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Sharks on the brink of elimination
Blunders plentiful in 3-0 loss in Game 5
5/17/04 - by Mike Lee

What a difference a day makes. Having thoroughly dominated the Calgary Flames on Sunday, the Sharks returned to the not-so friendly confines of home on Monday night and coughed up the series lead with an atrocious 3-0 loss in Game 5 at HP Pavilion. Given the number of blunders the Sharks committed on home ice, they should be grateful that they only surrendered three goals. The Flames have been a model of consistency in San Jose, scoring two 1st period goals for the third consecutive game. Those goals would allow the Flames to kick it into cruise control and send the Sharks to the brink of elimination with a 3-2 lead in the series.

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1 2 3 T
CGY 2 1 0 3
SJ 0 0 0 0
1st period - CGY, J. IGINLA (9) , 06:27 CGY, M. NILSON (3) (V. NIEMINEN), 08:29
2nd period - CGY, C. CONROY (5) , 12:47
3rd period - NONE
1st period - CGY, M. COMMODORE, 06:03 - Holding S.J, S. HANNAN, 12:18 - Interference - Obstruction CGY, S. MONTADOR, 16:38 - Hooking
2nd period - S.J, R. DAVISON, 05:27 - Hooking CGY, M. GELINAS, 14:54 - Hooking CGY, M. GELINAS, 18:59 - Cross check
3rd period - S.J, T. HARVEY, 09:09 - Cross check
  Shots Saves
CGY - Kiprusoff 19 19
SJ - Nabokov 21 18
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
CGY 12 4 5 21
SJ 6 9 4 19
Power Play Conversion
CGY 0 of 3
SJ 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Jerome Iginla
Craig Conroy
Robyn Regehr
The boisterous crowd that welcomed the Sharks home from their road triumphs in Calgary quickly turned on the Sharks after Jerome Iginla and Marcus Nilson scored two minutes apart early in the opening period. Boos rained down on the Sharks as they existed the ice at each intermission.

Contrary to the behavior displayed by the Neanderthals in Calgary, Sharks fans elected to communicate their displeasure vocally, rather than with flying beers. The controlled behavior was admirable considering the product the Sharks put on the ice.

Things looked promising when Flames defenseman Mike Commodore was whistled for holding six minutes into the contest, but the evening went to hell in a hand basket 24 seconds into the penalty when Alexander Korolyuk made an ill advised pass on the power play. Korolyuk tried backhanding the puck from the left wing boards parallel to the blueline, but Iginla stepped in front of the pass and raced up the ice with two defenders on his heels.

Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov panicked on the play and committed to the rush by falling to the ice in an attempt to get wide on Iginla. Problem was, Nabokov made the move too soon, allowing Iginla to easily deposit the puck into the Sharks net.

Things turned even more sour two minutes later when Niko Dimitrakos coughed up the puck in his own zone, allowing the Flames to march up ice and score again. Ville Nieminen cycled near the right dot before hitting a trailing Nilson who skated down the slot uncontested and rifled a shot past Nabokov.

Dimitrakos made a bad decision on the play and only added to the calamity by trying to hook Nieminen rather than run him down. The young Sharks forward had little excuse to use his jets, after being a scratch in Game 4 on Sunday.

Calgary would ice the game with a goal on yet another turnover in the Flames zone in the 2nd period. Craig Conroy grabbed a loose puck at the redline after a dump in attempt by the Sharks wrapped around the end boards, then hopped over Kyle McLaren's stick.

Rather than hustle back to the puck, McLaren pouted for missing the pass by slamming his stick on the ice and skating nonchalantly back to center ice. While he ponder the pass that might have been, Conroy raced by him and skated up ice uncontested before snapping a shot past Nabokov. The effort by McLaren on the play was inexcusable.

The Flames had to do little more than play keep away with the Sharks over the final 27 minutes of the game and keep their noses clean. The game was absent of the shenanigans that marred the end of Games 3 & 4 in Calgary.

San Jose only managed four shots on goal in the final period, handing Miikka Kiprusoff his fourth shutout of the playoffs.

"It's definitely different, what we're doing this year. I can't put my finger on why it's working out this way. I don't think anybody can. It's kind of fun, though." - Jerome Iginla

"Where that performance came from, I really have no idea. It wasn't one or two guys. It was almost the whole team struggling. You have to give Calgary some credit, but we really did a pretty good job of shooting ourselves in the foot with some very elementary mistakes." - Sharks head coach Ron Wilson

"We didn't play hard, and I can't explain that. We've been battling the odds ever since the beginning of the series, and we'll try to do it again. There's a lot of things we can do better. We just have to keep winning road games. That seems to be the trend." - Vincent Damphousse

"Things change fast here.It's never fun when they pull you, but when I got pulled, I was already thinking about today's game." - Miikka Kiprusoff

"Their top line played really well in our building [in Game 4], so we said we've got to do the same thing in here. It feels a lot farther away than just one win. We know we've got a lot of work to do." - Craig Conroy

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