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Losing streak reaches 5 games
No energy in 2-1 loss to Coyotes
12/12/09 - By Mike Lee -

Less than 24 hours after the Sharks dropped their fourth loss in a row, San Jose turned in one of their worst performances of the season, losing 2-1 to the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale on Saturday night. The Sharks fifth straight loss was also their third straight to a division opponent. They can complete the Pacific Division parlay by losing to Anaheim on Thursday night. Mediocre was the theme of the night for San Jose and they would pay the price.

More defensive miscues, and lack of any urgency doomed the Sharks, who last lost 5 straight games in February of 2008. Getting out-skated by a mid-tier team like Phoenix is a recipe for disaster, and the Sharks cooked up a batch of disaster pie.

San Jose formed a parade route to the penalty box, giving the Coyotes eight power play chances on the night. San Jose took three penalties in the opening period that were all lazy infractions that don’t happen when a team is skating well.

The Coyotes were out-shooting the Sharks 12-3, before a couple of Phoenix penalties allowed the Sharks to put the puck on net late in the period.

Unfortunately for San Jose, they couldn’t take advantage of their power play chances. Phoenix would capitalize on a Rob Blake slashing penalty early in the 2nd period. Radim Vrbata deflected a Keith Yandle shot from the blueline past Sharks goaltender Thomas Greiss.

Phoenix waited all of 95 seconds to score again.

Robert Lang would score for the first time in 13 games after Torrey Mitchell lost a faceoff in the Sharks zone, then lost his defensive assignment. Taylor Pyatt grabbed eh puck in the left corner then sent a centering pass to Lang in the slot as the Coyotes forward skated from left to right. Greiss could only wave at the 12-foot shot as it snapped past him for the 2-0 Coyotes lead.

A tripping penalty to Vern Fiddler late in the period gave the Sharks a chance to cut into the Coyote lead, but a lackluster power play unit would squander the opportunity. To make maters worse, Dan Boyle would take a bad holding penalty deep in the Sharks zone at the end of the penalty to Fiddler. So not only didn’t they convert, but they put the Coytoes right back on the power play.

Joe Pavelski missed on a chance in tight 5:12 into the 3rd period, but Coyotes netminder Ilya Bryzgalov shut the door with his left leg pad. Pavelski may have been too close to the goal and was unable to lift the puck.

Phoenix blew a golden chance when Daniel Winnick bounced a breakaway chance off Griess. Lauri Korpikoski was trailing on the play and the rebound kick right to his skates, but his momentum carried past the goal before he could gain control of the puck.

San Jose fell victim to another quick whistle by the referees after Pavelski jammed a puck that was caught under Bryzgalov’s pad.

Greiss would take a delay of game penalty after playing a puck outside of the trapezoid, but Yandle was sent off moments later for cross checking Patrick Marelau. Jim Vendermeer was sent off for interference a minute later, giving the Sharks a 4-on-3 power play.

Dany Heatley would take advantage by scoring his 21st of the year just 9 seconds into the man-advantage. Dan Boyle slid a pass to the Sharks sniper in the slot and Heatley cranked a shot that found the top left corner.

Sharks head coach Todd McLellan would pull Greiss in the last minute, but the wild flurry of shots, simply turned out to be a bunch of shots that stayed out of the net.

To add injury to insult, Taylor Pyatt hit Dan Boyle from behind in the final 5 seconds, sending the defenseman head first into the boards. Boyle remained on the ice well after the final horn, and had to be helped off the ice.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 1 1
PHO 0 2 0 2
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, PHO, Vrbata 9 (Yandle, Michalek), 3:40, (pp). 2, PHO, Lang 7 (Pyatt), 5:15.
3rd period - 3, SJ, Heatley 21 (Boyle, Thornton), 14:39, (pp).
1st period - Malhotra, SJ (interference), 2:01; Thornton, SJ (hooking), 6:37; Yandle, PHO (tripping), 11:54; Joslin, SJ (holding), 15:03; Upshall, PHO (slashing), 19:13.
2nd period - Blake, SJ (slashing), 2:16, McLaren, SJ (holding), 10:02; Fiddler, PHO (tripping), 12:36; Boyle, SJ (holding), 14:17; Huskins, SJ (hooking), 16:32.
3rd period - Greiss, SJ (delay of game), 13:07; Yandle, PHO (cross checking), 13:25; Vandermeer, PHO (interference), 14:28.
Shots Saves
SJ - Greiss 35 33
PHO - Bryzgalov 38 37
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 10 10 18 38
PHO 12 12 11 35
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 5
PHO 1 of 8
3 Stars of the Game
Ilya Bryzgalov
Zbynek Michalek
Rabim Vrbata
Referees: LaRue, StPierre. Linesmen: Nelson, Pare.

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