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Not so great ending in the Rockies
Sharks blow 2-goal lead in 3rd period
11/17/10 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks thought they had figured out how to win on the road Wednesday night in Denver after staking themselves to a 3-1 lead through two periods. They still have some work to do. The Colorado Avalanche scored a pair of 3rd period goals to send the game to overtime, then bagged the game winner 2:07 into the extra session on a Kevin Porter goal.

After scoring 6 goals against the Los Angeles Kings and controlling the first 40 minutes of the game, the Sharks imploded, coughing up a point on a night when they could have made up more ground on the division leading Kings.

San Jose would outshoot the Avalanche 43-22, which included 15 shots in the 3rd period, but Colorado goaltender Peter Budaj stood on his head. That and goal by Chris Stewart and Paul Stastny in the 3rd period setup the improbable comeback.

The bitter ending was a far cry from the beginning of the contest. Logan Couture staked the Sharks to a 1-0 lead with his 7th goal of the season just 42 seconds into the contest. Ryane Clowe threw a puck on net from the slot that Budaj got a piece of, but it dropped behind him in the crease. Couture stabbed at it, poking it home as the Avalanche goaltender tried to reach back and sweep it clear.

Kevin Shattenkirk would tie things up with 1:33 remaining in the period, sliding a shot past Antero Niittymaki after Milan Hejduk sent a pass from the slot to the left dot. There was little Niittymaki could do on the play with several bodies screening him in front of the net.

San Jose took control of things early in the 2nd period on a Dan Boyle goal 1:29 in. Joe Thornton setup the goal with a pass from behind the Colorado net. Boyle was positioned on the left side, near the bottom of the circle. Budaj was forced to cover the right side of the net with Thornton looming and Dany Heatley driving down the slot. Thornton’s pass hit Boyle for the one-timer, giving the Sharks the 2-1 lead.

They would extend that lead to 3-1 on defenseman Mike Moore’s 1st career NHL goal at 9:14 of the period. The rookie blueliner ripped a shot from the highs slot that was partially deflected by a Colorado player in front of Budaj.

The wheels would come off 8:38 into the 3rd period when Stewart took a feed from John Michael Liles at the Sharks blueline and raced past Moore. He would carry the puck on net and put a backhand shot past Niittymaki. Moore was caught flat-footed on the play, but Niittymaki didn’t help matters by letting the soft shot past him.

Stastny would tie the game with 5:11 left in regulation with a controversial goal from the right dot. The problem was that Avalanched defenseman Adam Foote ran a pick and interfered with Jason Demers and Jamie McGinn, preventing both players from defending Stastny’s shot.

The overtime period was an extension of the 3rd in terms of bad Sharks timing and bad decisions. Skating 4-on-4, the Sharks pressed with three skaters deep in the Colorado zone. Joe Pavelski coughed up the puck near the Avalanche crease, allowing Scott Hannan to spring Porter.

As the Colorado forward skated up the left wing, Sharks defenseman Kent Huskins was the only player back. Huskins overcommitted toward the boards, allowing Porter to cut back and make a bee-line for the Sharks goal. All Huskins could do was flail at Porter as the Avalanche forward put a backhand shot past Niittymaki for the game winner.


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Scoring
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 1 2 0 0 3
COL 1 0 2 1 4
1st period - 1, SJ, Couture 7 (Clowe, Pavelski), 0:42. 2, COL, Shattenkirk 1 (Hejduk, Liles), 18:27, (pp).
2nd period - 3, SJ, Boyle 3 (Thornton, Clowe), 1:09. 4, SJ, Moore 1 (Heatley), 9:14.
3rd period - 5, COL, Stewart 11 (Liles), 8:38. 6, COL, Stastny 8 (Stewart, Jones), 14:49.
Overtime - 7, COL, Porter 4 (Hannan), 2:07.
Penalties
1st period - Yip, COL (high sticking - double minor), 8:00; Stastny, COL (slashing), 12:13; Porter, COL (hooking), 15:46; Boyle, SJ (hooking), 16:49.
2nd period - Couture, SJ (interference), 3:27; Shattenkirk, COL (delay of game - puck over glass), 7:04.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niittymaki 22 18
COL - Bbudaj 43 40
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 13 15 15 0 43
COL 9 3 8 2 22
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 5
COL 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Kevin Porter
Chris Stewart
Dan Boyle
Attendence
12,436
Officials
Referees: Vinnerborg, Walkom. Linesmen: Lazarowich, Gibbs.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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