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Last visit to Nassau nauseating
Sharks lose in the shootout after blowing 3rd period lead
10/16/14 - By Mike Lee -

You can't win them all, but the fact that the Sharks are giving up goals in the 3rd period is not something they should be comfortable with. San Jose allowed their opponent to score a pair of 3rd period goals for the second straight game, and were forced to take matters to the shootout as they did in Washington D.C. on Tuesday night. The New York Islanders were one shootout goal better than the Sharks on Thursday night, taking a 4-3 win.

The loss marked the last time San Jose would drop a game at Nassau Coliseum, barring a matchup between the two teams in a Stanley Cup Final. That seems extremely unlikely if San Jose can't figure out how to buckle down on defense late in games.

The Sharks didn't play poorly, but they also weren't playing a perennial Stanley Cup contender. The Islanders have struggled for years to build a nucleus that would return them to the dynasty days of the early 80's, but doormat is a more likely moniker. The Islanders entered Thursday night's action undefeated and extended that with some timely scoring and a shootout squad that put the puck in the net in the 5th round to take 2 points in the standings.

San Jose held two separate leads, but a 3rd period lapse cost them a point in the standings. Brent Burns staked the Sharks to 1-0 lead 1:39 into the 2nd period, snapping a one-timer from the left dot after Joe Thornton set him up with a pass through the slot. Burns hobbled John Tavares with a shot moments earlier, opening up a hole on the left side that allowed the unimpeded shot.

Nick Leddy tied the game less than 3 minutes later with a seeing-eye shot that wove through traffic, catching the top left corner of the net. Sharks goaltender Alex Stalock never saw the puck, which found a hole as it passed 4 players.

San Jose only generated 6 shots on goal through the game's first 30 minutes, but that 6th shot beat Jaroslav Halak when Patrick Marleau converted on the Sharks lone power play of the game. Ryan Strome put the Sharks on the man advantage by cross-checking rookie defenseman Mirco Mueller. Marleau snapped a shot from the left point that found the upper right corner of the net.

Burns took one of the odder penalties you'll ever see when he tried scooping the puck out of his own zone with a glove after breaking a stick 5:38 into the 3rd period. Kyle Okposo used 19 seconds of the subsequent power play to tie the game. Frans Nielsen setup Okposo with apass to the slot after driving to the left post and drawing a pair of Shark defenders into the vicinity. With a flick of the wirst, Okposo bagged his 2nd goal of the year.

Josh Bailey gave New York their first lead of the game 2:41 later. The Islanders forward gathered a rebound in the slot, then had to pivot 270 degrees to his left before lifting a shot over Stalock's right shoulder. San Jose had three defenders in the area, but neither could get a body or stick on Bailey, who scored his 2nd of the season.

Tomas Hertl re-tied the game at 3-3 with 8:44 left in regulation, stuffing a shot past Halak from the just outside the right post. Jason Demers made a three-line pass that Hertl gathered along the right wing boards, allowing the young Czech to race in on Halak and tie the game.

Stalock made the save of the game with three minutes left in regulation, diving to deny Leddy and Kyle Clutterbuck who had open looks at the net.

San Jose generated almost a third of their shot total for the game in the 5-minute overtime period. None of those shot s found twine, which sent the game to the shootout for the second consecutive game for San Jose.

Logan Couture scored in the 1st round of the shootout for San Jose, but Joe Pavelski, Hertl, Burns and Thornton all missed. Okposo matched Couture's tally in the 3rd round to extend the shootout, then Tavares ended things with a delayed shot that lifted past Stalock.

The decision to use Thornton in the shootout's 5th round in a must-score situation was a peculiar one. Not one with a nose for the net, Thornton failed to convert ending San Jose's night.


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1 2 3 OT SO T
SJ 0 2 1 0 0 3
NYI 0 1 2 0 1 4
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, SJ, Burns 1 (Thornton, Mueller), 1:39. 2, NYI, Leddy 2 (Tavares, Okposo), 4:05. 3, SJ, Marleau 3 (Burns, Thornton), 9:14, (pp).
3rd period - 4, NYI, Okposo 2 (Nielsen, Tavares), 5:57, (pp). 5, NYI, Bailey 2 Clutterbuck, Leddy), 8:38. 6, SJ, Hertl 2 (Demers, Irwin), 11:16.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - NYI: Nielsen (miss), Nelson (miss), Okposo (goal), Strome (miss), Tavares (goal). SJ: Couture (goal), Pavelski (miss), Hertl (miss), Burns (miss), Thornton (miss).
1st period - Vlasic, SJ (interfernce), 15:43.
2nd period - Strome, NYI (cross checking), 9:07.
3rd period - Burns, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 5:38.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
SJ - Stalock 45 42
NYI - Halak 23 20
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 3 8 5 7 23
NYI 14 14 12 5 45
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 1
NYI 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Kyle Okposo
John Tavares
Brent Burns
Referees: Devorski, Martell. Linesmen: McElman, Brisebois.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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