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Bad start, good middle, poor end
Sharks overcome 4-1 deficit, lose in shootout
3/25/09 - By Mike Lee -

A porous San Jose defense allowed the Chicago Blackhawks to storm to a 4-1 lead at the United Center on Wednesday night. A noble comeback would help send the game to overtime, but a poor performance in the shootout ended San Jose ’s comeback bid in a 6-5 loss. San Jose chipped away at Chicago ’s lead, but it was all for not after Joe Pavelski and former Blackhawk favorite Jeremy Roenick misfired in the shootout.

The Blackhawks wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, opening the game with their up tempo style which has been their trademark this season. Martin Havlat deposited a put back after centerman Dave Bolland rang a shot off both posts just 67 seconds into the game. Bolland’s shot deflected off the left post, before skipping along the goal line and hitting the opposite pipe. It then deflected out into the slot, where Havlat was positioned for the return feed.

An Adam Burish hooking penalty put the Sharks on the power play at 2:33 , and Devin setoguchi would answer with his 28th goal of the season. The Sharks forward ripped a shot from the high slot that zipped past Nikolai Khabibulin catching the upper left corner of the net.

Sharks netminder Evgeni Nabokov gave the Blackhawks the lead at 8:43 , by allowing a routine shot slip pas him. Chicago defenseman Dustin Byfuglien carried the puck across the blueline and sent a wrist shot in from 55 feet. Nabokov got a piece of the puck, but it wasn’t enough to deny Byfuglien from bagging his 13th goal of the season.

Nabokov’s night got worse when his defense coughed the puck up deep in the San Jose zone, and Andrew Ladd converted the turnover at 9:44 . Alexei Semenov tried cycling the puck out of the Sharks zone near the left corner, but Bolland picked his pocket. Havlat then sent a feed to the slot where Ladd was one timed the pass into the San Jose net.

Jonathan Toews would make it 4-1 Chicago when he got his stick on a Cam Barker shot that deflected over Nabokov. Semenov failed to clear the Blackhawks Captain out of the crease area, then he added to the issue by helping the puck across his own goal line.

Jamie McGinn helped the Sharks cut the Chicago lead in half with a shot that was helped by a fortuitous deflection just 15 seconds later. McGinn sent a shot in from the left wing boards, bouncing it off of Khabibulin. The puck then kicked out into the slot, hitting the skate of defenseman Niklas Hjalmersson, doing a 180 back into the net.

Marc-Edouard Vlassic scored the Sharks second goal of the period on a blast from the left point that tucked under the crossbar at 11:37 . Jonathan Cheechoo created a distraction as he crashed the net from the right side, right as Vlasic’s shot got to the crease.

With the Sharks trying to score the equalizer, another defensive lapse accomplished exactly the opposite outcome. Ladd and Bolland teamed up to put the Blackhawks up by 2 goals once again at 5:35 of the 3rd period on a set deflection that showcased the defensive issues that have beset the Sharks recently. Ladd dropped the puck to Bolland near the left dot, before heading to the net. Bolland then drove to the slot before sliding the puck back to Ladd who was parked outside the left post. With Nabokov challenging Bolland up high, Ladd easily redirected the puck into a wide open net.

Setoguchi made it a 5-4 game with 5:07 to play when Joe Pavelski hit him with a 50-foot pass, springing the right wing up the ice. Setoguchi streaked past Blackhawks defenseman Brian Cambell on his way to the net, where he lifted a backhand shot over Khabibulin’s left shoulder.

Joe Thornton got in on the act with 2:08 to play taking a Douglas Murray up the right wing, before cutting to the net and sliding a shot under Khabibulin’s right pad. Thornton was missing in action for most of the game, but emerged to do the improbable late.

Milan Michalek came closest to scoring in the overtime period when he took a feed at the Chicago blueline and raced around the left side to put a shot in on goal. Chicago used a late flurry to generate three quality scoring chances as the extra period expired.

In the shootout, Patrick Kane beat Nabokov with a backhand move. Pavelski hit the crossbar with a simple wrist shot. Toews went 5-hole for Chicago ’s 2nd goal, the Jeremy Roenick pumped a shot right into Khabibulin’s chest to end the game.

Game Notes:

Sharks captain Patrick Marleau remained in San Jose to be with his wife, who was due to deliver the couple’s second child. San Jose had 4 rookies in the lineup.


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Scoring
1 2 3 OT SO T
SJ 1 2 2 0 0 5
CHI 3 1 1 0 1 6
1st period - 1, CHI, Havlat 25 (Bolland, Seabrook), 1:07 . 2, SJ, Setoguchi 28 (Ehrhoff, Boyle), 4:19 , (pp). 3, CHI, Byfuglien 13 (Barker), 8:43 . 4, CHI, Ladd 12 (Havlat, Bolland), 9:44 .
2nd period - 5, CHI, Toews 30 (Barker, Sharp), 8:27 . 6, SJ, McGinn 4 (Moen, Murray), 8:42 . 7, SJ, Vlasic (Cheechoo, Thornton), 11:37.
3rd period - 8, CHI, Ladd 13 (Bolland, Hjalmarsson), 5:35 . 9, SJ, Setoguchi 29 (Pavelski), 14:53 . 10, SJ, Thornton 24 ( Murray ), 17:52.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - CHI: Kane (goal), Toews (goal). SJ: Pavelski (miss), Roenick (miss).
Penalties
1st period - Burish, CHI (hooking), 2:33 ; Vesce, SJ (interference), 16:57.
2nd period - Boyle, SJ (holding), 1:31.
3rd period - Keith, CHI (delay of game – puck over glass), 9:38.
Overtime - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 32 27
CHI - Khabibulin 28 23
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 9 6 11 2 28
CHI 14 9 7 2 32
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 2
CHI 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Jonathan Toews
Andrew Ladd
Devin Setoguchi
Attendence
21,812
Officials
Referees: Rehman, Watson. Linesmen: Arnell, Sharrers.

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