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Sharks struggle but beat Islanders
Dan Boyle provides offensive support
11/11/10 - By Mike Lee -

The New York Islanders stumbled into San Jose on Thursday night primed for a beating, having lost eight straight games and playing 24 hours earlier in Southern California. They also hadn’t recorded a single point in the standings during their eight game slide, so the odds were all in the Sharks favor. Given all that, the Sharks still required a shootout to secure the two points that they should have locked up in regulation.

Devoid of any big name players on their roster, the Islanders look more like a minor league franchise on paper. That all went out the window, with the Sharks still struggling to find some cohesiveness. It was the home rested team that played sluggishly throughout the night, generating much in the form of scoring chances. It would take a 2-man advantage to record their only regulation goal. The long range shot seems to be the offensive weapon of choice for San Jose, but again that did little to create any serious scoring opportunities.

“We haven’t been scoring a lot of goals obviously it took to the end of the shootout, but two points are in the bank and it hasn’t been happening often enough so we’ll take it tonight,” siad Sharks head coach Todd McLellan

The Sharks decided to play with fire early in the contest, repeatedly handing the Islanders the puck in their own zone. Kent Huskins and Niklas Wallin had a pair of glaring giveaways that turned into Islander scoring chances.

Jack Hillen would give the Sharks a power play at 16:54 of the opening period, but it was New York that would get the majority of scoring chances on the San Jose man advantage. A sloppy showing on the power play negated any serious chance at getting a puck past Islanders goaltender Dwayne Roloson. Hillen almost had a breakaway chance after leaving the penalty box, but Jason Demers stabbed a lead pass over the glass with a diving play.

A Blake Comeau interference penalty gave the Sharks another power play early in the 2nd period, but once again a lack of cohesion with the man advantage really hurt the sharks. A limp pass by Demers turned into a breakaway chance for Josh Bailey, giving the Islanders another short-handed chance, but Niittymaki made the save.

P.A. Parenteau would eliminate all the white space on the score sheet with an Islanders goal at 4:51 of the period, snapping a long shot from the high slot past Antero Niittymaki. Parenteau used a screen by a group of bodies in from of the Sharks netminder to score his 4th goal of the season. It was the first time the Islanders grabbed an initial lead in nine games.

Hillen would take another interference penalty with 6 minutes to play, which was followed by a delay of game penalty by Mike Mottau 6 seconds later to give the sharks a lengthy 5-on-3 power play.

Dan Boyle would make the Islanders pay for the infractions with a wrist shot that beat Roloson at 14:26. The Sharks defenseman snapped an 18-foot wrist shot that sailed over the Islander goaltender’s left shoulder.

Joe Pavelski appeared to break out of his slump with a goal early in the 3rd period after he deposited the puck in a wide open net, but the would-be go-ahead goal was waved off because Logan Couture was ruled to be in the crease. Roloson had mishandled the puck near the end boards, and couldn’t get back into the crease because Couture was standing near the right post, cutting off the Islanders netminder.

"That's the call they make, and that's all it is," Pavelski said after the game. "I don't know what exactly happened. I assume it's (Couture) there, but he's out of the crease too."

San Jose spent the rest of the period sending long range shots that Roloson gobbled up. It was reminiscent of his playoff performance against the Sharks three seasons ago when he played for the Edmonton Oilers. Lots of rubber thrown his way, but nothing challenged the goaltender.

The only thing even semi-interesting was a Boyle shot that caught Roloson in the mask after it was deflected in the slot. The shot dropped the netminder, drawing a stoppage.

“Although we did not have the territorial play, we did outshoot them in the third period," said Islanders head coach Scott Gordon. "We did not give them a lot, even though they kept coming. We did a good job on defending in our zone, and not allowing any opportunities at all.”

In the shootout Couture set the tone with a backhand shot that beat Roloson through the five-hole goal after a dipsy-doodle move in the slot. Parenteau followed that with a shot that missed high. McLellen went with Pavelski as his second shooter, but the centerman’s troubles continued with a shot that was stuffed against the right post by Roloson.

Niittymaki made the play of the game for San Jose gloving a backhand chance by Frans Nielsen with a wave of his glove. Boyle ended it with a deek at the top of the crease and a backhand shot that beat Roloson stick side.

Niittymaki summed up the shootout best.

"It's great when you win, it sucks when you lose," quipped the goaltender.

Game Notes:

Joe Thornton retured to the ice after serving his two-game suspension for his hit on David Perron. Thornton was held scoreless.

"Timing was a little off, but that's to be expected," Thornton said. "It was nice to get back there and compete with the guys. I'll be better next game."


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Scoring
1 2 3 OT SO T
NYI 0 1 0 0 0 1
SJ 0 1 0 0 1 2
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, NYI, Parenteau 4 (Hillen, Taveres), 4:51. 2, SJ, Boyle 2 (Pavelski, Marleau), 14:26, (pp).
3rd period - None.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - SJ: Couture (goal), Pavelski (miss), Boyle (goal). NYI: Parenteau (miss), Nielsen (miss).
Penalties
1st period - Wallin, SJ (delay of game – puck over glass), 12:21; Hillen, NYI (hooking), 16:54.
2nd period - Comeau, NYI (interference), 1:05; Gervais, NYI (cross checking),7:42; Hillen, NYI (interference), 14:04; Mottau, NYI (delay of game – puck over glass), 14:10.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
NYI - Roloson 38 37
SJ - Niittymaki 25 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
NYI 8 7 7 3 25
SJ 12 18 8 0 38
Power Play Conversion
NYI 0 of 1
SJ 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Dan Boyle
Antero Niittymaki
Dwayne Roloson
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Auger, LaRue. Linesmen: Lazarowich, Cvik.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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