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One to forget
Penguins roll Sharks with 4 goal period
12/5/13 - By Mike Lee -

After winning 9 of their last 10 games, the Sharks were due for a stinker of a game. After letting down their guard against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night, that was all but guaranteed. The Sharks tripped in a bloody 2nd period, surrendering 4 goals en route to a 5-1 whipping by the host Penguins at the Consol Energy Center. The Penguins used a 7 minute span to beat the Sharks for only the 4th time in their last 18 tries.

* The bloody second saw the Sharks outshoot the Penguins 24-15, but that count is a big misrepresentation of the actual events of the period. Pittsburgh closed out the 1st period with a flurry of shots on Antti Niemi, then picked things up immediately at the start of the 2nd.

* Pascal Dupuis started the blitzkrieg with a shot from the left point that sailed over Niemi's left shoulder catching the upper right corner of the goal 27 seconds into the period. Niemi was partially screened on the play and didn't appear to react to the puck after it left Dupuis' stick.

* Jason Demers misplayed a pass along the neutral zone boards, allowing Jayson Megna to race up ice and snap a shot past Niemi 2 minutes after Dupuis' goal. Centerman Joe Vitale skated down the slot on Megna's right side, throwing what amounted to a pick on defenseman Scott Hannan, who was trying to get to Megna.

* A Justin Braun turnover in the defensive zone ended up in the Sharks net at 5:27 of the period. James Neal picked Braun's pocket along the left wing boards, then slid a pass to Sydney Crosby in the slot for a one time chance that Niemi stopped, but Chris Kunitz pounced on the rebound and shoveled a shot home for this 15th goal of the season.

* John McCarthy was sent off for the second time in the game at 7:16 for tripping Olli Maatta. Kunitz played garbage man again, banging home a rebound after Neal pumped a shot off Niemi fron the doorstep. Kunitz was loitering near the bottom of the left circle before sliding in to clean up on Neal's miss.

* Tomas Hertl provided the Sharks lone highlight by throwing a puck at the front of the goal from the right corner. Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland inadvertently deflected the puck between goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury's pads and into his own net. Brent Burns was parked in front of Fleury, forcing Engelland to make a play on the puck.

* Niemi was pulled to start the 3rd period in favor of Alex Stalock. The Sharks backup only faced 3 shots over the game's final 20 minutes, but even one of those got passed him.

* Kris Letang tacked on a 5th goal for Pittsburgh 3:30 into the 3rd period on a shot from the blueline. Stalock hada good look at the shot, but simply missed the puck as it squeezed between him and the right post.

* The Penguins led in almost every statistical category except shots on goal. Sharks head coach Todd McLellan pointed out that the disparity in shots between the two teams was deceiving, noting that most of the Penaguin's shot went in, and the Sharks didn't.

* San Jose will have to put this one behind them quickly as they face the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night in Raleigh. The hurricanes sit 1 point out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, having gone 4-5-1 in their last 10 games. 2 of those 4 wins have come in their last 2 games.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 0 1
PIT 0 4 1 5
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, PIT, Dupuis 4 (Orpik, Crosby), 0:27. 2, PIT, Megna 3 (Despres), 2:34. 3, PIT, Kunitz 15 (Crosby, Neal), 5:27. 4, PIT, Kunitz 16 (Neal, Crosby), 7:30, (pp). 5, SJ, Hertl 14 (Thornton, Burns), 9:27.
3rd period - 6, PIT, Letang 6 (Maatta, Vitale), 3:30.
Penalties
1st period - McCarthy, SJ (hooking), 5:58.
2nd period - Niskanen, PIT (interference), 2:46; McCarthy, SJ (tripping), 7:16; Neal, PIT (interference), 9:54.
3rd period - Niskanen, PIT (holding), 5:16.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 27 23
SJ - Stalock 3 1
PIT - Fleury 45 44
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 7 24 14 45
PIT 12 15 3 30
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 3
PIT 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Marc-Andre Fleury
Chris Kunitz
Sydney Crosby
Attendence
18,522
Officials
Referees: McCauley, Kimmerly. Linesmen: Pancich, Sericolo.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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