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Playoffs slipping away
Another bottom feeder knocks off Sharks
3/6/12 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks are running out of time and excuses. San Jose fell to another cup cake at home on Tuesday night, dropping a 3-2 shootout decision to the 14th placed Edmonton Oilers at HPP Pavilion. San Jose fell from 7th place in the league standings, to 10th during the game, then finished the evening in the 8th seed after earning a single point by getting to overtime. It was the second shootout loss to a young Oilers squad that had nothing to lose.

Captain Joe Thornton's role has been limited to post-game apologist as the Sharks fail to capitalize on what should be easy points in the standings. The Oilers entered the game with a 9-21-2 record on the road, and were ripe for the picking having lost their last three games. Unfortunately, everyone seems to mend their wounds against San Jose right now.

Things started exactly how San Jose didn't want. Edmonton took the opening faceoff and deposited for the 1-0 lead just 10 seconds in to the game. Dan Boyle tried to block a high-arching dump in by Sam Gagner between the circles, but the puck bounced off his chest right to Jordan Eberle. The Oilers young phenom gathered the deflection and snapped it past Antti Niemi to put the Oilers up before most fans had made their way to their seats.

The goal set a franchise record for fastest goal surrendered. Martin Gelinas held the record at 14 seconds, with his goal for the Vancouver Canucks on November 25th, 1995.

Jim Vandermeer tied things up at 3:17, snapping a shot that beat Devin Dubnyk from the top of the left circle. Boyle partially atoned for his earlier gaff by working to keep the puck in the Oilers zone before setting up Vandermeer.

What would a Sharks game be without someone in teal taking a puck off the dome. Joe Pavelski caught a deflected puck with his chin midway through the period, opening a small cut. He would miss the rest of the period.

Sam Gagner missed giving the Oilers the lead heading into the 1st intermission, pushing the puck wide of the left post from the doorstep after he tried redirecting a pass. The pass skipped through the crease from right to left with Niemi pinned against the opposite post.

Ryane Clowe staked the Sharks to their first leadoff the evening at 15:19 of the 2nd period. Dubnyk tried to handle the puck as it sat perched against the right side of the goal, but Logan Couture stripped him of it and fed it out front. Clowe stabbed at Couture's feed, slipping it past Dubnyk for his 12th goal of the season.

That lead would last a mere 54 seconds. Edmonton countered with a goal off a fluke deflection after Jeff Petry threw the puck on net from the left point. Ryan Smyth was credited with the goal after Petry's shot hit him in the shoulder and redirected past Niemi for his 18 goal of the season.

Both teams evaded the penalty box until the 3rd period, when Justin Braun broke the penalty ice by tossing the puck over the glass for a delay of game call. Shawn Horcoff evened things up with a tripping minor moments later. Ryan Jones caught Brent Burns with a high stick, giving the Sharks a 41 second 5-on-3, but the power play unit failed to get any rubber to the Edmonton net.

Joe Pavelski clanked a shot off the iron with 7 minutes left in regulation.

Dubnyk robbed Patrick Marleau on a 3-on-1 break with 3:30 to play, sliding to his right to deny a one -ime chance from in tight.

The overtime period was played entirely in the Sharks end. The faster Oilers controlled the puck and the extra 5 minutes, denying any shot from a gassed Sharks lineup.

The shootout was no better. Pavelski, Michal Handzus and Burns all tried to push the puck through Dubnyk, but the netminder simply stood up the Shark shooters. After Eberle hit the left post, Sam Gagner buried his chance, snapping a shot that beat Niemi just under the glove hand.

The loss marked the 10th straight game the Sharks have scored three goals or fewer. They've gone 2-7-1 over that stretch.





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Scoring
1 2 3 OT SO T
EDM 1 1 0 0 1 3
SJ 1 1 0 0 0 2
1st period - 1, EDM, Eberle 30 (Whitney, Potter), 0:10. 2, SJ, Vandermeer 1 (Boyle), 3:17.
2nd period - 3, SJ, Clowe 12 (Couture), 15:19. 4, EDM, Smyth (Petry, Smid), 16:13.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - SJ: Pavelski (miss), Handzus (miss), Burns (miss). EDM: Eberle (miss), Gagner (goal).
Penalties
1st period - None.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - Braun, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 16:13; Horcoff, EDM (tripping), 7:01; Jones, EDM (high sticking), 8:20.
Overtime - None.
 
Goaltending
Shots Saves
EDM - Dubnyk 30 28
SJ - Niemi 26 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
EDM 7 11 6 2 26
SJ 12 5 12 0 29
Power Play Conversion
EDM 0 of 1
SJ 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Devin Dubnyk
Antti Niemi
Ryane Clowe
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Jackson, Martell. Linesmen: Driscoll, Mach.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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