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Sharks chase their own tails in loss to Hawks
Another 40 minute effort costs San Jose
12/11/11 - By Mike Lee -

Just when it looked like the Sharks were about to snap out of their funk, San Jose reminded everyone that they're just not a very good hockey team right now. The Sharks turned in a 40 minute effort that ended in an overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on Sunday night to extend the doldrums that have beleaguered the team for the last two weeks. San Jose lost for the 6th time in their past 8 games.

This was painful because the Blackhawks scored the game tying goal with 64 seconds remaining in regulation, then won it with 34 seconds left in overtime. In the end, San Jose missed out on the two points in the standings because they didn't turn in a 60 minute effort.

All you had to do was look at the box score to see how the lopsided final last 20 minutes of regulation ended up costing the Sharks. Chicago outshot San Jose 16-3 in the 3rd period, as the Sharks were backed into their own end for much of the period.

San Jose rendered a lone shot on goal in the overtime period, while their opponent put 5 pucks on net. In short, San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi was hung out to dry. He did what he could, but he's been forced to win games single handedly by his teammates the past two weeks.

Patrick Sharp continued his hot hand by deflecting a Marion Hossa shot late in the extra period after the Sharks defense imploded. The standard 4-on-4 lineup afforded the Blackhawks more room on the ice, but the Sharks made things easier when three of the four San Jose skaters on the ice chased Hossa toward the Sharks blueline. With no defensive help down low, Hossa put a puck on net that Sharp was able to chip pas Niemi for the game winner.

Chicago tied the game late in the 3rd period in similar fashion, albeit with 5 skaters on the ice. It was a Hossa shot from the point that beat Niemi, but rather than Sharp in front of the net, it was Andrew Brunette who deflected the shot into the goal.

The Sharks may want to take note, given their inability to score goals. Parking players out in front of the goal pays dividends, but that's been a lesson that San Jose has been insistent on ignoring.

Jamie McGinn gave his team the lead 16:25 into the game by making a concerted effort to punch the puck past Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery from just outside the right post. McGinn chased a Michal Handzus shot on net, before repeatedly whacking at it after Emery made the initial save on Handzus.

Marcus Kruger was credited with the Blackhawks first goal7:53 into the 2nd period, by deflecting a Niklas Hjalmarsson blast from the blueline.

San Jose answered right back with a Justin Braun goal 1:45 later. The young defenseman took a Brad Winchester feed near the top of the right circle, then waited for traffic to cloud Emery's view before snapping his 3rd career goal.

As has been the case all too often of late was the absence of the Sharks big money players from the stat sheet. Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns were all non-factors, combining for a -3 in the game.





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Scoring
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 1 1 0 0 2
CHI 1 0 1 1 3
1st period - 1, SJ, McGinn 6 (Handzus, Boyle), 16:25.
2nd period - 2, CHI, Kruger 3 (Hjalmarsson, Leddy), 7:53. 3, SJ, Braun 1 (Winchester, Desjardins), 9:38.
3rd period - 4, CHI, Brunette 7 (Hossa, Keith), 18:54.
Overtime - 5, CHI, Sharp 16 (Hossa, Seabrook), 4:26.
Penalties
1st period - Desjardins, SJ (boarding), 2:12; Stalberg, CHI (tripping), 4:16; HOssa, CHI (tripping), 8:49.
2nd period - Boyle, SJ (hooking), 0:55.
3rd period - Thornton, SJ (high sticking), 3:36.
Overtime - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 34 31
CHI - Emery 37 35
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 17 16 3 1 37
CHI 8 5 16 5 34
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 2
CHI 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Sharp
Jamie McGinn
Ray Emery
Attendence
21,456
Officials
Referees: Walkom, Charron. Linesmen: Nelson, Sericolo.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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