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Blues bring more misery
No answers for SJ on the road
3/12/09 - By Mike Lee

With a month to go in the regular season, the Sharks turned in another performance devoid of anything close playoff intensity on Thursday night in St Louis . Their 3-1 loss to the host Blues creates new questions about the viability of a prolonged run once the post season begins. After jumping out to an early lead, San Jose sat back and let St Louis put up three unanswered goals and lost for the sixth time in the last eight games.

After Patrick Marleau’s power play goal at 11:30 of the first period, the Sharks misfired on their next man-advantage chances, including three in the final 10 minutes of the game.

A T.J. Oshie boarding penalty put the Sharks on the power play at 10:29 of the 1st period, opening the door for San Jose . Marleau put a Christian Ehrhoff feed past Blues goaltender Chris Mason a minute later. Dan Boyle hit Ehrhoff with a pass from the blueline along the left wing boards. As Ehrhoff carried the puck toward the left corner, he put the puck on Marleau’s tape near the inside of the left circle for the one-timer that beat Mason to the stick side.

St Louis would tie the game with 3:12 left in the period on a Sharks turnover at center ice. Left winger David Perron picked off a weak dump in attempt by Ehrhoff, then skated the puck up ice. With rookie defenseman Derek Joslin barring down on him, Perron slid the puck to his left to Andy McDonald, who buried the pass past Brian Boucher.

Jody Shelley engaged Cam Janssen in a spirited fight 5 minutes into the 2nd period, but that was the only fight the Sharks had left in their game.

The Sharks fell prey to an odd play midway through the period, when Travis Moen tried to lay a check in front of the Blues bench. The Sharks forward ended up taking out a lineman, then got pinned under the official as the Blues skated in on Boucher with a 3-on-2 advantage.

Former Sharks prospect Brad Boyes was the trailer on the play, and snapped a shot from the high slot past Boucher for the 2-1 lead. Boyes didn’t even realize the puck had slipped past Boucher until the crowd jumped to their feet.

A slew of penalties to both teams prevented either side from establishing much flow. Doulas Murray was sent off for kneeing 20 seconds after Jamie McGinn was whistled for holding. Marc-Edouard Vlasic would follow that with a high-sticking penalty less than 20 seconds after that.

The Sharks penalty kill was the one right spot on the evening, suppressing the Blues extended 5-on-3 power play.

St Louis returned the favor by giving the Sharks three power play chances late in the game, including a tripping penalty by Oshie with 1:20 to play. Sharks head coach Todd McLellan pulled Boucher to give the Sharks the 2-man advantage, but they were unable to generate any pressure on Mason.

Barrett Jackman ended any suspense by intercepting a pass in his own zone and sending a shot the length of the ice into the empty net.

Game Notes:

Marleau's goal gave him 35 for the season, a new career high for the Sharks captain. He had 34 goals during the 2006-07 season. Tomas Plihal was injured during the morning skate, and was scratched from the lineup. The Sharks would not disclose what the injury is.


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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 1 0 0 1
STL 1 1 1 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Marleau 35 (Ehrhoff, Boyle), 11:30, (pp). 2, STL, McDonald 11 (Perron), 16:48.
2nd period - 3, STL, Boyes 28 (McDonald), 13:20.
3rd period - 4, STL, Jackman 4 (McKee), 19:34, (sh).
Penalties
1st period - Hinote, STL (interference), 2:04; Oshie, STL (boarding), 10:29.
2nd period - Shelley, SJ (fighting major), 4:58; Janssen, STL (fighting major), 4:58; Backes, STL (hooking), 6:21; Staubitz, SJ (roughing), 12:34; Jackman, STL (roughing), 12:34; Backes, STL (hooking), 19:24; Pavelski, SJ (slashing), 19:37.
3rd period - McGinn, SJ (holding), 3:28; Murray , SJ (kneeing), 3:48; Vlasic, SJ (high sticking), 4:06; Winchester, STL (boarding), 10:13; Woywitka, STL (holding), 14:05; Oshie, STL (tripping), 18:40.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Boucher 25 23
SJ - empty net 1 0
STL - Mason 25 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 7 14 4 25
STL 6 11 9 26
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 7
STL 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Chris Mason
T.J. Oshie
David Backes
Attendence
19,150
Officials
Referees: Dwyer, Peel. Linesmen: Nowak, Schachte.

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