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Hiller is latest to shutout Sharks
San Jose's losing streak hits 4 straight
1/9/11 - By Mike Lee -

Head scratching performances continue to be the theme for the Sharks in 2011. San Jose continued to play their ineffective game and paid the price against division rival Anaheim, losing 1-0 at the Honda Center in Southern California on Sunday night. 24 hours after dropping a one-goal game to Nashville, the Sharks offense sputtered again and was shutout for the 7th time this season third time in their last five games.

San Jose has scored 4 goals in their last 15 periods of hockey, three of those goals coming in a 4-3 loss to Vancouver last Monday. The loss drops them even further in the Pacific Division standings. San Jose has fallen from 4th to 11th place in the matter of 7 days.

San Jose would lean on the shot counter to try and will a goal across the goal line, but as has been the case over the 4-game losing streak, shots are about as valuable as an ice maker to an Eskimo. The Sharks threw 37 pucks on Jonas Hiller that did nothing more than make Hiller's stats look heroic.

Few of those 37 shots challenged the Ducks netminder who recorded his second consecutive shutout. After putting 15 shots on the Anaheim net in the opening period, the Sharks would step things up in the middle period.

The Ducks would take a pair of hooking penalties 5 minutes apart in the first quarter of the 2nd period, but the Sharks tried attacking with players throwing long distance shot from the perimeter. With little to no traffic in front of Hiller, the Ducks netminder was able to turn aside everything thrown his way.

San Jose would finally get some traffic in front of the net late in the middle period, which would turn into a goal. Problem is it was in front of their own goal. Dan Boyle was trying to fight off a Ducks forward, pinning his own goaltender, Antti Niemi, to the right post as a Bobby Ryan shot sailed into the Sharks net.

Hiller made two big stops with less than a minute remaining in the period. Ryan Clowe came closest with a backhand chance from the slot that Hiller denied at the beginning of a mad rush to close out the period. Clowe was denied right before the buzzer, when a chance on a wide open net was denied when a Ducks defender tied up his stick just outside the crease.

The Sharks shot themselves in the foot in the 3rd period by taking a pair of penalties that killed any offensive momentum they had built to close out the prior period. The absence of leadership by the Sharks high priced forwards was magnified with the game on the line. With 8 minutes to play and the Sharks in desperate need of a goal, captain Joe Thornton took a senseless cross checking penalty to put the Sharks down a man.

After killing off the Thornton penalty, San Jose had little in the tank to get puck on net. Knowing the Sharks have had little luck in the scoring department, all Anaheim had to do was sit back and chip pucks out of their own zone with little motivation to add to their own score.

An extra attacker couldn't even get on the ice late in the game because the Sharks couldn't get the puck out of their own end of the ice.

"What you deal with is doubt right now," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellen. "Without scoring, doubt can creep in."


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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 0 0
ANA 0 1 0 1
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, ANA, Ryan 18 (Lydman), 14:29.
3rd period - None.
Penalties
1st period - None.
2nd period - Beleskey, ANA (hooking), 1:07; Blake, ANA (hooking), 6:36.
3rd period - Visnovsky, ANA (holding), 2:53; Mayers, SJ (tripping), 9:49; Thornton, SJ (cross checking), 12:06.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 28 27
ANA - Hiller 37 37
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 12 15 10 37
ANA 8 12 8 28
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 3
ANA 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Jonas Hiller
Saku Koivu
Bobby Ryan
Attendence
16,172
Officials
Referees: Pochmara, LaRue. Linesmen: Murphy, Rody.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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