-7=12) in that span and 21 points (7-18=21) in the last 19 games.

20
Marleau tied the franchise record for the fastest 20 goals to start a season (32 games), equaling Owen Nolan in 1999-00.

STILL LEADING
Joe Thornton increased his league lead in points to 42 (7-35=42) with two assists on the night. Thornton’s 35 assists also lead the NHL.

LINES
Marleau-Thornton-Heatley
Clowe-Pavelski-Setoguchi
Malhotra-Nichol-Ortmeyer
McLaren-Mitchell-McGinn

Boyle-Murray
Blake-Vlasic
Huskins-Joslin

Nabokov-Greiss

KINGS HEAD COACH TERRY MURRAY
“We’re maturing. We are starting to bring it together as a better team, a better group of guys. Everybody is working hard for each other. The power play tonight showed real good composure, settled things and moved the puck around. They believe in the structure that we have been talking about.”

“On the other special teams, the penalty kill was huge, absolutely huge. At a critical time here in the third period, they really dug in and did a great job.”

“This a very difficult building to score five goals. It is a hard requirement.”

“Brownie stepped up and made a huge play to score the winning goal. That’s about guys playing for each other.”

NEXT GAME
The Sharks will close out the homestand Friday at 7 p.m. against Dallas and tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and www.ticketmaster.com. The game will be available on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.





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