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Comeback bid foiled by Greiss
Down 4-0, Sharks tie it, then lose on softie
10/6/09 - By Mike Lee -

Painful and whacky best describe the Sharks 6-4 loss in Los Angeles on Tuesday night, but in the end a loss. A terrible loss at that. After overcoming a 4-0 deficit with 4 straight power play goals, the Sharks gagged on a wayward centering pass from the corner that backup goaltender Thomas Greiss let deflect into his own goal during a 6-4 debacle at the Staples Center . In net after starter Evgeni Nabokov was pulled for allowing four goals himself, Greiss let Teddy Purcell’s improbable game winner slip through his fingers ruining an otherwise impressive comeback bid.

Defensive lapses and flat skating by a Sharks lineup that has turned in two duds in three games would provide ample opportunity for the Kings. They would take advantage of their chances.

Poor positioning by the Sharks blueliners allowed Wayne Simmonds to tap home a puck that Nabokov tried valiantly to defend. Alexander Frolov tried jamming a shot by the Sharks netminder from along side the left post, but Nabokov got his body in front of the shot. The puck squirted out to Michel Handzus in the slot for the put back chance. The puck hit the supine Nabokov, but it trickled to the right, where Simmonds was perched undefended for the easy tap in.

San Jose turned up the heat 4 minutes remaining in the opening period, but Kings netminder Jonathan Quick made a series of big saves after the Sharks top line had a series of chances in tight.

Frazer McLaren just missed scoring his first NHL goal late when he took a feed from the right corner to the net and put a point blank shot on Quick. The Kings goaltender stood tall to preserve the Los Angeles lead.

Ryane Clowe took a roughing penalty after the horn sounded, so the Sharks were forced to start the 2nd period short-handed. Los Angeles would capitalize on a failed clearing attempt by Manny Malhotra at the end of the penalty. The Kings maintained the zone then put a puck on net, before Ryane Smyth chipped home a deflection for the 2-0 lead.

The Sharks had a golden chance to cut into the Kings lead at the 9 minute mark, when Dany Heatley sprung Patrick Marleau with a breakaway chance, but Marleau’s backhand chance rolled off his stick allowing Quick to snuff out the low shot attempt.

The Kings made it 3-0 when Jack Johnson swatted a pass out of the air in front of Nabokov. Handzus carried the puck up the right wing boards and lifted a pass toward the front of the Sharks net. Johnson got a stick on the puck, knocking the waist high pass into the Sharks net.

Anze Kopitar pushed the lead to 4-0 just 54 seconds later on a shot from the outside of the right circle. Kopitar sent a laser that sailed over Nabokov’s left shoulder. San Jose head coach Todd McLellan immediately pulled Nabokov in favor of Thomas Greiss.

Things got ugly when Brad Staubitz caught Davis Drewiske with an elbow that leveled the Kings defenseman. Raitis Ivanans immediately tried going after Staubitz, but Jody Shelly interceded. Ivanans would then proceed to take out his frustration on Shelley’s helmet.

Devin Setoguchi finally got the Sharks on the board with a power play goal at 16:00. Joe Thornton sent a centering pass from the right corner to Setoguchi in the slot, where the Sharks winger one-timed the pass past Quick for this 2nd goal of the season.

Setoguchi would draw a 4 minute penalty on Frolov after getting cut with a high stick. Rob Blake would make it a 4-2 game by punching home his 1st goal of the season.

By scoring within the first half of the double minor, the Sharks had an additional two minutes of power play time, which carried over to the 3rd period. Setoguchi would strike again, tapping home a feed from Heatley at 1:01 of the period. Heatley took a feed from Jason Demers near the inside of the right circle, before pushing a pass toward the left post. All Setoguchi had to do was tap home his 3rd goal in as many games.

Heatley capped the improbable comeback with the Sharks 4th power play goal of the game at 14:24. With Jarrot Stoll in the penalty box for cross-checking, Heatley ripped a shot from the left wing, sending the puck between Setoguchi’s skates.

The Kings would strike just 26 seconds later when Teddy Purcell sent a puck in on net from the right corner. Greiss allowed the puck to hit his paddle and direct into his own goal from a terrible angle.

Drewiske would cap things with an empty-netter at 18:41 to seal the deal.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 2 2 4
LA 1 3 2 6
1st period - 1, LA, Simmons 1 (Handzus, Frolov), 5:49.
2nd period - 2, LA, Smyth 1 (Brown, Kopitar), 1:52, (pp). 3, LA, Johnson 1 (Handzus, Harrold), 11:20. 4, LA, Kopitar 2 (Doughty, Drewiske), 12:16. 5, SJ, Setoguchi 2 (Thornton, Blake), 16:00, (pp). 6, SJ, Blake 1 (Thornton, Heatley), 19:43, (pp).
3rd period - 7, SJ, Setoguchi 2 (Heatley, Demers), 1:01, (pp). 8, SJ, Heatley 1 (Boyle, Thornton), 14:24, (pp). 9, LA, Purcell 1 (Stoll), 14:50. 10, LA, Drewiske 1 (unassisted), 18:41, (en).
1st period - Clowe, SJ (roughing), 20:00.
2nd period - Boyle, SJ (hooking), 10:18; Smyth, LA (roughing), 10:18; Staubitz, SJ (charging), 13:24; Shelley, SJ (fighting major), 13:24; Ivanans, LA (fighting major), 13:24; Bench, LA (too many men), 14:51; Frolov, LA (high sticking- double minor), 17:52.
3rd period - Heatley, SJ (hooking), 9:32; Stoll, LA (cross checking), 13:15; Clowe, SJ (roughing), 19:46; Clowe, SJ (fighting major), 19:46; Simmonds, LA (fighting major), 19:46.
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 20 16
SJ - Greiss 9 8
LA - Quick 29 25
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 14 5 10 29
LA 10 12 8 30
Power Play Conversion
SJ 4 of 4
ANA 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Anze Kopitar
Michal Handzus
Devin Setoguchi
Referees: Joannette, Sutherland. Linesmen: Pare, Nelson.

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