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Losing streak finally ends
Sharks put up a 4 spot in win over St Louis
1/15/11 - By Mike Lee -

Somebody else gets to sing the Blues. San Jose finally earn their first home win of the new year, snapping a season high six-game losing streak by beating the St Louis Blues 4-2 at HP Pavilion. The Sharks fought back from an early deficit, then turned up the heat in the 3rd period to score a pair of goals to earn two points for the first time since New Year's Day. Dany Heatley scored a pair of goal, including the game winner to get the Sharks back on track.

In the two weeks since beating the Los Angeles Kings, the Shark have fallen from 4th in the Western Conference standings to 12th place. San Jose still sits outside the top eight spots in the conference, which would eliminate them from playoff contention if the regular season ended today. Their next six games will peg them against teams from the West.

The sellout crowd has had little to cheer about as of late, so they were poised to let loose. That would have to be put on hold early in the contest.

The first goal of the game was one of those "here we go again" moments, when Blues forward B.J. Crombeen sent a shot in on goal from the top of the left circle that caught Sharks net minder Anttii Niemi in the shoulder, before deflecting straight up into the air and then down Niemi's backside and into the net.

A Roman Polak holding penalty would put the Sharks on their first power play of the evening. They would use that opportunity to draw even with the Blues after Dany Heatley converted with a snap shot that beat Jaroslav Halak for his 16th goal of the season.

Joe Thornton would add his own goal at 11:57 of the 2nd period on another power play chance, depositing a rebound through Halak's pads. Dan Boyle sent in a shot from the right point, bouncing it off the Blues netminder. With Thornton hovering near the left post and Heatley on the right, the Sharks created lots of pressure in tight. Halak couldn't get the five-hole closed in time and Thornton swept the puck home.

Ian Cole and Benn Ferriero would drop the gloves after Cole dropped a hit on the Sharks forward late in the period. The hit and the fight pumped the Blues up enough to kick it in to an extra gear before the second intermission.

The Sharks would close out the period with one of the those little mistakes that has cost them on every opportunity this season. That mistake, a missed defensive coverage by Devin Setoguchi, would end up in the San Jose net after Niemi failed to get his stick down on the ice. Defenseman Erik Johnson sent a puck in on from the left corner that slipped under Niemi, and just like that the game was tied again.

Healtey would give the Sharks the lead again 4:35 into the 3rd period by deflecting a MarcpEdouard Vlasic from the blueline. Heatley snuck under the Blues defense, parking himself just off the left post. He would redirect the knee-high shot past Halak with a stick-blade tap of the puck, redirecting the shot inside the left post.

Jamie McGinn would score his first goal of the season at 12:57, off another big rebound by Halak. Scott Nichol tried jamming a shot in on net from the left side, generating a deflection out into the slot. McGinn would one-time the rebound into the net for the first time in 47 straight games.

The Blues would pull Halak with 1:30 to play, and immediately generate a scoring chance. Niemi was forced to snag a chest high shot with Cronbeem parked in front of the net. Niemi would deny Alex Steen with a diving glove save with 10 ticks left in the game.

Game Notes:

Logan Couture returned to the lineup after missing Thursday's game against the Edmonton Oilers. Couture would earn an assist on Thornton's goal. Ryane Clowe missed his first game to nurse the lower body injury he sustained against the Oilers.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
STL 1 1 0 2
SJ 1 1 2 4
1st period - 1, STL. Crombeen 5 (Winchester, Polak), 5:23. 2, SJ, Heatley 16 (Thornton, Pavelski), 14:18, (pp).
2nd period - 2, SJ, Thornton 12 (Boyle, Couture), 11:57, (pp). 4, STL, Johnson 4 (Steen, Berglund), 17:53.
3rd period - 5, SJ, Heatley 17 (Vlasic, Demers), 4:35. 6, SJ, McGinn 1 (Nichol), 12:57.
Penalties
1st period - Reaves, STL (fighting major), 2:04; Mashinter, SJ (fighting major), 2:04; Wallin, SJ (hooking), 2:31; Boyle, SJ (boarding), 6:22; Polak, STL (holding), 13:52.
2nd period - Cole, STL (boarding), 2:41; Cole, STL (holding), 10:46; Brewer, STL (high sticking), 14:04; Cole, STL (fighting major), 17:46; Ferriero, SJ (fighting major), 17:46.
3rd period - Sobotka, STL (high sticking), 7:57; Backes, STL (roughing), 19:00; Vlasic, SJ (roughing), 19:00.
Overtime -
Goaltending
Shots Saves
STL - Halak 29 25
SJ - Niemi 30 28
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
STL 7 10 13 30
SJ 4 18 7 29
Power Play Conversion
STL 0 of 2
SJ 2 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Dany Heatley
Scott Nichol
Jamie McGinn
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Sutherland, Ciamaga. Linesmen: Henderson, Wheler.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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