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No encore in Pittsburgh
Sharks are flat in shootout loss
2/11/09 - By Mike Lee

24 hours after rolling to a big 5-2 win in one of the most anticipated match ups of the season, the Sharks failed to follow it up with much intensity. Their monster performance was followed up by a dud in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, as San Jose fell to the Penguins 2-1 in the shootout. Brian Boucher's 35 save performance was wasted by a lack of offensive support, sending the Sharks to their 4th loss in five games.

Joe Pavelski's goal at 11:07 of the 3rd period was all the scoring the Sharks could muster, and it looked as if it might kick start a mostly dormant Sharks roster. Pavelski swept home a Milan Michalek shot, to help San Jose tie the game at 1-1.

San Jose overcame a one-goal deficit in Boston the night before, but tired legs and missed opportunities would deny the Sharks. Mike Grier missed on two golden opportunities to put the Sharks on top in the final 5 minutes of regulation.

With Ryane Clowe in the penalty box for tripping at 15:36, the Sharks managed to turn aside the Penguins power play. In the final 30 seconds of the infraction, Grier found himself skating up ice uncontested with the puck and Marc-Andre Fleury as the only thing between him and a Sharks lead. The puck skipped on end, preventing Grier from getting a good shot off. Chance squandered.

Grier would find the puck on his tape with less than 30 seconds in regulation, but his point blank shot sailed over the crossbar. Another chance squandered.

The Penguins looked just as uninspired to grab the 2-points after right wing William Thomas gave them their 1-2 lead late in the 2nd period.

Rob Blake was the victim of a fluke bounce, after Thomas' shot from beyond the net, bounced off his stick and into the San Jose net. Blake was the beneficiary of a wild series of bounces in Boston, which resulted in a goal.

Boucher stood tall in net, stopping 14 shots in the final period of regulation, including several point blank shots during Clowe's penalty. He would only face one shot in the overtime period, which was a feat in itself after Blake took a holding penalty 39 seconds into the extra frame.

Skating 4-on-3, the Penguins couldn't generate any scoring chances and had to rely on Fleury to keep them in the game. The Penguins netminder stopped 36 shots on the night amd all three shots he faced in the shootout.

Michalek missed the net entirely with his chance, and Pavelski put a weak chance on net that Fleury easily turned aside. Petr Sykora and Evgeni Malkin were no more effective, putting flaccid shots on net.

Sydney Crosby put the Penguins up 1-0 in the shootout with a snap shot that tucked inside the left post, leaving Boyle as San Jose's last chance. The Sharks defenseman put a backhand attempt into Fleury's pads and the game was over.

Game Notes:

Ryan Vesce made his NHL debut for the Sharks, skating on the right wing with Tomas Plihal and Pavelski. Vesce skated 13 shifts for 6:48 of ice time and was a minus one. The rookie blocked two shots and won both faceoffs he took.


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1 2 3 OT SO T
SJ 0 0 1 0 0 1
PIT 0 1 0 0 1 2
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, PIT, Thomas 1 (Satan, Staal), 18:26.
3rd period - 2, SJ, Pavelski 14 (Michalek, Clowe), 11:07.
OVertime - None.
Shootout - PIT: Sykora (miss), Malkin (miss), Crosby (goal). SJ: Michalek (miss), Pavelski (miss), Boyle (miss).
1st period - None.
2nd period - Blake, SJ (hooking), 8:17.
3rd period - Staal, PIT (roughing), 4:46; Clowe, SJ (tripping), 15:36.
Overtime - Blake, SJ (holding), 0:39.
Shots Saves
SJ - Boucher 36 35
PIT - Fleury 37 36
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 15 6 14 2 37
PIT 11 10 14 1 36
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 1
PIT 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
MArc-Andre Fleury
Brian Boucher
William Thomas
Referees: McCauley, VanMassenhoven. Linesmen: Cherrey, Racicot.

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