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Stinking up the SAP Center
Sharks complete winless homestand
11/7/13 - By Mike Lee -

Home ice advantage hasn't amounted to much for the San Jose Sharks these days. The Sharks wrapped up a three-game homestand on Thursday night with another mistake filled performance that ended with their fourth consecutive loss. The Vancouver Canucks were the latest opponent to figure out the once hot Sharks, dispatching them 4-2 at the SAP Center.

* As was the case in two of their three previous losses, San Jose scored the 1st goal of the game only to watch their opponent tie and pass them. San Jose converted off a fluke bounce, when Joe Thornton dumped the puck behind the net from the left wing. The puck hit the end boards, then deflected back toward the net, flipping over the top of the crossbar. Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo tried to glove it, but ended up knocking into his own net.

* Rather than building on the goal, the Sharks coughed up the lead by allowing Brad Richardson to score three minutes later. San Jose tried braking out of their own end, but turned over the puck inside their own zone. Defenseman Justin Braun got ahead of himself, sprinting to join the rush, but left Richardson unattended in front of the Sharks net. Kevin Bieksa stepped in front of the puck stopping the break out and feeding Richardson for the easy deposit.

* Mike Santorelli put the Canucks up 2-1 midway through the opening period after Thornton and Tommy Wingels insistence that defense responsibility is a secondary concern. Chris Higgins carried the puck up the left wing and fed Santorelli at the top of the crease for the easy tip in. Thornton and Wingles skated passively through the slot, watching Santorelli skate uncontested to the front of the Sharks net.

* New Shark mike Brown tied the game 85 seconds later after hustling up the ice and tipping home a James Sheppard feed from the left side. Brown was one of the better Sharks forwards on the ice, but Brown was allotted a paltry 9:59 of ice time. The fact that Brown was the one of the Sharks top forwards tells you all you need to know about his linemates.

* Jason Demers served up the game winning goal on a silver platter late in the 1st with a pair of suspect decisions. First, he tried making a pass in his own zone to the middle of the ice, but he knuckled it, pushing a floater right to Alex Burrows. His defensive partner Scott Hannen covered Burrows, but with Chris Higgins looming, Demers elected to try and hit Burrows. With the two Sharks defensemen now tangled up with Burrows, Higgins grabbed the loose puck and lifted a shot past Niemi for the 3-2 lead.

* Vancouver put things out of reach for good in the 2nd period when Zack Kassian deflected a Kevin Bieksa shot past Niemi. That would end Niemi's night, but the move was more a statement of the Sharks defensive struggles as a whole, versus Niemi's play.

* If anything the Canucks figured out to shoot high on Niemi. All three of their 1st period goals were roof jobs, lifting the puck over Niemi's pads.

* Demers adventure on ice took a turn toward carelessness, when he called for kneeing Darren Archibald late in the 2nd period. With the Sharks trying to figure out how to claw back into the game, Demers penalty killed a prime opportunity.

* The loss ended a 9-game win streak the Sharks held over the Canucks, including two wins earlier this season.

* The lone Sharks lone bright spot was goaltender Alex Stalock's performance in relief of Niemi. The Sharks backup goaltender stopped all 21 shots he faced. He faced 13 of those 21 shots in the 2nd period.

* San Jose only managed 24 shots of their own. What has proven to be a meaningless stat of late for San Jose, the absence of shots was more indicative of their lack of puck possession most of the night.

Notable Quotes:

Head Coach Todd McLellan: "It is about the work ethic and the commitment. We were clearly outworked. When you are in the real world, you work for eight hours. When you're in the hockey world, you work for 60 minutes. And we didn't even come close to that."

Joe Thornton: "I didn't think we played very well in the first and the second. That's twice we kind of stink up the joint in the first and second, have a good third. But, tonight, we just couldn't catch up. We got to be better in the first two [periods]. It starts there."

Head Coach John Tortorella: "We've been pretty resilient all year long. Coming back, we just played. I thought it was probably one of our better games with our sticks as far as stick on puck. That's a big team, they protect the puck well. So our sticks were on the ice and I thought we disrupted them that way. It's probably one of our better defensive games that way. I thought we competed really hard. So that's a good win for us."


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1 2 3 T
VAN 3 1 0 4
SJ 2 0 0 2
1st period - 1, SJ, Thornton 2 (Hertl, Wingels), 1:17. 2, VAN, Richardson 5 (Archibald, Bieksa), 4:28. 3, VAN, Santorelli 5 (Higgins, Burrows), 9:25. 4, SJ, Brown 1 (Sheppard, Desjardins), 10:45. 5, VAN, Higgins 6 (Burrows), 18:55.
2nd period - 6, VAN, Kassian 4 (Bieksa, Richardson), 5:22.
3rd period - None.
1st period - Stanton, VAN (fighting major), 11:16; Desjardins, SJ (fighting major), 11:16; Richardson, VAN (hooking), 13:12.
2nd period - Garrison, VAN (interference), 9:23; Demers, SJ (kneeing), 13:37.
3rd period - Sestito, VAN (slashing), 3:45; Boyle, VAN (tripping), 9:08; STuart, SJ (slashing), 12:02; Bieksa, VAN (roughing), 18:21; Wingels, SJ (roughing), 18:21.
Shots Saves
VAN - Luongo 24 22
SJ - Niemi 13 9
SJ - Stalock 21 21
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
VAN 9 17 8 34
SJ 6 5 13 24
Power Play Conversion
VAN 0 of 3
SJ 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Chris Higgins
Brad Richardson
Alex Burrows
Referees: Morton, Watson. Linesmen: Sharrers, Lazarowich.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees


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