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Sharks break Hurricanes losing streak
Sub-par performance lets soft team take 2 points
3/4/14 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks returned to home ice for the first time in a month, but failed to bring their A game in what amounted to another failed opportunity to capitalize on a much weaker team. San Jose did just enough to lose against the Eastern Conference underachiever Carolina Hurricanes. The visiting Hurricanes snapped a 5-game losing streak which has them perched firmly out of playoff contention, by holding serve and winning the game in overtime.

* After a grueling 60 minutes of mud-bog hockey, Hurricanes defenseman Jay Harrison punched home a blind backhand feed from rookie Elias Lindholm with 42 seconds left in the overtime period. Lindholm drew two defenders to the left side of the Sharks net before whipping his pass to the front of the goal where Harrison was there to deposit the puck into a wide open net. The goal allowed the Hurricanes to sweep the season series with San Jose. Carolina beat the Sharks 5-3 back in December in a game that saw the Sharks gag up 4 goals in the 3rd period to drop a 5-3 decision.

* Given the Hurricanes position in the NHL ecosystem, this was yet another cupcake opponent that ended up dictating the game and stole a point from a Sharks team that was neither inspired or prepared for a weaker team. Hard to make excuses for a performance that should have ended much differently.

* Jiri Tlusty opened the game's scoring with his 10th tally of the season with a partial breakaway chance that he backhanded past Stalock. Tlusty found a crease in the Sharks defense at the San Jose blueline, after Alex Semin hit him with a long pass from deep in the Hurricanes zone. Jason Demers was standing stationary as the last line of defense and got caught flat footed after Tlusty took the Semin feed and darted up the slot on his way to the Sharks net.

* San Jose took all of 58 seconds to respond to the Tlusty goal, when Martin Havlat poked hom e a rebound at 13:05. Tyler Kennedy fired a shot on Hurricanes goaltender Anton Khudobin from the right side, forcing a rebound to the far side where Havlat was there to clean things up for his 5th goal of the season.

* The Sharks 3rd line made the most of a chance late in the period, forcing a turnover behind the Carolina net with a strong forecheck. James Sheppard picked up the puck along the end boards and kicked it out to the front of the goal where Raffi Torres scooped it up. Torres' momentum was carrying him from left to right through the slot, so he dropped a pass for Brent Burns who came barreling down the lane. Burns leaned into a heavy slat shot that beat Khudobin for his 15th goal of the season. It was Burns first goal in 20 games.

* A coverage issue in the defensive zone cost San Jose 4 minutes into the 2nd period when Lindholm one timed an Eric Staal feed from behind the net past Stalock.

* Sheppard was sent to the box for what referee Dan O'Halloran thought was an illegal check to the head of Hurricanes captain Staal. Replays clearly showed that the hit was shoulder to shoulder. San Jose killed the penalty to avoid a more severe penalty for the poor officiating.

*Burns had a golden chance to put the sharks up with 12 minutes left in regulation, but Khudobin stoned him on a rush across the top of the Carolina crease.

* San Jose out-shot Carolina 16-7 in the 3rd period, but they couldn't get another puck past Khudobin. That failure to capitalize on numerous scoring chance committed San Jose to doom.

* The game would go to overtime where Harrison did his thing. San Jose was out-shot 4-1 in the extra session and never had any momentum in the frame. Carolina controlled the puck for most of the period as was evident in the shot count. More importantly, the Hurricanes held the puck the last two minutes of the contest, owning the Sharks zone. Andrew Desjardins and Joe Thornton failed to maintain any puck possession on the final shift, which eventually ended up in the Sharks net.

* San Jose has not defeated the Hurricanes in San Jose since 2005.

* Jason Demers, Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture and Tommy Wingels all -2 on Tuesday night. Couture was also 8 of 23 in the faceoff circle (35%).



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Scoring
1 2 3 OT T
CAR 1 1 0 1 3
SJ 2 0 0 0 2
1st period - 1, CAR, Tlusty 10 (Semin, Liles), 12:07. 2, SJ, Havlat 5 (Kennedy, Desjardins), 13:05. 3, SJ, Burns 15 (Torres, Sheppard), 19:32.
2nd period - 4, CAR, Lindholm 5 (E. Staal, Sekera), 4:16.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - 5, CAR, Harrison 3 (Lindholm, Sekera), 4:18.
Penalties
1st period - Boyle, SJ (slashing), 3:52; E. Staal, CAR (interference), 4:12.
2nd period - Sheppard, SJ (illegal check to head), 5:30.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
CAR - Khudobin 37 35
SJ - Stalock 35 32
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
CAR 16 8 7 4 35
SJ 11 9 16 1 37
Power Play Conversion
CAR 0 of 2
SJ 0 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Andrej Khudobin
Alex Stalock
Elias Lindholm
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: O'Halloran, McCauley. Linesmen: Gibbs, Wheler.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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