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Monster trip kicks off with a thud
5-on-3 chances kill Sharks
2/12/12 - By Mike Lee -

The road trip from hell is officially underway, but the Sharks offense may have missed the plane to St Louis. Kicking off their 14-day, 9-game trip with a stop in the Gateway to the West, San Jose got into penalty trouble, fell behind, and couldn't mount any form of offensive pressure in a 3-0 loss to the Blues at Scottrade Center. It didn't help squaring off against arguably the league's hottest team, but San Jose stumbled to a lethargic start to their all important road trip.

St Louis hadn't lost in regulation in 15 games entering Sunday night's battle of Western Conference leaders. They extended that streak by capitalizing on mistakes by both the Sharks and on-ice officials. The Blues scored a pair of goals on separate 5-on-3 chances, then added an empty net goal late in the game to keep pace with the Central Division leading Detroit Red Wings.

San Jose came out flat from the start, doing little to challenge Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak. The Sharks could only muster 5 shots on goal through the first 10 minutes of the game, then penalty issues set the tone for the rest of the evening.

Dan Boyle led the penalty parade with a hooking penalty that looked more like an excuse for referee Tom Kowel to get involved in the game. St Louis didn't score on the power play, but Kowel and Francois St Laurent obliged the Blues with a questionable interference call on Brent Burns right before Boyle's penalty expired.

Andrew Desjardins made matters worse by flipping a puck over the glass a minute into Burns penalty.

Alex Pietrangelo welcomed the Sharks to the Midwest by pumping a shot past Antti Niemi from between the circles as San Jose's three penalty killers were hemmed in. The Sharks netminder was partially screened by Andy McDonald.

The Sharks just got plain rooked on the next Blues goal. Ryane Clowe was sent off for a tripping penalty, but Brad Winchester was simultaneously assessed a two minute minor for elbowing, even though he never touched a Blues skater.

The Blues converted on the full two minute 5-on-3 when David Perron bounced a puck off Niemi's back from outside the left post. Niemi was partially interfered with by Douglas Murray, who was flailing at the puck as he fell on top of his own goaltender.

That was all she wrote. San Jose had three power play chances in the 3rd period, but were only able to manage 7 shots cumulatively in the period.

Pietrangelo scored an empty-net goal to cap a three point night.

A typically stoic Marc-Edouard Vlasic earned a 10 minute misconduct after the empty netter, after voicing his displeasure with the officiating.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 0 0
STL 1 1 1 3
1st period - 1, STL, Pietrangelo 9 (Oshie, McDonald), 15:03, (pp).
2nd period - 2, STL, Perron 10 (Pietrangelo), 17:16, (pp).
3rd period - 3, STL, Pietrangelo 10 (unassisted), 19:54, (en).
Penalties
1st period - Boyle, SJ (hooking), 11:28; Burns, SJ (interference), 13:20; Desjardins, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 14:28.
2nd period - Colaiacovo, STL (interference), 2:22; Clowe, SJ (tripping), 15:43; Winchester, SJ (elbowing), 15:43.
3rd period - Reaves, STL (elbowing), 2:38; Oshie, STL (hooking), 9:15; Oshie, STL (tripping), 12:22; Vlasic, SJ (tripping), 17:43; Vlasic, SJ (10 min misconduct), 19:54.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 27 25
SJ - empty net 1 0
STL - Halak 25 25
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 7 11 7 25
STL 10 10 8 28
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 4
STL 2 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Alex Pietrangelo
Jaroslav Halak
Andy McDonald
Attendence
18,447
Officials
Referees: Kowal, StLaurent. Linesmen: Champoux, Mach.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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