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SJ shoot(out)s themselves in the foot
Comeback wasted in 3-2 SO Loss
1/19/06 - by Mike Lee

The season of wasted opportunities continued for the Sharks on Thursday night, and they squandered a come-from-behind effort to lose in overtime to the visiting Edmonton Oilers at HP Pavilion. Oilers goaltender Michael Morrison had to do little more than stand in the way of shootout attempts by Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau to help Edmonton escape with the 3-2 shootout win.

The Oilers blew a 2-0 lead after Sean Horcoff and Steve Staios scored 1st period goals against the Sharks. San Jose couldn't find any rhythm in the opening period, and their sleepwalking cost them early. Horcoff converted on a rebound while the Sharks were trying to kill off a Scott Hannan holding penalty at the 8:21 mark.

Staios extended Edmonton's lead by rifling a shot past Vesa Toskala from 40 feet out. Toskala was partially screened by one of his own teammates, and picked up Staios' shot after it was too late.

Thornton helped the Sharks snap out of their funk with a power play goal of his own early in the 2nd period. Thornton grabbed a deflection while parked outside the right post and easily stuffed home his 16th tally of the season from close range.

The Sharks finally caught the Oilers eight minutes into the 3rd period when Milan Michalek scored on a pretty attempt in tight. Jonathan Cheechoo slipped a pass to Michalek just inside the Oilers blueline as Michalek skated past defenseman Jason Smith. Michalek roofed a backhander or Morrison's left shoulder as he broke across the top of the crease for his eighth goal of the season.

Toskala deserved better, after keeping Oilers sniper Ryan Smyth at bay most of the evening. Smyth had several scoring chances throughout the game but Toskala came up big to keep the Sharks comeback chances alive.

San Jose missed on the biggest opportunity of the evening in the extra period when Michael Peca was sent off for hooking Nils Ekman in the Oilers zone at 2:51. The Sharks had a full two minute 4-on-3 chance, but couldn't generate any serious chances after throwing the puck around aimlessly.

Peca, Ekman and Smyth opened the shootout by converting each of their attempts, but Thornton came up short with a half hearted attempt that Morrison never had an issue with. Ales Hemsky had Toskala dead to rights in what would have been the game winner on his shootout attempt, but Toskala robbed him with a crazy glove save as he fell back into the net. A video review confirmed that Hemsky's shot never crossed the line.

So the Sharks could have extended the shootout had Marleau converted, but his attempt was easily snuffed out by Morrison.

Notes:

Marleau is now 0-for-5 in shootout attempts this season.

The Sharks are 1-for-6 in shootout results this season. The five points they've lost via the shootout would be good enough for the 8th seed in the West.


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Scoring
1 2 3OTSO T
EDM 2 0 001 3
SJ 0 1 100 2
1st period - 1, Edmonton, Horcoff 15 (Smyth, Pronger), 8:21, (pp). 2, Edmonton, Staios 3 (Stoll, Dvorak), 10:56.
2nd period - 3, San Jose, Thornton 16 (Ekman, Cheechoo), 4:17, (pp).
3rd period - 4, San Jose, Michalek 8 (Cheechoo, Preissing), 8:05.
Overtime - None
Shootout - Round 1 - EDM - M. Peca - Scores (1-0) Round 1 - SJ - N. Ekman - Scores (1-1) Round 2 - EDM - R. Smyth - Scores (2-1) Round 2 - SJ - J. Thornton - No Goal (2-1) Round 3 - EDM - A. Hemsky - No Goal (2-1) Round 3 - SJ - P. Marleau - No Goal (2-1)
Penalties
1st period - Cross, EDM (hooking), 2:42; Hannan, SJS (holding), 6:45; Ekman, SJS (hooking), 14:54.
2nd period - McCauley, SJS (tripping), 6:06; Cheechoo, SJS (interference), 8:01; Pisani, EDM (hooking), 12:10; Pronger, EDM (hooking), 14:40; Stoll, EDM (hooking), 17:22.
3rd period - Cross, EDM (delay of game), 2:37; Smith, SJS (tripping), 5:14; Toskala, SJS, served by Langfeld (tripping), 5:46.
Overtime - Peca, EDM (hooking), 2:51.
Goaltending
  Shots Saves
EDM - Morrison 29 27
SJ - Toskala 27 25
Shots On Goal
1 2 3OT T
EDM 6 10 92 27
SJ 4 11 113 29
Power Play Conversion
EDM 1 of 6
SJ 1 of 7
3 Stars of the Game
Michael Morrison
Milan Michalek
Vesa Toskala
Attendence
15,683
Officials
Referees: Dennis LaRue, Chris Rooney. Linesmen: Ryan Galloway, Don Henderson.

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