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Another uninspired home loss
2/14/08 - by Mike Lee

With the longest road trip of the season looming, the Sharks squared off with one of the Western Conference cellar dwellers on Thursday night. There would be no love for the home fans on this night however. The visiting Edmonton Oilers jumped out to a 2-goal lead in the 2nd period, and never looked back as the Sharks succumbed to a 3-2 loss at HP Pavilion. San Jose shifted away from the up tempo style that led to an overtime loss to Calgary on Tuesday, playing a more disinterested game.

The loss was especially disheartening, because the division leading Dallas Stars also lost on Thursday night. With Anaheim idle, the Sharks could have jumped back into 2nd place in the division, while pulling to within 3 points of the division lead.

The Sharks set the table for the Oilers early in the 1st period, when Sandis Ozolinsh and Milan Michalek took simultaneous interference penalties. Edmonton enjoyed a 5-on-3 advantage for a full 2 minutes, but couldn't muster any serious scoring chances on the power play.

The Oilers returned the favor 10 minutes later when Kyle Brodziak and Ladislav Smid drew penalties 19 seconds apart. San Jose was equally ineffective on the 2 man advantage, wasting a golden opportunity to jump on Edmonton. San Jose only mustered a single shot on goal, with a power play that handled the situation too casually.

The Sharks would enjoy 4 more power play opportunities in the period, but the anemic special teams unit could not put together any semblance of a threat. The period would end with Jody Shelly earning a double minor for roughing after he skated to the defense of teammate Steve Bernier, who was getting mugged in front of the Oilers bench by Fernando Pisani and Ethan Moreau.

Ales Hemsky would make the Sharks pay for Shelley's infraction with a deflection on the power play that carried over into the 2nd period. Sam Gagner tried backhanding a shot on net from the bottom of the left circle, but the puck sailed wide left. Hemsky was parked just outside the left post and chipped the Gagner feed past Evgeni Nabokov for the 1-0 Oiler lead.

The Sharks lack of intensity cost them mid-way through the period when Brodziak punched in a deflection in front of the net. San Jose's defense got caught flat-footed as Zach Stortini slid a backhand pass across the slot that caught Brodziak in the skates. The Oilers forward gathered the puck, then chipped home his 9th of the season for the 2-0 Oilers lead.

The Sharks would finally respond with a goal at 16:43 of the middle period. Joe Pavelski would punch home a deflection from the slot after Marc-Edouard Vlasic put a shot off Oilers goaltender Mathieu Garon. Michalek created the chance by winning a battle along the end boards with a strong forecheck.

Edmonton opened the 3rd period with more jump than the Sharks, and were rewarded with a Fernando Pisani goal 3:33 in. Ethan Moreau blocked a shot in the high slot, deflecting the puck out in to the neutral zone. Pisani scooped it up and raced in on Nabokov uncontested.

Ozolinsh didn't help the sharks cause when he drew a holding penalty at the 7 minute mark, but Craig Rivet and Mike Grier hooked up for a short-handed goal to cut Edmonton's lead to 3-2. Rivet chipped the puck over the Oilers defense as Grier slipped past them at the blueline. Grier then beat Garon with a shot to the 5-hole.

Unlike San Jose's prevent fiasco on Tuesday night, the Oilers applied a constant forecheck that kept the Sharks from generating any offense.

Sharks head coach Ron Wilson would pull Nabokov with a minute remaining, then Edmonton would make things interesting when Staios would get called for hooking with 39 seconds left in regulation. Jarrod Stoll would pick up an additional hooking penalty with 9 seconds left, but the 6-on-3 couldn't get the puck on net.

Game Notes:

Patrick Marleau missed his second consecutive game. Marleau continues to nurse a groin injury. The Sharks power play went 0-for-8.

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1 2 3 T
EDM 0 2 1 3
SJ 0 1 1 2
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, EDM, Hemsky 15 (Gagner, Penner), 1:31, (pp). 2, EDM, Brodziak 9 (Stortini, Glencross), 9:33. 3, SJ, Pavelski 12 (Vlasic, Michalek), 16:43.
3rd period - 4, EDM, Pisani 6 (Moreau), 3:34. 5, SJ, Grier 7 (Rivet), 8:34, (sh).
1st period - Stoll, EDM (slashing), 0:09; Ozolinsh, SJ (interfernece), 4:47; Michalek, SJ (interference), 4:47; Bodziak, EDM (hooking), 11:18; Smid, EDM (delay of game - puck over glass),11:37; Hemsky, EDM (unsportsmanlike conduct), 15:55; Reasoner, EDM (slashing), 18:42; Moreau, EDM (roughing), 19:41; Shelley, SJ (roughing), 19:41; Shelley, SJ (roughing), 19:41.
2nd period - Staios, EDM (unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:52; Goc, SJ (unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:52.
3rd period - Ozolinsh, SJ (holding), 7:09; Moreau, EDM (delay of game - puck over glass), 13:11; Staios, EDM (hooking), 19:21; Stoll, EDM (hooking),
Shots Saves
EDM - Garon 30 28
SJ - Nabokov 18 15
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
EDM 6 6 6 18
SJ 8 14 8 30
Power Play Conversion
EDM 1 of 4
SJ 0 of 8
3 Stars of the Game
Mathieu Garon
Kyle Brodziak
Zach Stortini
Referees: Koharski, Kozari. Linesmen: Kovachik, Murphy.

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