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Bad hockey comes home
Sharks get shutout at home by Blue Jackets
11/20/10 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks did their fans a favor on Saturday night, by not losing in anguishing style as they had in their two prior games. Their latest shortcoming was simply a poor performance from start to finish, in a 3-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The loss was the first home shutout loss in over a year, but yet another failure in the win-loss column. Rick Nash did all the damage, scoring all three Columbus goals.

The loss was also the first one surrendered to the Blue Jackets on home ice by San Jose is 6 years. The victory capped the California trifecta for the Blue Jackets, marking the first time they beat San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim on the same road trip.

“No growth tonight, none at all," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. "They were a very stubborn team for two periods. They stand the blue line very well. They back check like crazy. We were prepared to play an easy game, a fancy game at the blue line. By the time the third period came around and we figured it out, it was too late.”

Things started horribly for the Sharks after Jamal Mayers took a holding penalty 2:50 into the game. The Blue Jackets were able to convert on the power play, when Rick Nash swept a shot past Antero Niittymaki 41 seconds into the man-advantage. Nash took a pass from Derick Brassard on the left side and unloaded from 15 feet out for his 10th goal of the season. The shot clipped defenseman Dan Boyle's skate, redirecting it enough to pass between the pipes.

Columbus played a slow methodical game for the next 30 minutes, keeping the Sharks away from their net with solid defense and big dose of Mathieru Garon who stopped all 35 shots he faced.

“We told Matty (Garon) yesterday to prepare for today," said Blue Jackets head coach Scott Arniel. "He’s been excellent for us all year. He’s given us a chance to win every game that he’s been in. I’ve said it all along. We’ve got 1A and 1B when it comes to goaltenders. They get along so well and they work hard together. Our team plays well in front of both those guys and that’s a great sign.”

With San Jose generating little in terms of any offense, the Blue Jackets would wait out the Sharks who slipped late in the 2nd period. Niittymaki got caught in no-man’s land after trying to play a puck to his right.

Nash would grab a loose puck and circle around the back of the Sharks net and fire home his 2nd goal of the night, deflecting it off Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s stick. Niittymaki could only watch the puck hit the back of the net as he coasted back to his crease.

A hooking penalty to Derick Brassard late in the period gave the Sharks a chance to cut into the lead, but the cycle in the Columbus zone was just a series of passes that went everywhere except the Blue Jackets goal.

The Sharks had some work to do entering the 3rd period. A sure goal by Dany Heatley was denied by the Blue Jackets when R.J. Umberger snapped Heatley’s stick in half with slash after Garon made a save, but allowed the puck to fall dangerously to his side.

Umberger was sent off for the slash, but San Jose squandered that man advantage when Joe Pavelski took a tripping penalty 33 seconds later.

A Rostislav Klesla tripping penalty put the Sharks back on the power play at 7:38, but the lone shot they put on Garon, a Devin Setoguchi chance from 20 feet, clanked off the crossbar.

Ryane Clowe tried to light a fire under his own bench by engaging with Jared Boll with 8 minutes and change remaining in regulation. The two would exchange a handful of rabbit punches, but nothing of the lights out variety.

San Jose would pull Niittymaki with 2 minutes to play, but all that would do was setup the hat-trick for Nash, who bagged his 3rd of the game after Boyle coughed up a routine pass at the Blue Jackets blueline.

"It was one of those nights from the onset," said Boyle. "From the start of the game we were just off. We were slow out of our end. Just one of those nights. The puck's bouncing the wrong way, we're falling down, the passes are off. That being said, it was one of those nights we could have won an ugly game."

Game Notes:

Jason Demers was cut on his hand during a scrum in front of the Columbus net late in the 2nd period. He skated directly off the ice to get treatment.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
CBJ 1 1 1 3
SJ 0 0 0 0
1st period - 1, CBJ, Nash 10 (Brassard, Stralman), 3:31, (pp).
2nd period - 2, CBJ, Nash 11 (Voracek, Tyutin), 15:55.
3rd period - 3, CBJ, Nash 12 (Umberger, Methot), 19:05, (en).
Penalties
1st period - Mayers, SJ (holding), 2:50; Vermette, CBJ (delay of game – puck over glass), 18:15.
2nd period - Boyle, SJ (boarding), 4:42; Heatley, SJ (slashing), 6:57; Commodore, CBJ (tripping), 8:19; Brassard, CBJ (hooking,), 18:49.
3rd period - Umberger, CBJ (slashing), 0:52; Pavelski, SJ (tripping), 1:25; Klesla, CBJ (tripping), 7:38; Boll, CBJ (fighting major), 11:23; Clowe, SJ (fighting major), 11:23.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
CBJ - Garon 35 35
SJ - Niittymaki 26 24
SJ - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
CBJ 10 9 8 27
SJ 15 9 11 35
Power Play Conversion
CBJ 1 of 4
SJ 0 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Mathieu Garon
Rick Nash
Rastislav Klesla
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Dwyer, Walsh. Linesmen: Sharrers, Racicot.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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