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Les Miserables
Special teams nightmare sinks SJ
1/14/06 - by Mike Lee

The on again, off again Sharks ended their up beat five-game road trip with a thud on Saturday night in Montreal, dropping a 6-2 decision at the Bell Centre. It turned out to be a special-teams nightmare for San Jose, who allowed two short-handed goals and four power play goals, all in the 2nd period. Montreal jumped all over the Sharks in general manager Bob Gainey's debut as the Canadiens new head coach.

Gainey took the helm after firing coach Claude Julien and assistant coach Rick Green earlier in the day. Former Canadien and Dallas Star Guy Carbanneau will assume the head coaching responsibilities next season.

"I hadn't been close to the ice for a game in quite a while," Gainey said. "It was a fun game to be a part of."

The Sharks were in for a long evening as Montreal kicked things off with a high temp flow that didn't subside until the team was sporting a 6-1 lead at the end of two periods. San Jose held the Canadiens at bay during the opening period and managed to take a 1-0 lead on Grant Stevenson's 8th goal of the season.

Mark Smith failed to push the Sharks lead to 2-0 on a breakaway at the end of the period, and it was all down hill from their. Andrei Markov scored the first of his two goals while the Canadiens were killing a hooking penalty to Saku Koivu. Markov pinched in on the play after Radek Bonk forced the puck up ice on the penalty kill, and rifled a shot past Evgeni Nabokov to tie things at 1-1. Markov would add another goal six minutes later on the power play.

Sharks rookie forward Marcel Goc started Montreal's second short-handed conversion after he muffed a breakaway chance by passing the puck even though there was nobody between him and Canadiens goaltender Jose Theodore. Garcel would then get beat to a loose puck at the end of the sequence by Chris Higgins, who converted on the turnover after Goc missed with an attempt to chip the puck away with a swinging stick.

Canandiens rookie Mark Streit would score his first NHL goal at 17:13 of the period with a blast from the high slot while on a 5-on-3.

"It's a big relief," Streit said. "It's an awesome feeling. It's obviously like a dream come true for me and I'm very happy about the big win tonight. It was a very big win and now we can build on that."

Mike Ribeiro added his own power play goal at 18:25 and Jan Bulis finished the Sharks off with an extra-man goal after Scott Thornton sat in the box for boarding.

"We've got to throw this one out of the window and forget about it," Nabokov said.

Nabokov got an early start on purging this one from the memory bank after getting pulled to start the 3rd period. His 6 goals allowed on 14 2nd period shots was a complete about face from the 40 save shutout that he posted in Ottawa on Thursday night.

Jonathan Cheechoo added a meaningless goal late in the 3rd period after Kovalev was sent off for slashing.

"We deserved what we got in the second period," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said.




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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 1 0 1 2
MON 0 6 0 6
1st period - 1, San Jose, Stevenson 8 (Ekman, Smith), 17:33.
2nd period - 2, Montreal, Markov 6 (Bonk), 1:35, (sh). 3, Montreal, Markov 7 (Kovalev, Rivet), 7:15, (pp). 4, Montreal, Higgins 6 (Markov), 8:59, (sh). 5, Montreal, Streit 1 (Markov, Kovalev), 17:13, (pp). 6, Montreal, Ribeiro 8 (Streit, Bulis), 18:25, (pp). 7, Montreal, Bulis 8 (Ribeiro, Bonk), 19:34, (pp).
3rd period - 8, San Jose, Cheechoo 25 (Thornton, Ehrhoff), 16:19, (pp).
Penalties
1st period - None.
2nd period - Koivu, MON (hooking), 0:39; Smith, SJS (tripping), 6:05; Zednik, MON (hooking), 8:33; Markov, MON (hooking), 10:39; Begin, MON (tripping), 11:11; Stevenson, SJS (tripping), 12:48; Preissing, SJS (hooking), 15:27; Nabokov, SJS, served by Ekman (tripping), 16:45
3rd period - Begin, MON (boarding), 1:27; Kovalev, MON (slashing), 15:20; Koivu, MON (hooking), 16:49.
Goaltending
  Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 20 14
SJ - Toskala 6 6
MON - Theodore 25 23
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 6 8 11 25
MON 6 14 6 26
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 7
MON 4 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Andrei Markov
Alexei Kovalev
Jose Theodore
Attendence
21,273
Officials
Referees: Eric Furlatt, Tom Kowal. Linesmen: Pierre Champoux, Michel Cormier.

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