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Sharks continue to slip on the road
2nd straight loss against doormat
1/30/14 - By Mike Lee -

"This is a fragile team right now." "We're working hard, but sometimes the puck doesn't go your way." "We ran into a hot goaltender." "We're a bit fatigued, playing three games in four nights." You've heard them all before. In fact, you hear them every year. It's that time of the season when the Sharks just can't seem to focus on the task at hand. It's that stretch of the season when it doesn't matter who they're playing, they're going to lose. After dropping a 4-1 decision in Calgary on Thursday night, the Sharks have rattled off three straight regulation losses, the last two against the two worst teams in the Western Conference.

* Much like the evening before (and the game before that), the Sharks did nothing offensively, and made big enough mistakes to allow the opposition to score. San Jose turned to Alex Stalock to try and give starter Antti Niemi a breather after starting in Edmonton on Wednesday night. The usually steady Stalock turned out to be more a hindrance than savior.

* The Sharks coasted through the 1st period, lacking any energy or intensity. The Flames took advantage of shoddy defense midway through the 1st period. Mikael Backlund raced around defenseman Matt Irwin on the right side, sliding a shot that Stalock stopped but the puck sat perched at the top of the crease where Lee Stempniak punched it home. Dan Boyle trailed in coverage on Stempniak, allowing the Flames forward to reach the puck first.

* Mark Giordano capitalized on a rookie mistake by Stalock 3:38 into the 2nd period to push the Flames lead to a pair of goals. Backlund carried the puck in the Sharks zone on the right wing before firing the puck wide right of the net. For some reason, Stalock tracked the puck by turning to his left, doing a 360 degree turn in his crease. The puck bounced off the end boards, right to Giordano who flung it at the net. By the time Stalock was done with his pirouette in the crease, he was late to pick up Giordano's shot, which caught the Sharks goaltender in the arm before deflecting into the goal.

* San Jose finally snapped their goal drought, when rookie Eriah Hayes scored his 1st NHL goal at 36 seconds into the 3rd period. The goal snapped a 160 minute and 36 second span in which the Sharks failed to score. Unfortunately for Hayes, the goal proved to be meaningless. The rookie took a feed from Patrick Marleau in the slot and lifted a shot over goaltender Karri Ramo's left shoulder.

* Any thought of a comeback was wiped away 13 minutes into the period when Sean Monahan deposited another end board rebound. Joe Colborne fired the puck from the left side this time, bouncing a rebound to Monahan at the right dot. Stalock was simply late to get over to cover the right side of the net, but again allowed a shot to hit him in the upper extremity and bounce into his goal.

* Sharks head coach Todd McLellan was forced to pull Stalock with 2 minutes to play, but that turned into a comedy of errors when defenseman Brad Stuart dropped his stick on a back check, allowing Jiri Hudler to grab the walk and walk the puck into the empty net for the Flames final goal.

* After signing his $18 million dollar contract, Patrick Marleau has looked more like a farm hand than an elite NHL player. The former Sharks captain was a -3 against the Flames. He was a -2 in Edmonton. Martin Havlat personally showed why he was a scratch for 7 games after being reactivated from his injury. Havlat was a -2.

* Statistically speaking, the Sharks were out-shot (30-28), out hit (19-18), committed more giveaways (6-5), had fewer blocked shots (13-12), and lost more draws that the Flames (45% faceoff efficiency).



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 1 1
CGY 1 1 2 4
1st period - 1, CGY, Stempniak 8 (Backlund, Wideman), 9:41.
2nd period - 2, CGY, Giordano 9 (Backlund, Hudler), 3:38.
3rd period - 3, SJ, Hayes 1 (Marleau, Wingels), 0:36. 4, CGY, Monahan 15 (Colborne, Smid), 13:00. 5, CGY, Hudler 14 (Wideman), 18:14, (en).
Penalties
1st period - Pavelski, SJ (holding), 10:53.
2nd period - Brodie, CGY (cross checking), 5:59; Wingels, SJ (goaltender interference), 14:35.
3rd period - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Stalock 29 26
SJ - empty net 1 0
CGY - Ramo 28 27
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 8 13 7 28
CGY 12 8 10 30
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 1
CGY 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Karri Ramo
Mikael Backlund
Mark Giordano
Attendence
19,289
Officials
Referees: Martell, St Laurent. Linesmen: Gibbs, Sharrers.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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