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Everything's Cloudy in San Jose
Sharks implode in 3rd agsint Flyers
2/3/14 - By Mike Lee -

So much for all the warm fuzzies following the win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night. The Sharks took another two steps backward in their attempts to snap out of a week-long funk that's resulted in 4 losses in their last 5 games with a meltdown against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night. San Jose suffered a 3rd period implosion, surrendering 4 goals in the 3rd period after start the frame with a 2-1 lead, falling 5-2 to a team they haven't lost to since December of 2000. To put that into perspective, Eric Lindros was still playing for the Flyers the last time the Sharks dropped a game to the orange and black.

* No beating around the bush here. The Sharks scored 2 goals in the 1st period, then mailed it in. Do that against any NHL team and bad things happen. For San Jose they managed to survive the 2nd period without surrendering a goal, but then the wheels fell off.

* Things got off to an auspicious start for the Sharks who surrendered a power play goal to Marl Streit 4:23 into the contest after Matt Nieto was sent off for hooking. Streit blasted a shot from the point that slipped past a screened Antti Niemi. The Sharks goaltender has been less than stellar the past month, but has been particularly bad when the opposition gets any form of a screen in front of him.

* Nieto atoned for this penalty 3 minutes later, redirecting a Tommy Wingels feed from the right side while the Sharks were skating on their own power play.

* Nieto converted again at 12:32 when Brent Burns fought off a check in the right corner. With his back to the goal, Burns sent a blind backhand pass to Nieto who was cutting across the slot. The Sharks rookie gathered Burns pass then deeked Chris Mason as he sliced his way across the top of the crease and slipping a shot under Mason's right pad for his 6th goal of the season.

* If you're here to read about the Sharks accomplishments, you can stop now, because there are none.

* San Jose was outshot 12-8 in the opening period, then put up a measly 5 shots in the 2nd period. One of those shots was a Burns attempt that clanked off the crossbar.

* The Sharks came out of the dressing room to start the 3rd period with the intention of having the win handed to them. The Flyers had other plans.

* Philadelphia scored 3 of their 4 goals in a 2:45 span that turned a 2-1 Sharks lead into a 4-2 deficit. Matt Read started things off with a goal 1:11 into the period. Read raced around the right side and snapped a shot that Matt Irwin partially deflected. Irwin's lack of speed allowed Read to gain the advantage and uncork a shot that Irwin had no chance of blocking. The deflection was all it took to deceive Niemi who surrendered his 2nd soft goal of the game.

* Michael Raffl scored what turned out to be the game winning goal 78 seconds later, sweeping a deflection past Niemi, after Erik Gustafsson bounced a shot off the Sharks goaltender from the slot.

* Niemi and Irwin teamed up once more to assist with a Flyer goal at 3:56 of the period. With the puck fluttering up the bench side boards, Irwin scooped it up and sent a blind pass into the neutral zone where Claude Giroux intercepted it and raced up the left side. Giroux uncorked a shot from 40 feet, that Niemi just flat out missed. The Sharks netminder had the glove up, but the shot eluded him. The gaff would help Niemi elude the ice for the rest of the game as head coach Todd McLellan replaced him with Alex Stalock.

* Stalock made a couple of decent saves to keep the Sharks within 2 goals, but his teammates seemed disinterested with making any sort of a comeback run. San Jose even had a pair of two minute power plays that went wasted.

* The game wouldn't be complete without a black mark on Stalock's sheet, so Jakub Voracek stained it with a late goal. Martin Havlat started the comedy of errors by coughing the puck up along the left wing boards where Giroux and Scott Hartnell exchanged passes before finding an uncovered Voracek in the slot.

Game Quotes:

Head Coach Todd McLellan: "Even in the first I didn't think we were as sharp as we needed to be. You know we broke the cardinal rule-- when you get outworked, and outnumbered, all over the rink, you are going to lose. It's as simple as that."

McLellan: "I thought they were harder than we were in all facets of the game. The goaltender, the blueline, 5 on 5, special teams. They were just the better team."

Joe Thornton: "I didn't think we played well at all tonight to be honest with you. I thought we were lucky to be up 2-1 going into the third period. They got a couple of strange ones and took the game over after that."

Dan Boyle: "It was disappointing. When we are up after one we still did not think we were playing the way we needed to play. They get two quick ones [in the third], and obviously we didn't play hard enough to get it done."

Matt Irwin: "They were pressing hard and forcing us to make plays and we weren't executing. That's what we have to do, we have to get pucks up to the forwards and let them get the puck out of the zone. We have to use our speed to get behind their guys and go to work. That's what we do, and when we are doing that well, we are a hard team to play against. We just weren't doing that tonight."

Head Coach Craig Berube: "Good trip. I thought the guys battled and played well all three games against good teams. And we got some good results."

Craig Berube: "We've had games like that. But I thought we did a real good job with the puck tonight. When you play a team like the Sharks, they have a lot of high-powered guys. I thought our players did a good job when they got out there with the Thornton and Pavelski lines. They did a good job with the checking and a good job with the puck."

Claude Giroux: "We played really well. I think today was our best game. We played 60 minutes and obviously we were down 2-1 for pretty much the whole game. But we liked the way we played. We had a lot of chances, and when we had a chance in the third, we went it."

Wayne Simmonds (going 2-1 on their Cali trip): "I think an LA reporter referred to coming to California as a 'Bermuda Triangle'. But I think we played pretty well and competed all three games. I think taking 4 points out of 6 is pretty nice. We'll take that and go back home."


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1 2 3 T
PHI 1 0 4 5
SJ 2 0 0 2
1st period - 1, PHI, Streit 7 (Giroux, Hartnell), 4:23, (pp). 2, SJ, Nieto 5 (Wingels, Irwin), 7:33, (pp). 3, SJ, Nieto 6 (Burns, Thornton), 12:32.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 4, PHI, Read 15 (Downie, Couturier), 1:11. 5, PHI, Raffl 6 (Gustafsson, Hall), 2:29. 6, PHI, Giroux 18 (unassisted), 3:56. 7, PHI, Voracek 15 (Giroux, Hartnell), 17:44.
1st period - Nieto, SJ (hooking), 3:44; Grossman, PHI (interference), 6:14; Gustofsson, PHI (hooking), 19:18.
2nd period - Meszaros, PHI (high sticking), 15:44; Desjardins, PHI (hooking), 18:45.
3rd period - Simmonds, PHI (slashing), 4:43; Bench, PHI (too many men), 12:31.
Shots Saves
PHI - Mason 22 20
SJ - Niemi 23 19
SJ - Stalock 5 4
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
PHI 12 7 9 28
SJ 8 5 9 22
Power Play Conversion
PHI 1 of 2
SJ 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Claude Giroux
Matt Nieto
Sean Couturier
Referees: Hebert, Sutherland. Linesmen: Cvik, Nansen.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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