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Inconsistent Sharks stink up British Columbia
Canucks score at will against lost visitors
11/26/10 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks continued to confuse the heck out of everyone on Friday night, following up their big win over the Chicago Blackhawks with a stinker in Vancouver. They looked nothing like the team that blew through Chicago two days earlier, and subsequently dropped a 6-1 decision to the host Canuck at Rogers Center in British Columbia. Antti Niemi earned a second consecutive start, but his teammates hung him out to dry with one of their worst defensive performances of the season.

Inconsistency has been the baffling thing about the Sharks game this season. Friday night's performance solidified that point. A lack of intensity out of the gate allowed the Canucks to set the tone and take it to San Jose.

The Sharks opened the game flat and paid for it midway through the opening period. Vancouver won a faceoff in the Sharks zone before Alex Edler stepped into a shot from the left point. Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi made the save but gave a juicy rebound to Jeff Tambellini in the high slot. Two Sharks defenders got caught up with Mason Raymond above the crease, allowing Tambellini to rip a shot inside the left post for the 1-0 Canucks lead.

Vancouver was out-shooting San Jose 13-2 through the first 15 minutes of the contest before Dany Heatley and Joe Thornton teamed up to get the Sharks on the board. Thornton carried the puck up the left side and blasted a shot that bounced off Roberto Luongo back out into the slot. The puck landed right on Heatley's stick for the follow up shot that split Luongo's pads.

San Jose just missed on a follow up chance a minute later when a Joe Pavelski shot was denied by a nice Luongo kick save, but the puck again deflected out in front of the net where Logan Couture just missed poking it home.

The 2nd period opened with a bit more enthusiasm from the Sharks lineup, but a bad turnover at their own blueline would end up in their net 2:36 into the period. Jannik Hansen picked up a Dan Hamhuis deflection and skated up the left wing before sending a backhand pass through the slot to Raffi Torres on the off wing. Torres one-timed the feed inside the right post for the 2-1 Canucks lead.

Vancouver would tack on another goal less than 2 minutes later after former Sharks forward Mikael Samuelsson carried the puck up the right side, put on the breaks and used a Keny Huskins screen to slip a shot past Niemi at 4:24. Huskins was chasing a Canucks forward to the right corner, so Samuelsson waited for the moment when the Sharks defenseman would cross in front of his own goaltender before wristing home his 5th of the season.

San Jose would outshoot the Canucks 16-6 in the period, but the two Vancouver goals would loom over the Sharks. They would also lose Devin Setoguchi during the period who was

Dan Boyle all but ended things when he made an unthinkable pass up the middle of his own zone right to Samuelsson that ended up in the Sharks net. There were no Sharks within 30 feet of Boyle's pass, so Samuelsson simply received the gift and snapped a long shot past Niemi as the Sharks defenseman tried to dive in front of the shot.

Vancouver would start shooting fish in a barrel to close out the game. Alex Burrows would score his 3rd goal of the season, one-timing a Henrik Sedin feed from three feet out at 14:50.

Keith Ballard would get in on the act, deflecting a long shot off Torrey Mitchell for his 1st of the season and first as a Canuck with just under 4 minutes to play. Patrick Marleau and Huskins would finish the night with a minus 4 each.

Game Notes:

Scott Nichol was scratched after catching a puck in the eye during the morning skate.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 1 0 0 1
VAN 1 2 3 6
1st period - 1, VAN, Tambellini 3 (Edler, Kesler), 9:32.
2nd period - 3, VAN, Torres 8 (Hansen, Hamhuis), 2:36. 4, VAN, Samuelsson 5 (Glass), 4:24.
3rd period - 5, VAN, Samuelsson 6 (unassisted), 7:00. 6, VAN, Burrows 3 (H. Sedin, D. Sedin), 14:50. 7, VAN, Ballard 1 (unassisted), 16:38.
Penalties
1st period - Boyle, SJ (high sticking), 11:48. 2, SJ, Heatley 9 (Thornton, Boyle), 15:22.
2nd period - Ballard, VAN (hooking), 15:27.
3rd period - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 32 26
VAN - Luongo 33 32
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 8 16 9 33
VAN 15 6 11 32
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 1
VAN 0 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Mikael Samuelsson
Roberto Luongo
Jannik Hansen
Attendence
18,860
Officials
Referees: Kowal, McCreary. Linesmen: Lazarowich, Rody.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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