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Windy City blows
No answers for Sharks who drop 7th straight
2/15/13 - By Mike Lee -

Nobody cares when things are going tough in professional sports. It's dog-eat-dog in the NHL, so when the breaks go against you, or you don't get a call, there's nobody there to pick you up except yourself. The Sharks need to figure out how to get off the mat right now. After their perfect 7-0 start, reality set in on Friday night as San Jose lost for the 7th consecutive time to fall back earth with a thud. And nobody's there to pick them up.

The Sharks squared off against the same Chicago Blackhawks team that beat them in a weird 5-3 game in San Jose 10 days ago. This time, the Blackhawks had home ice, the best record in the NHL and a boat load of things that just seemed to fall into place. Crazy bounces and poor officiating aside, the Blackhawks simply outplayed the Sharks.

San Jose didn't generate a shot on goal through the first 9 minutes of the game. They struggled to get the puck out of their own end most of the opening period, but managed to keep the Blackhawks off the board for the first 19 minutes of the game.

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was deemed guilty of cross checking Joe Thornton, then engaged the Sharks captain in a fight , which drew an additional two minutes for not removing his visor. He was somehow spared a 10-minute misconduct for inciting the fight without removing his helmet.

The Sharks squandered the 4-minute power play, generating little pressure on Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery. Patrick Marleau made things easier for Chicago by taking an interference penalty with 36 seconds left in the double minor.

Chicago used the extra ice to get on the board with 44 seconds left in the period, when Dave Bolland deposited a rebound for this 5th goal of the year. Bolland pumped a shot on net from the slot that Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi blocked but lost after it popped up into the air and skittered off to his right. Defenseman Brad Stuart tried denying Bolland's initial shot by dropping to the ice, but in doing so was unable to get to Bolland and the rebound.

Crappy ice assisted on the Blackhawks next goal, which came 3:05 into the 2nd period. Marcus Kruger tried dumping a puck harmlessly into the Sharks zone from outside the blueline, but it hopped on Niemi, skipping over his glove. The right posts appeared to save Niemi, but the puck then deflected over to the left side where Kruger swept in to deposit into the net for his 2nd goal in as many games against San Jose this season.

San Jose cut the Chicago lead in half 2 minutes later when Logan Couture raced up the right wing, and setup Tim Kennedy with a pass through the slot. Kennedy received Couture's pass as he cut across the top of the crease from left to right, sliding the puck into a wide open net after navigating around Emery. The goal was Kennedy's first as a Shark.

The Sharks failure to contribute to the NHL Officials Retirement Fund continues to bite them in the backside. An altercation between Jason Demers and Patrick Sharp ended with Demers being sent off for roughing, while Sharp was invited to referee Kyle Rehman's house for dinner and drinks.

Chicago converted on the ensuing power play when Andrew Shaw jammed a puck into San Jose's netminder, before it popped up into the air, hit Niemi in the back and bounced across the goal line. It was a fitting goal for the Sharks horrific string of losses over the past two weeks.

NIklas Hjalmarsson sealed the deal with his 1st goal of the season off a blast from the left point. Niemi seemed distracted by former Shark Jamal Mayers who waved at the chest high shot. The puck rang off the back iron to send San Jose to their 7th consecutive loss.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 0 1
CHI 1 2 1 4
1st period - 1, CHI, Bolland 5 (Kane, Keith), 19:16.
2nd period - 2, CHI, Kruger 3 (Oduya, Hjalmarsson), 3:05. 3, SJ, Kennedy 1 (Couture, Stuart), 5:03. 4, CHI, Shaw 3 (Keith, Seabrook), 14:40, (pp).
3rd period - 5, CHI, Hjalmarsson 1 (Kruger, Mayers), 6:32.
Penalties
1st period - Brookbank, CHI (roughing), 11:40; Thornton, SJ (tripping), 11:58; Thornton, CHI (fighting major), 15:31; Toews, CHI (fighting major), 11:31; Toews, CHI (cross checking), 11:31; Toews, CHI (unsportsmanlike conduct), 11:31; Marleau, SJ (interference), 18:55.
2nd period - Murray, SJ (closing hand on puck), 9:59; Demers, SJ (roughing), 13:15.
3rd period - Burish, SJ (slashing), 11:22; Brookbank, CHI (hooking), 15:51; Murray, SJ (roughing), 19:25; Shaw, CHI (roughing), 19:25.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 37 33
CHI - Emery 28 27
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 8 8 12 28
CHI 9 17 11 37
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 4
CHI 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Markus Kruger
Jonathan Toews
Ray Emery
Attendence
21,824
Officials
Referees: Rehman, McCauley. Linesmen: Cvik, Pancich.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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