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Rexall demons still haunt Sharks
3rd period natural sinks SJ
10/12/06 - by Mike Lee

The demons of last Spring's playoff defeat to the Edmonton Oilers were resurrected on Thursday night in the form of a 3rd period meltdown which turned a 4-2 Sharks lead into a 6-4 loss in Alberta. Ryan Smyth scored three goals in a span of two minutes and one second during a nightmarish period for the visiting Sharks. Edmonton would score five unanswered goals after the Sharks staked themselves to a 4-1 lead.

The Oilers brushed off a knock-out blow in the form of a Jonathan Cheechoo hat trick and returned to the style of play that allowed them to defeat the Sharks in their conference semi-finals last season. Edmonton mutated from a lethargic sloth in the first half of the game, into an unstoppable goal scoring machine.

Smyth was credited for three goals in the disastrous period, but two where deflections off rockets by Jerret Stoll and Marc Bergeron. The natural hat trick broke a 25 year-old Oilers record for three quickest goals by a single player, which was previously held by Wayne Gretzky.

After Patrick Thoresen scored his first careen goal in the 1st period, Cheechoo went on a run to record his first goals of the season. His first came on a shot from the slot, that beat Oilers goaltender Dwayne Roloson.

Cheechoo would add a power play goal less than two-minutes later while the Sharks were on a 5-on-3 power play. The Sharks winger would cap his hat trick with his third tally seven minuets into the 2nd period on one of 10 power play chances the Sharks would enjoy.

Milan Michalek would score his 4th goal of the season at the 8:59 mark on another two-man advantage after the Oilers were whistled for too many men on the ice. Ales Hemsky would add to the Oilers woes by drawing an unsportsmanlike penalty to give the Sharks a 5-on-3 for a full two minutes. Michalek buried a feed from Joe Thornton, who would finish the evening with three assists.

With a comfy three goal lead, the Sharks joined the 16,839 in attendance and watched the Oilers dissect San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.

Joffrey Lupul would convert three minutes after Michalek's goal to cut the Shark's lead to 4-2 entering the second intermission.

Smyth would go to work, by getting in the way of Stoll's shot at 4:05 of the 3rd, then waving at Bergeron's shot for the redirect goal 14 seconds later. On the second goal, Nabokov was well positioned to stop the shot, but Smyth's stick absorbed all the puck's velocity and trajectory, causing it to float over the Shark's goaltender's shoulder.

Nabokov lost sight of the puck on the 3rd Smyth goal, turning a shot from a bad angle into the game winning goal. Smyth actually skated past three San Jose defenders who seemed oblivious to the puck's presence deep in the Sharks zone, before throwing the puck on net. It would slip through Nabokov's pads and the damage was done.

Hemsky added insult to injury on a breakaway goal with just under five minutes remaining in regulation, after Daniel Tjarnqvist sent an 80-foot pass up ice to the cherry-picking Oilers forward.


The Sharks reassigned defenseman Doug Murray to Worcester of the AHL for a conditioning assignment. Murray has not suited up for any of the Sharks four regular season games this season.

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1 2 3 T
SJ 2 2 0 4
EDM 1 1 4 6
1st period - 1, EDM, Thoresen 1 (Staios, Winchester), 3:20. 2, SJ, Cheechoo 1 (Thornton, Smith), 6:45. 3, SJ, Cheechoo 2 (Marleau, Bernier), 8:21, (pp).
2nd period - 4, SJ, Cheechoo 3 (Smith, Thornton), 6:52, (pp). 5, SJ, Michalek 4 (Thornton), (pp). 6, EDM, Lupul 2 (Smyth), 12:00.
3rd period - 7, EDM, Smyth 1 (Stoll, Sykora), 4:05, (pp). 8, EDM, Smyth 2 (Bergeron, Sykora), 4:19, (pp). 9, EDM, Smyth 3 (Staios, Smid), 6:06. 10, EDM, Hemsky 1 (Tjarnqvist), 15:18.
1st period - Hemsky, EDM (interference), 7:54; Smith, EDM (holding), 8:08; Thoresen, EDM (holding), 16:11; Ehrhoff, SJ (interference), 16:20; Marleau, SJ (hooking), 17:04; Reasoner, EDM (hooking), 19:48.
2nd period -Torres, EDM (hooking), 5:30; Bench, EDM (served by Sykora (too many men), 8:03; Hemsky, EDM (unsportsmanlike conduct), 8:03; Clowe, SJ (fighting), 15:46; Matt Greene, EDM (fighting), 15:46; Hemsky, EDM (hooking), 15:46; Tjarnqvist, EDM (high-sticking), 18:24.
3rd period - McLaren, SJ (hooking, holding), 2:42; Hemsky, EDM (hooking), 13:05.
  Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 32 26
EDM - Roloson 23 19
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 7 9 7 23
EDM 14 7 11 32
Power Play Conversion
SJ 3 of 10
EDM 2 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Ryan Smyth
Jonathen Cheechoo
Joffrey Lupul
Referees: Michael McGeough, Brad Meier. Linesmen: Brian Mach, Lyle Seitz.

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