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Two minute meltdown
Predators score 3 goals in a flash to take 3-2 win
3/26/09 - By Mike Lee -

The end of March can't come soon enough. In what has traditionally been a rallying point for the Sharks, this March has been a culmination of missteps, injuries and an about face from their early season dominance. A 2-0 lead over the Nashville Predators evaporated in a span of 2:38 as the Sharks lost for the 7th time in 13 tries this month. Their month has been a far cry from their 11-1-1 record last November.

Squaring off against a desperate Nashville team, the Sharks were unprepared to match the Predators urgency. Nashville hop-scotched the Edmonton Oilers for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference with the win. The Sharks on the other hand failed to grab the lead in the race for the President's Trophy.

Nashville's urgency resulted in a 2nd period knock out punch that San Jose could not recover from, even though they had almost 30 minutes to regroup.

In that span Radek Bonk, Martin Erat and Greg Zanon turned what appeared to be a Sharks smothering win upside down. Bonk cut the Sharks 2-0 lead in half at 7:34 of the middle period when Shea Webber sent a backhand pass to the Predators centerman from the left wing. Brad Lukowich pinched over to cover Webber who had skated past Dan Boyle, leaving Bonk all by himself on the right post. All Bonk had to do was get his stick on the puck for the easy tap in.

Erat would tie it up 2 minutes later on yet another defensive lapse. Steve Sullivan carried the puck around the Sharks net from left to right, but put on the breaks directly behind Evgeni Nabokov. Both Sharks defenders took the line to the right side of the net, leaving Erat all alone. After Sullivan changed directions, he simply slipped a 3 foot pass to Erat on the left post for the easy deposit.

Zanon gave Nashville he lead 39 seconds later on a shot from the blueline that Nabokov flat out missed. Several players skated within the vicinity of the net, but there was nothing but ice between Zanon and the Sharks goaltender. It almost appeared as if Nabokov was distracted by the movement out in front of the net and lost focus on the puck.

The Sharks jumped out to their lead on two power play goals, which seemed to be on its way to bigger and better things.

Joe Pavelski bagged his 22nd goal of the season at 15:23 of the opening period on a shot from the slot, after Christian Ehrhoff hit him with a pass from the blueline. Pavelski was cutting in on net from the left point, taking the pass which was parallel to the goal. The Sharks centerman then snapped a shot past Peka Rinne for the early Sharks lead. Devin Setoguchi added his 30th of the year 3:12 into the 2nd period on a rebound chance from the left side. Dan Boyle put a shot on net from the right point, and Milan Michalek tried jamming home the deflection but Rinne was there to deny the chance. The puck deflected over to the left post, where Setoguchi jammed it home.

The tide began to turn after Setoguchi's goal when Bonk jammed a shot on net after walking on net unattended.

Game Notes:

Sharks captain Patrick Marleaureturned to the Sharks lineup after missing Wednesday's game. Marleau and his wife welcomed new son Brody on Wednesday.


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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 1 1 0 2
NSH 0 3 0 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Pavelski 22 (Ehrhoff, Setoguchi), 15:23, (pp).
2nd period - 2, SJ, Setoguchi 30 (Michalek Boyle), 3:12, (pp). 3, NSH, Bonk 8 (Weber, Erat), 7:34, (pp). 4, NSH, Erat 17 (Sullivan, Weber), 9:33. 5, NSH, Zanon 4 (Smithson, Bonk), 10:12.
3rd period - None
Penalties
1st period - Nichol, NSH (high sticking), 14:45; Ehrhoff, SJ (tripping), 16:20.
2nd period - Tootoo, NSH (boarding), 2:49; Vesce, SJ (holding the stick), 3:42; Shelley, SJ (hooking), 7:02; O'Reilly, NSH (delay of game - puck over glass), 17:34.
3rd period - Pavelski, SJ (boarding), 4:08; Suter, NSH (cross checking), 17:30.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 33 30
NSH - Rinne 31 29
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 7 11 13 31
NSH 10 16 7 33
Power Play Conversion
SJ 2 of 4
NSH 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Radek Bonk
Shea Weber
Greg Zanon
Attendence
16,562
Officials
Referees: Martell, LaRue. Linesmen: Devorski, Sharrers.

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