There was a bit of irony in the Sharks 3-2 overtime loss to Florida on Saturday afternoon. The talk all week had been about the Sharks struggling early and then setting an NHL record by rallying for a third period victory in three straight games.
On Saturday the men in teal were absolutely dominant in jumping out to a 2-0 first period lead. What’s amazing about the first period was San Jose wasn’t up by three, four or five goals as they were constantly buzzing the net. They continued everything from the third period against Nashville and were rewarded with the start they desired.
“We should have had more than two in the first period,” said Joe Pavelski
“We came and had a little fire in the belly,” said Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan. “We shouldn’t be giving up a two goal lead.”
Clowe gave the Sharks a 1-0, lead marking the first time in 10 games the team had scored first.
It’s not as if the Sharks were awful the rest of the way, but they could not connect on what would have been a game-winning goal.
“We didn’t handle the puck as well,” said Pavelski about their play in the last 40 minutes.
Consistency will be the key for San Jose moving forward, matching the quality start with the strong finish.
“I want to see us get consistent,” said McLellan. “We haven’t put forth (a complete game) since the Olympics.”
“We had a much better start, now we have to figure out a way to keep it up the whole game,” said Pavelski.
Early in the third, Pavelski was boarded and Manny Malhotra stepped up to be the man on the spot. Malhotra immediately went after Jason Garrison and there was no debate about Malhotra’s penalty on the Sharks bench.
“Manny, there is no question, you take that penalty every day,” said Clowe.
Malhotra was given the instigator and missed 17 minutes of action, but it was a move that is expected at this point of the season. The playoffs may be a different matter, but for the regular season, the right decision was made and McLellan agreed.
“To lose Manny for 17 minutes hurt, but there is also a line that was crossed,” said McLellan. “He stepped in for the team. In the playoffs the best way to respond is to win.”
ON THE ROAD
The Sharks begin their last long trip of the season on Sunday, a six-gamer which starts in Anaheim.
“We’ve got to come out of the gates hard,” said Clowe. “It’s always nice to start out on the right foot.”
NUMBER 4Patrick Marleau
recorded his fourth multi-point game in a row (3-5=8). With his goal, Marleau is fourth in the NHL in goals (41).
recorded his ninth multi-point game of the season with a goal and assist in the first period extending his point streak to three games (1-3=4).
The Sharks did earn the point by getting to overtime, but Florida did a nice job to screen Greiss, who allowed just two regulation goals.
“I saw him wind up,” said Greiss. “They did a pretty good job of screening, but it is my job to find the puck.”
SHARKS HEAD COACH TODD McLELLAN
“We accomplished a couple of things tonight. We came out and we had a little fire in our belly and we played extremely hard in the first period…We let it get away from us though and that’s the inconsistency in our game right now. ”
“They heard the message for the start, now we reversed the trend and we didn’t finish very well, but we need to move on. It’s time to get down there and play the next game.”
“I didn’t think we were extremely poor tonight. We played a solid game against a team that played very well. I don’t want to take anything away from them. They played a very good game.”
FLORIDA HEAD COACH PETER DeBOER
“Our three veteran defensemen logged a lot of minutes and did a real good job. The first period looked like men with boys, and then we found our legs and got our game going.”
“I thought we did a real good job coming back, against arguably the best team in the league.”
“You’re spinning; I mean they looked that good. To our guy’s credit, we didn’t fold up, we dug a little deeper and simplified our game and found a way to hang around.”
DEMERS INJason Demers
came up and played in place of Douglas Murray
, who is a possibility to play against Anaheim. There is a chance Marc-Edouard Vlasic
rejoins the action on the trip.
The Sharks will visit Anaheim on Sunday and the 5 p.m. contest will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.