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Horrendous start dooms Sharks
48 shots still nets loss
2/28/09 - By Mike Lee

The Sharks helped the Montreal Canadiens celebrate their centennial season with a big fat gift in the 1st period at the Bell Centre on Saturday night. San Jose gift wrapped three Montreal goals in a big red and blue bow, and the Canadiens used the charity to knock off the Sharks 3-2. Montreal used a 6:42 span to generate all the scoring needed to end the Sharks road trip on a losing note.

San Jose got off to a hot start out shooting the Canadiens 7-2 throuh the first 7 minute of the game, but goaltender Jaroslav Halak shut the door.

Halak would finish the evening with 46 saves, mostly of the perimeter variety that posed little threat. The Sharks out-chanced Montreal 16-6, but finishing just wasn’t to be on this night.

Montreal tough guy Georges Laraque took a run at Dan Boyle, so Jody Shelley engaged in a brief bout that ended with a Laraque left that caught Shelley in the chin. The fight would be a glimpse of the lumps were about to take on the score board.

Bad habits continued and the Sharks paid for it. A bad penalty, followed by a power play goal had Sano Jose playing catchup once again. Christian Ehrhoff put the Canadiens on the man-advantage with a poor hooking penalty at 10:26, then Andrei Markov deposited the first goal of the game on a blast from the point a minute later.

Montreal would add to their lead a little more than 3 minutes later when former Sharks defenseman Josh Gorges punched home his 3rd goal of the season on a nice feed from Mike D’Agostini. With the puck cycling around the end boards, D’Agostini fell to the ice with the puck at his feet, but he got a pass off to the slot. Gorges pinched in from the blueline and beat Milan Michalek to the puck.

The Canadiens too a 4 minute break before electing to strike again. With the Sharks chasing the puck rather than playing the positional system, Saku Koivu floated to the weak side of the rink, where Markov found him with a pass through the slot. Koivu easily deposited the pass for the big 3-0 lead.

The Sharks finally got on the board after Mike Komisarek was sent off interference 29 seconds into the 2nd period. Joe Pavelski would then convert on the power play after a Dan Boyle shot deflected off of Halak. The puck sat just outside the right post where Pavelski was parked for the put back.

Joe Thornton would make it a 3-2 game 49 seconds later after Patrick Marelau carried the puck behind the Canadiens net, then setup the big centerman with a feed to the slot. Thornton ’s shot hit off the left post, then bounced off Halek and into the net.

Thornton came within inches of tying the game less than 2 minutes later when he rang a shot off the post. The two San Jose goals generated an extra hop in the Sharks step, which resulted in more scoring opportunities.

Montreal native Marc-Edouard Vlasic made his first visit to the Bell Centre as a professional and almost scored himself with a power play chance bounced one off the cross bar at the 6 minute mark.

Halak kept the Canadiens in the lead with a nice save on a between the legs backhand shot from Marleau midway through the 3rd period. San Jose put plenty of rubber on net, but nothing seemed to challenge the Montreal netminder.

A series of miscues in their own end over the final 2 minutes killed any chance of generating one more scoring chance. The final 40 seconds of the game was played in San Jose ’s zone.

Game Notes:

With Vlasic’s assist on Pavelski’s goal, the Sharks now have four defenseman with at least 30 points, which is a franchise first. The Sharks misfired on a chance to distance themselves with the Detroit Red Wings who were blown out 8-0 in Nashville.


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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 2 0 2
MTL 3 0 0 3
1st period - 1, MTL, Markov 9 (Plekanec), 11:05, (pp). 2, MTL, Gorges 3 (D’Agostini, Koivu), 13:27. 3, MTL, Koivu 11 (Markov), 17:47.
2nd period - 4, SJ, Pavelski 18 (Boyle, Vlasic), 1:06, (pp). 5, SJ, Thornton 16 (Marleau, Ehrhoff), 1:55.
3rd period - None.
Penalties
1st period - Shelley, SJ (fighting major), 7:18; Laraque, MTL (fighting major), 7:18; Ehrhoff, SJ (hooking), 10:26.
2nd period - Komisarek, MTL (interference), 0:29; D’Agostini, MTL (hooking), 5:52.
3rd period - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Boucher 21 18
MTL - Halak 48 46
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 14 14 20 48
MTL 10 4 7 21
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 2
MTL 1 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Jaroslav Halak
Patrick Marleau
Andrei Markov
Attendence
21,273
Officials
Referees: Joannette, Furlatt. Linesmen: Nansen, Sericolo.

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