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Sharks lay eggs in loss to Avalanche
Strong start overshadowed by costly mistakes
4/4/10 - By Mike Lee -

Facing a desperate Colorado Avalanche team on enemy ice, the Sharks got a taste of the playoffs on Easter Sunday in Denver . Hopefully they’ll take things more seriously when it counts come the second season. San Jose dominated for the first 20 minutes, then stank it up by giving up four straight goal, before tying the game in the 3rd period. Colorado would win the game on an overtime goal by John-Michael Liles after the Sharks had killed off a big penalty in the extra period.

The Sharks got into the holiday spirit by laying enough eggs to lose after grabbing the Avalanche by the necks early on.

Douglas Murray gave San Jose the 1-0 lead 8 minutes into the contest on a blast from the left point that beat Colorado netminder Craig Anderson. San Jose was swarming in the offensive zone, but the big blast is what finally cracked through on the score sheet.

The fourth line created some offense with a great breakout that had all three forwards flying through the neutral zone. Jamie McGinn capped a three on two rush with a wrister from the left dot that found the back of the net 56 seconds after Murray ’s goal.

Missed opportunities would bite San Jose .

A Kyle Quincey tripping penalty at 11:35 gave the Sharks a chance to push the lead to three goals, but defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic coughed up the puck just as Quincey was exiting the penalty box. Rob Blake decided to pinch in from the right point, leaving the whole backline exposed. Ryan O’Reilly grabbed the turnover and hit Quincey with a lead pass that setup a 1-on-none breakaway. Quincey buried the chance to cut the Sharks lead in half.

The Sharks got themselves into hot water midway through the 2nd period when Ryane Clowe took a goaltender interference penalty at 9:12, then defenseman Rob Blake was called for tripping 1:26 later, after his stick got caught in TJ Galiardi’s skate.

San Jose would stop the Colorado power play by preventing any shots on goal, but they couldn’t stop Peter Mueller, who would proceed to score his 3rd and 4th goals against the Sharks in less than a week. The Avalanche forward raced up the right wing on a 2-on-1, before snapping a shot past Nabokov at 13:58.

Mueller would give the Avalanche the lead with 1:53 left in the period after the Sharks missed on a rush into the Colorado zone. Dany Healtey tried making a pass to Patrick Marleau in front of the Colorado net, but the puck deflected off Marleau’s skate. Scott Hannan scooped up the loose puck and pushed it to Matt Duchene. Mueller took a drop pass as he was cutting across the slot, then roofed his 13th goal of the season.

Scott Nichol would take a slashing penalty at the end of the period, which would carry over into the 3rd. Colorado took advantage by jumping on the Sharks just 20 seconds into the final frame. Paul Stastny whipped a shot from the outside of the left post after Milan Hejduk tried jamming a shot past Nabokov.

Patrick Marleau made it a 4-3 game with his 43rd goal of the season at 8:13 on a bullet from the slot after Heatley served up a pass from the right wing boards.

San Jose would tie the game back up at 14:41 on Joe Pavelski’s 24th of the season. Heatley setup the goal by stick-handling around a Colorado defender near the bottom of the right circle and putting a shot on Anderson . The puck deflected off the Colorado netminder, bouncing out to the Pavelski, who swatted it into the Avalanche net.

Rob Blake laid out Mueller with a hit against the glass behind the Sharks goal, knocking the Colorado forward out of the game with three minutes left. The Pepsi Center crowd wanted a boarding penalty called, but replays showed that Blake hit Mueller in the shoulder, knocking him awkwardly into the boards.

Clowe was whistled for holding the stick right at the period horn, giving the Avalanche a full two minute power play in the overtime period. The 4-on-4 format in the extra session, meant that the Sharks had to defend the penalty with only three skaters on the ice.

San Jose would kill off the penalty, but Liles would end it by deflecting a Ryan Wilson shot from the right point. The defenseman cycled in front of the net after missing on a shot chance, and got a stick on the shot, lifting it over Nabokov’s left shoulder for the game winner.

Game Notes:

Joe Thornton returned to the lineup after missing the last two games with a leg injury. He would finish the evening with a pair of secondary assists.


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1 2 3 OT T
SJ 2 0 2 0 4
COL 1 2 1 1 5
1st period - 1, SJ, Murray 4 (Boyle, Thornton), 8:01. 2, SJ, McGinn 9 (Ortmeyer, Mitchell), 8:57. 3, COL , Quincey 6 (O’Reilly), 13:41.
2nd period - 4, COL , Mueller 12 (Foote, Cumiskey), 13:58. 5, COL , Mueller 13 (Duchene, Hannan), 18:07.
3rd period - 6, COL , Stastny 19 (Hejduk, Mueller), 0:20, (pp). 7, SJ, Marleau 43 (Heatley, Thornton), 8:13. 8, SJ, Pavelski 24 (Heatley, Clowe), 14:41.
Overtime - 9, COL , Liles 6 (Wilson, Hejduk), 2:59.
1st period - Quincey, COL (tripping), 11:35; Yelle , COL (tripping), 16:35; Yelle , COL (delay of game – puck over glass), 19:03.
2nd period - Clowe, SJ (goaltender interference), 9:12; Blake, SJ (tripping), 10:38; Nichol, SJ (slashing), 19:13.
3rd period - Heatley, SJ (interference), 4:22; Vlasic, SJ (interference), 11:26; Clowe, SJ (holding the stick), 20:00.
Overtime - Vlasic, SJ (game misconduct), 2:59.
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 40 35
COL - Anderson 22 18
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 10 7 5 0 22
COL 5 14 17 5 40
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 3
COL 1 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
John-Michael Liles
Peter Mueller
Kyle Quincey
Referees: Peel, Watson. Linesmen: Morin, Schachte.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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