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No answers for league's worst team
Sharks drop 6-3 decision to Columbus
2/21/12 - By Mike Lee -

On January 31st, the Sharks pummeled the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-0 at HP Pavilion, winning for the third time in three tries against the Ohio based franchise this season. Three weeks later, Columbus exacted some revenge, sinking the Sharks to a new low with a 6-3 victory at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets scored four 1st period goals then coast to an overwhelming victory.

The loss may have been the low point to the season for a Sharks team that has suddenly found it difficult to turn in a solid 60 minutes. Making the 6th stop on their season long 9-game road trip, San Jose looked absolutely abysmal against the league's worst team. Columbus entered the game trailing the next closest team by double figures in points. They sit as the only team in the league that doesn't have at least 20 wins.

San Jose made the Blue Jackets look like world beaters in the opening period. Jeff Carter converted two-thirds of his hat-trick in the opening period with a pair of power play goals. R.J Umberger and Rick Nash also scored in the opening 20 minutes, chasing Antti Niemi, who made 8 saves on 11 shots.

Umberger backhanded a deflection off a Grant Clitsome shot past Niemi 5 minutes into the game.

Carter made it 2-0 three minutes later on the power play after Joe Pavelski was sent off for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Carter took a Vinny Prospal feed in the slot and snapped a shot past Niemi after splitting two defenders.

Nash capitalized on a defensive breakdown, cutting across the slot after dropping Andrew Desjardins and snapping a shot home for his 20th goal of the season. Sharks head coach Todd McLellan yanked Niemi in favor of Thomas Greiss to light a fire under his team.

Carter was credited with the Blue Jackets 4th goal with 30 seconds left in the period. San Jose fell victim to some overzealous officiating, when Don Vanmassenhoven set Ryane Clowe for roughing when teammate Tommy Wingels squared off with Umberger and Ran Johansen. Carter was in the vicinity of the puck as it deflected off a skate in front of the right post and floated over the goal line.

The Sharks looked poised to make a game of things when they scored two quick goals early in the 2nd period. Joe Thornton was the beneficiary of a Colin White shot that hit off his skate, deflecting past Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason.

Logan Couture snapped a shot past Mason 26 seconds later. Michal Handzus carried the puck up the gut before sliding a pass over to Couture on the left wing. The young forward ripped a 25-foot shot that beat Mason to the stick side.

The Sharks lost their way midway through the period, when Clowe took a cross-checking penalty then added another two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct after he slammed the penalty box door shut. The Blue Jackets converted with about 40 seconds left in the double minor. Donald Savard pumped a shot from the left point that slipped past Greiss for the 5-2 lead.

Carter made it 6-2 early in the 3rd period, punching home a shot from right in front of the Sharks net after San Jose failed to cover the Blue Jackets forward.

Logan Couture added his 27th goal of the season on the power play with 11:25 left in the contest, but it was too little too late.





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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 2 1 3
CBJ 4 1 1 6
1st period - 1, CBJ, Umberger 10 (Clitsome, Brassard), 4:55. 2, CBJ, Carter 13 (Propsla, Letestu), 6:51, (pp). 3, CBJ, Nash 20 (Brassard, Umberger), 15:18. 4, CBJ, Carter 14 (Prospal, Savard ), 19:30, (pp).
2nd period - 5, SJ, Thornton 13 (White, Desjardins), 5:11. 6, SJ, Couture 26 (Handzus, Braun), 5:37. 7, CBJ, Savard 2 (Nikitin, Vermette), 10:59, (pp).
3rd period - 8, CBJ, Carter 15 (Nash, Prospal), 1:26. 9, SJ, Couture 27 (Pavelski, Boyle), 8:35, (pp).
Penalties
1st period - Pavleski, SJ (unsportsmanlike conduct), 6:23; Gillies, CBJ (interference), 12:52; Clowe, SJ (roughing), 17:44; Wingels, SJ (fighting major), 17:44; Umberger, CBJ (fighting major), 17:44.
2nd period - Nash, CBJ (boarding), 2:15; Clowe, SJ (cross checking), 7:37; Clowe, SJ (unsportsmanlike conduct), 7:37.
3rd period - White, SJ (elbowing), 1:48; Tyutin, CBJ (hooking), 7:56; Handzus, SJ (hooking), 12:32; GIllies, CBJ (hooking), 15:17; Winchester, SJ (roughing), 1938.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 11 8
SJ - Greiss 24 21
CBJ - Mason 41 38
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 18 12 11 41
CBJ 15 6 14 35
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 4
CBJ 3 of 7
3 Stars of the Game
Jeff Carter
R. J. Umberger
Steve Mason
Attendence
14,625
Officials
Referees: Dwyer, VanMassenhoven. Linesmen: Galloway, Pancich.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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