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66 second lapse costs SJ in Denver
Sharks bumble away game
1/4/14 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks kicked off a three-game road trip with a stumbling-bumbling loss to the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center in Denver in an afternoon matinee on Saturday. The Sharks gave up the first 4 goals, including 3 in a 66 second span that spelled doom for San Jose. The mid-season doldrums seemed to bite the Sharks who let their guard down long enough to cost them 2 points in the standings.

* A Jason Demers hooking penalty setup the game's first goal. The Avalanche used a common tactic against Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi by getting a number of bodies in front of the net, then bombing shots from the point. Andre Benoit ripped a shot from the left point that Nathan McKinnon deflected enough to divert the puck past Niemi.

* Andrew Desjardins had a puck glance off his face late in the 1st period.

* The Sharks imploded during a 66 second span in the 2nd period. Things started poorly for San Jose when Dan Boyle tried to skate the puck out of his own end, but ended up running into teammate Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Boyle lost the puck right in front of his own net, where former Shark Jamie McGinn was there to pounce on it and lift a shot past Niemi.

* Poor goaltending bit the Sharks next. Erik Johnson made it a 3-0 game 52 seconds later with a shot from the right point that bounced past Niemi into the Sharks goal. The shot wasn't of the high velocity nature, nor was it a particularly difficult bounce to handle, but Niemi almost seemed to be watching something else as it skipped past him and caught the inside of the left post.

* The Avalanche's 3rd goal would end Niemi's afternoon, but his replacement Alex Stalock didn't fare much better. MacKinnon converted 16 seconds into Stalock's stint in net, throwing a puck on net from the right side that the Sharks goaltender just flat out missed.

* San Jose regrouped to close out the period with a pair of goals. Desjardins earned an extra two minutes after he ignited a brawl at center ice after slashing Cody McLeod. Matt Duchene was sent off for roughing less than a minute later, then Jan Hejda was sent off for slashing to setup a 5-on-3 power play for the Sharks. Joe Pavelski cashed in with his 18th goal of the season by punching home a loose puck from the left circle.

* Patrick Marleau hammered a 25 foot shot that beat Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov at 10:11 of the middle period. The Avalanche were about to send someone to the box on the delayed penalty, but Marleau cashed in. The Sharks forward finished the day with a goal and 2 assists.

* Jan Hejda gave the Sharks the crack they needed to slip back in to the game by taking an interference penalty with 5 minutes to play, but the Sharks failed to take advantage. Pavelski had the best chance to convert on the power play with a breakaway, but Varlamov stoned him in close.

* Marleau's assist on Pavelski's goal was his 900th career NHL point. Marleau became the 38th player in NHL history to score at least 900 points with the same team.

* The loss was the 10th in regulation for San Jose this season and 9th on the road. San Jose has fallen to 11-9-3 away from SAP Center, meaning they've now lost more games on the road than they've won.

* The loss was also the first time the Sharks have lost to Colorado in regulation in 16 games.

* To add insult to literal injury, MacKinnon passed Tomas Hertl for the NHL rookie scoring lead with his two goals. Hertl's season is likely done, so losing out on a chance to compete for the Calder Trophy was inevitable, but letting an opponent formally pass the Sharks rookie sensation was a tough pill to swallow.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 2 1 3
COL 1 3 0 4
1st period - 1, COL, McKinnon 11 (Benoit, Stastny), 15:28, (pp).
2nd period - 2, COL, McGinn 9 (Duchene), 4:53. 3, COL, Johnson 13 (Landeskog, Duchene), 5:45. 4, COL, MacKinnon 12 (Mitchell), 5:59. 5, SJ, Pavelski 18 (Marleau, Thornton), 8:35, (pp). 6, SJ, Marleau 19 (Demers, Nieto), 10:11.
3rd period - 7, SJ, Couture 14 (Marleau, Hannan), 5:44.
Penalties
1st period - Braun, SJ (hooking), 14:44.
2nd period - Thornton, SJ (interference), 0:23; Desjardins, COL (slashing), 5:59; Kearns, SJ (roughing), 5:59; McLeod, COL (roughing), Duchene, COL (roughing), 6:36; Hjeda, COL (slashing), 7:59; Desjardins, SJ (fighting major), 13:24; Talbot, COL (fighting major), 13:24; Stalock, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 18:14.
3rd period - Hejda, COL (interference), 15:58.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 14 11
SJ - Stalock 7 6
COL - Varlamov 33 30
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 10 13 10 33
COL 8 9 4 21
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 3
COL 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Nathan MacKinnon
Semyon Varlamov
Erik Johnson
Attendence
17,154
Officials
Referees: Hebert, Lee. Linesmen: Mach, Racicot.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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