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Lifeless loss in BC
Sharks drop 5th straight game
3/7/09 - By Mike Lee

More of the same tail-chasing by the Sharks, mixed with a date with a red-hot Vancouver Canucks team, resulted in the fifth consecutive loss for San Jose on Saturday night. Vancouver scored two 1st period goals, then cruised to a 3-1 win at GM Place . Roberto Luongo made 28 saves to lead the Canucks, who salvaged one of four games in the season series with the Sharks.

Brian Boucher failed to make the big save, and his teammates failed to play with any intensity en route to another lifeless loss. Once again the Sharks gave up the first goal, and allowed penalties to dictate the game.

Those two issues are continuously putting the Sharks in a hole. They would be unable to dig themselves out of this one as well.

The Canucks jumped out to an early lead, when Alex Edler pumped a shot from the blueline past Brian Boucher on a delayed penalty. Alex Burroughs parked in front of Boucher, creating a screen on the low line-drive.

The goal came after Darcy Hordichuk leveled Jody Shelley with a pair of right hooks minutes earlier. It marked the third consecutive time in the last week that the Sharks surrendered the initial score after a fight.

The Canucks smelled blood turned up the intensity. Mats Sundin scored less than 4 minutes later on a feed from Pavel Demitra to push the Vancouver lead to 2-0. While Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle chased Demitra behind the Sharks net, Sundin cut toward the net from the right circle, taking the feed in the slot uncontested and depositing a backhand chance in tight past Boucher.

Daniel Sedin appeared to make it 3-0, but only referee Justin St Pierre’s whistle saved them.

Milan Michalek had a golden opportunity to cut the Canucks lead in half with 6:25 to play in the period, but his point blank shot rang off the crossbar.

A string of penalties to San Jose prevented any flow in the 2nd period. When San Jose would get the puck close to the net, infractions like a high sticking call against Shelley would negate any chance for a scoring opportunity. Boyle’s 2nd interference penalty of the game gave the Canucks their best chance at scoring, but Boucher stood tall. Douglas Murray made the defensive play of the period when he hustled back to stop Vancouver on a 2-on-1 break after Alexei Semenov missed a check at his own blueline, springing a Canucks break.

A Kevin Bieksa hooking penalty at 18:22 finally gave the Sharks a man advantage, and Joe Thornton would capitalize. The Sharks took advantage of a Devin Setoguchi shot that rang off Rob Blake’s ankle. The shot floored Blake, then pin-balled out to Jonathan Cheechoo in the slot. Cheechoo redirected the puck to Joe Thornton who was cutting toward the net outside the right post. Thornton jammed the puck into the net to get the Sharks on the board, but Blake was helped off the ice.

Blake returned to start the 3rd period after getting treatment at the 2nd intermission.

A brainless holding penalty by Devin Setoguchi at 11:21 put the Canucks back on the power play, and the Sharks would pay. Kevin Bieksa put a shot on net from the left point, catching the inside of the right post, and the Sharks once again found themselves down by a pair of goals.

With the two goal deficit, Sharks head coach Todd McLellan was forced to pull Boucher with 2 minutes to play, and Steve Bernier took a roughing penalty late, but that didn’t get the puck any closer to Luongo.

Game Notes:

Travis Moen made his debut with San Jose , wearing #24. The Sharks new left wing saw 17:04 of ice time on 22 shifts, recording 3 shots on goal and 2 hits. Christian Ehrhoff’s poor play on Thursday night earned him a seat in the press box, after he was a healthy scratch on Saturday.


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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 0 1
VAN 2 0 1 3
1st period - 1, VAN, Edler 8 (Ohlund, Kesler), 3:15. 2, VAN, Sundin 7 (Demitra, Kesler), 6:02.
2nd period - 3, SJ, Thornton 18 (Cheechoo, Blake), 19:57, (pp).
3rd period - 4, VAN, Bieksa 11 (Salo, D. Sedin), 11:48, (pp).
Penalties
1st period - Shelley, SJ (roughing), 2:26; Hordichuk, VAN (roughing), 2:26; Semenov, tripping), 6:37; Burrows, VAN (roughing), 9:04.
2nd period - Semenov, SJ (hooking), 2:38; Shelley, SJ (high sticking), 6:58; Boyle, SJ (interference), 10:29; Bieksa, VAN (hooking), 18:22.
3rd period - Semenov, SJ (unsportsmanlike conduct), 9:48; O’Brien, VAN (unsportsmanlike conduct), 9:48; Setoguchi, SJ (holding), 11:21; Bernier, VAN (roughing), 19:23.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Boucher 29 26
VAN - Luongo 29 28
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 10 8 11 29
VAN 10 15 4 29
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 3
VAN 1 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Ryan Kesler
Roberto Luongo
Daniel Sedin
Attendence
18,630
Officials
Referees: Kowal, St Pierre. Linesmen: Cvik, Seitz.

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