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Madison Square ambush
Sharks flat in shutout loss to Rangers
10/19/14 - By Mike Lee -

An unusual thing has been happening to the Sharks this season. Usually shot crazy, San Jose has trailed in shot counts for a majority of their games this season. But they've been winning. They went and messed that all up on Sunday in New York by outshooting the host Rangers 33-29 at Madison Square Garden. For their effort, they were rewarded with a 4-0 spanking at the hands of Henrik Lundqvist and the rest of the Rangers.

San Jose mustered double digit shot counts in the 2nd and 3rd period, which is when the Rangers unloaded on them for four consecutive goals. Perhaps there's something to be said about the quality of shots the Sharks have been taking in the early part of the season.

Sunday was about volume and an overall lack of quality.

They were also playing on less than 24 hours rest, having defeated the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night in Newark. The quick turnaround meant lots of tired legs for the Sharks, and it showed.

The jump was gone. Too many players chasing or watching the puck. It was not one of their finer performances. This was a tired team.

There's also something to be said about rest. The Rangers last played on Thursday, when they beat the Carolina Hurricanes in a shootout. The Rangers were also playing at home, which is certainly an additional advantage.

The two teams kicked off things at a high pace that probably squeezed what energy the Sharks had out of them. Both teams traded scoring chances in the first 10 minutes of the contest, but both Lundqvist and Sharks netminder Alex Stalock stayed steady and sure.

In the 2nd period, the momentum clearly began to shift. By the games midpoint, the Rangers were clearly pressing on the Sharks. A faceoff win in their own end started a scoring opportunity for the Rangers 13 minutes into the period. Carl Hagelin carried the puck through the neutral zone before firing a shot on net from 40 feet out. Stalock allowed the shot to bounce back out into the slot and rookie defenseman Mirco Mueller failed to clear the puck as it bounced back toward the Sharks blueline. Hagelin lifted Mueler's stick then chipped it past Stalock for a painful goal.

The Sharks seemed to survive the storm and were headed to the 2nd intermission before disaster struck. Martin St Louis found himself with the puck after it squirted out from a scrum in the right corner. The Rangers forward took two hacks at the puck as it pinched up against Stalock and the right post. By the time Marc-Edouard Vlassic and Andrew Desjardins got there to try and decapitate St Louis, the puck tricked through Stalock's pads and over the goal ine.

Stalock was none too happy that the referees did not blow the whistle as he covered it up, but his frustration seemed to get the better of him.

That frustration manifested into a miscue that would pot the Rangers a third goal just 4 seconds later.

After a faceoff was chipped into the Sharks zone, Rick Nash stabbed at the puck, slip it between Stalock's pads as the Sharks goaltender seemed to get his baring crossed and his skates discombobulated. The puck split those crossed up skates for Nash's 7th goal of the season.

The 3rd period was simply a obligation that the Sharks need to get through. They surrendered a 4th goal 7:18 into the period. Kevin Hayes converted for his 1st NHL tally, lifting a shot from the right side after skating from behind the Sharks net and pivoting 180 degrees to face his target.

Stalock's inability to steal a win may have Sharks head coach Todd McLellan reconsider his plan to alternate goaltenders. Stalock has both Sharks losses this season, although one came in the shootout.

San Jose finishes their road trip on Tuesday in Boston when they take on the Bruins.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 0 0
NYR 0 3 1 4
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, NYR, Hagelin 1 (J. Moore, D. Moore), 13:01. 2, NYR, St Louis 1 (unassisted), 19:16. 3, NYR, Nash 7 (D. Moore), 19:20.
3rd period - 4, NYR, Hayes 1 (unassisted), 7:18.
1st period - Brassard, NYR (hooking), 9:14; Vlasic, SJ (roughing), 19:56; Glass, NYR (roughing), 19:56.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - Desjardins, SJ (fighting major), 3:11; Desjardina, SJ (cross checking), 3:11; Glass, NYR (fighting major), 3:11; Hunwick, NYR (interference), 9:08; Malone, NYR (goaltender interference), 12:53.
Shots Saves
SJ - Stalock 29 25
NYR - Lundqvist 33 33
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 5 15 13 33
NYR 7 17 5 29
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 3
NYR 0 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Carl Hagelin
Rick Nash
Henrik Lundqvist
Referees: Hebert, Leggo. Linesmen: Murchison, Nansen.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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