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Sharks still on holiday
Lethargic performance equates to loss
11/24/07 - by Mike Lee

With a week to rest up, the Sharks forgot to set the alarm clock before Saturday night's division matchup with the visiting Los Angeles Kings. A lethargic showing by the Sharks helped the Kings break a 5-game losing streak, knocking off San Jose 2-1. Kings goaltender Jason LaBarbera stopped 26 shots, but faced few quality scoring chances from a Sharks team that seemed to be stuck in 1st gear all night.

The cellar dwelling Kings did little to suggest that they were world beaters themselves, but two 1st period goals would be all Los Angeles needed to climb back into the Pacific Division race. The Sharks continued a trend of sleep walking through games after extended layoffs. Down 2-0 in the 3rd period, San Jose still only managed to put 7 shots on LaBarbera.

Dustin Brown put a shot on goal that beat Sharks netminder Evgeni Nabokov, after it appeared that defenseman Kyle McLaren inadvertently redirected the shot. Nabokov had the shot lined up, but the deflection slipped between his pads for the 1-0 Kings lead.

The Sharks just couldn't seem toe shake the cobwebs out before the end of the period. A turnover by Sandis Ozolinsh just outside the Sharks blueline, setup a Kings power play after Ozolinsh was forced to haul down Jaroslav Modry right in front of the Sharks bench.

Anze Kopitar would make the Sharks pay, one-timing a pass from Vitaly Visnovsky on the ensuing man advantage with only 34 seconds ticks left in the period. Visnovsky sent a pass through the slot from the top of the left circle, setting up the Kopitar shot. Nabokov played the angle perfectly, but the puck hand cuffed him before finding he back of the Sharks net.

The Sharks just missed on a chance to cut into the Kings lead early in the 2nd period on a sequence that ended with Steve Bernier just missing on a one-timer that Lababera snuffed. Patrick Rissmiller carried the puck in on net, before sliding a pass to Bernier on the right post, but Labarbera played it perfectly.

Ladislav Nagy missed on a chance to extend the Kings lead to 3-0 after missing on a penalty shot chance with 8 minutes remaining in the period after Christian Ehrhoff hooked the Kings forward. Nagy had a break after slipping past Ehrhoff, but the hook disrupted the scoring chance. Nabokov stood tall ont eh penalty shot, snuffing the attempt that was headed for the 5-hole.

San Jose dodged more bullets when Rob Blake missed converting on a 2-on-1 at 16:30 of the period.

Milan Michalek finally got the Sharks on the board 12:41 into the 3rd period, with his 7th goal of the season. The Czech winger ripped a shot right off a faceoff in the Kings zone. Joe Pavelski drew the puck over to his right after winning the drop in the left circle. Michalek's shot sailed over Labarbera's stick, tucking inside the left post.

The goal created a little energy in the building, which in turn got the Sharks to finally play at a tempo that they should have shown after a week off. Jonathan Cheechoo had a point blank shot in front of the Kings net, but his shot bounced off LaBarbera's shoulder and into the safety net.

When the Sharks did have the puck in the Kings zone, they seemed to put everything wide of the net. Patrick Marleau and Ehrhoff were the biggest offenders.

Game Notes:

Curtis Brown found himself in the press box after a short run in the lineup. Christian Ehrhoff returned to the ice, and played like he hasn't seen the ice in a while. Ehrhoff played tentatively, and made several mistakes throughout the evening.

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1 2 3 T
LA 2 0 0 2
SJ 0 0 1 1
1st period - 1, LA, Brown 9 (Preissing, Kopitar), 10:31. 2, LA, Kopitar 9 (Visnovsky, Brown), 19:26, (pp).
2nd period - Nagy, LA (missed penalty shot), 11:58.
3rd period - 3, SJ, Michalek 7 (Pavelski), 12:41.
1st period - McLaren, SJ (boarding), 0:31; Armstrong, LA (tripping), 5:20; Modry, LA (hooking) 12:07; Marleau, SJ (holding), 14:03; Ozolinsh, SJ (tripping), 18:22;
2nd period - Nagy, LA (tripping), 6:59;
3rd period - None.
Shots Saves
LA - LaBarbera 27 26
SJ - Nabokov 17 15
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
LA 6 5 6 17
SJ 7 13 7 27
Power Play Conversion
LA 1 of 3
SJ 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Jason LaBarbera
Anze Kopitar
Dustin Brown
Referees: Mike Leggo, Rob Schick. Linesmen: Lonnie Cameron, Mike Cvik.

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