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Loss to Oilers a new season low
Reeling Sharks drop 6th straight
1/13/10 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks were looking to sweep the season series with the Edmonton Oilers for the first time in franshise history on Thursday night, but Devin Dubnyk became the latest netminder to cash in on the Sharks charity at HP Pavilion. The Edmonton Oilers backup goaltender stopped 41 shots to help the Western Conference's worst team take a 5-2 decision over the reeling Sharks. The loss was the sixth in a row for a team struggling to find answers, but seemingly unwilling to work to solve the problem.

Sharks head coach Todd McLellan suggested after the loss that more than one player just wasn't prepared for the game against the West's cellar dweller. Given the way things have gone over the last two weeks, being unprepared is the last thing you'd expect from a team that prides itself with its commitment.

McLellan would shift some his criticisms away from his players by taking responsibility for his team's play.

"I'm the leader of this team. I'm the coach, and it's my responsibility to make sure that they're prepared to play," McLellan said. "After that, it becomes an individual's responsibility. And, right now, I'm not doing a very good job. So, they need to step up a little bit. I need to a better job, find better buttons to push, but I am the leader of this group, and I have to do a better job."

One player that hasn't had any issue with preparation this season is Ryane Clowe, who delivered in the scoring column as well as with his fists.

Clowe rushed to aid teammate Dany Heatley after Theo Peckham took liberties with the Sharks sniper early in the contest. Clowe and Peckham would drop the gloves and tangle in what appeared to be a run of the mill hockey fight, but the Sharks forward would skate to the bench and need assistance to get to the locker room. Clowe looked as if he was favoring one of his legs as he hobbled off.

Defensive commitment issues have been a broken record for the Sharks, and they would bite the Sharks again Thursday.

A defensive miscue by the Sharks would result in a goal 15:34 into the game. With defenseman Douglas Murray guarding the right side of the net, Oilers winger Liam Reddox carried the puck back toward the blueline. Murray followed and Andrew Cogliano cycled to the right corner. With Murray chasing Reddox, and three other Sharks guarding Ryan Jones on the left side, Cogliano took a feed and walked in on Antero Niittymaki uncontested before lifting a shot under the crossbar.

Another defensive gaff would end up in the Sharks net 3:50 into the 2nd period. Dustin Penner disrupted Nittymaki, knocking the Sharks netminder off his feet, before skating around the back of the net and firing home an Ales Hemsky feed.

Things just got worse for San Jose with 4:24 to play in the period. Defenseman Niklas Wallin fell to the ice as Taylor Hall skated up the ice. Hall got off a shot that hit Niittymaki, then trickled over the goal line. Joe Thornton fished the puck out as the puck was crossing the line. Referee Paul Devorski ruled no-goal, but a video review confirmed that is crossed the line.

The Oilers would take a pair of penalties late in the period, but the lack of any offensive creativity by San Jose, Edmonton just sat back and waited for the Sharks to fumble the puck away.

A Linus Omark hooking penalty at 4:45 of the 3rd period put the Sharks on the power play, allowing San Jose to finally get a puck past Dubnyk. The Sharks big three forwards teamed up on a pair of passes after a puck was deflected into the Edmonton zone. Dany Heatley would hit a trailing Joe Thornton for a shot from the high slot that found twine to cut the Oilers lead to two goals.

"We're still getting lots of shots, " said Sharks captain Joe Thornton. "A couple wnet in otnight, but th emental mistakes we made in our own zone just kills us. You comeback in that game 3-1, and a couple of penalties just takes the wind off the bench."

The Sharks didn't help the comeback cause after Clowe was sent off for a phantom holding call. Kent Huskins would toss the puck over the glass 5 seconds into Clowe's penalty. Niittymaki made a series of circus saves, but Scott Nichol's stick broke right at the end of the period, which allowed the Oilers to move the puck in tight and score on a deflection off the netminder's stick.

Omark would take his third minor of the evening, allowing the Sharks to score a meaningless goal with 49 seconds left in regulation. Clowe would be credited with the power play tally, but the goal was simply a stat in another embarrassing performance.

Hall would add an empty-netter with 1.5 seconds left to creep a little closer to Logan Couture for the rookie goal scoring lead. Couture missed his first game after injuring his knee on Tuesday night.

“They came at us a few times, has us in our own end but we did not panic," said OIlers head coach Tom Renney. "They got inside of us a couple times but we really battled to work ourselves in the proper position.”

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Scoring
1 2 3 T
EDM 1 2 2 5
SJ 0 0 2 2
1st period - 1, EDM, Cogliano 5 (Reddox), 15:34.
2nd period - 2, EDM, Penner 13 (Hemsky, Hall), 3:50. 3, EDM, Hall 13 (Hemsky, Gilbert), 15:36.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Thornton 11 (Heatley, Marleau), 5:55, (pp). 5, EDM, Omark 2 (Paajarvi, Hemsky), 9:14. 6, Clowe 12 (Thornton, Heatley), 19:11, (pp).
Penalties
1st period - Peckham, EDM (fighting major), 6:38; Clowe, SJ (fighting major), 6:38; Smid, EDM (roughing), 9:29; McGinn, SJ (roughing), 9:29; Hemsky, EDM (hooking), 18:22.
2nd period - Wallin, SJ (hooking), 5:26; Cogliano, EDM (interference), 16:12; Omark, EDM (high sticking), 18:41.
3rd period - Omark, EDM (hooking), 4:45; Clowe, SJ (holding), 7:04; Huskins, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 7:09; Mayers, SJ (goaltender interference), 12:01; Omark, EDM (high sticking), 17:37.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
EDM - Dubnyk 43 41
SJ - Niittymaki 28 24
SJ - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
EDM 9 9 11 29
SJ 14 14 15 43
Power Play Conversion
EDM 0 of 4
SJ 2 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Ales Hemsky
Devin Dubnyk
Taylor Hall
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Devorski, StLaurent. Linesmen: Henderson, Racicot.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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