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Home no haven for San Jose
Sharks drop another season series
11/20/14 - By Mike Lee -

If you took the 3000-to-1 odds on the Sharks losing the season series to the Florida Panthers, Columbus Blue jackets and Buffalo Sabres, you just hit the jackpot. San Jose completed the parlay of shame on Thursday night, dropping a 3-2 shootout loss to the Panthers at SAP Center. The no-name Panthers overcame a last second goal by the Sharks at the end of regulation by one-upping San Jose in the skills contest.

After stumbling through a 7-game road trip over the course of the past two weeks, the Sharks returned home to the friendly confines of SAP Center, only to stumble through 65 minutes on home ice. Losses happen, but losing so many games to so many bad teams is unsettling. The Sharks are playing uninspired hockey that doesn't seem to be getting any better.

Florida, Columbus and Buffalo have combined for 18 wins this season, and 6 of those coming at the expense of San Jose. Outside of a late Patrick Marleau goal, the Sharks seemed ill-prepared to compete against one of the league's perpetual also-rans.

The Panthers took a mere 24 seconds before jumping on the Sharks. Nick Bjugstad tipped a Dmitry Kulikov shot from the right point past Antti Niemi to remind the less than sellout crowd that the Sharks have some holes. Bjugstad simply skated to the shooting lane and got a stick on Kulikov's shot, changing the trajectory enough to cross up the Sharks goaltender.

Kulikov would play a role in the next game, putting the Sharks on the power play after cross checking Tommy Wingels 4:41 into the 2nd period. Logan Couture converted on the ensuing power play by jamming home a loose puck from outside the left post. Joe Pavelski tried jamming home a feed from Marleau, but Roberto Luongo made a pad save from his stomach. Couture swooped in to push the puck across the goal line after Luongo failed to collect it with his glove.

Wingels repaid Kulikov's favor by taking a lazy holding the stick penalty with 4:04 remaining in the period. Bjugstad was there to punish the Sharks once again, rifling home a shot from the top of the left circle with 2:37 left in the period. Jimmy Hayes helped impair Niemi's vision on the play, parking himself in front of the Sharks goal.

Two weeks of molasses in the Sharks veins seemed to bog the sharks down in the 3rd period. Trailing by a goal, the Sharks needed to play their best hockey in the final 20 minutes of regulation, but ended up squeaking out a goal just to get to overtime. San Jose could only muster 3 shots in the period, but one of those came off those slipped past Luongo.

Marleau had a golden opportunity to tie things up 13 minutes into the period, but the forward was slashed as he broke in on Luongo. The former Sharks captain was awarded a penalty shot, but his passive approach to the 1-on-1 chance just potted more frustration for San Jose.

The Sharks forward would atone for this misses with 34 seconds left in regulation when he snapped a one-time chance from the right dot past Luongo for his 6th tally of the season.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic got a tick up on Rocco Grimaldi with 11 seconds left in regulation to setup a lengthy 4-on-3 power play once the game entered the overtime phase.

The Sharks killed off the Panthers power play, but they simply delayed the inevitable.

Couture and Jussi Jokinen traded goals in the 2nd round of the shootout, but Brent Burns missed his chance. Bjugstad ended things with a sweeping shot that paralyzed Niemi before it hit the back of the net.

Game Notes:

* Jason Demers played in his 300th NHL game.

* Patrick Marleau played in his 400th consecutive NHL contest, the longest streak in San Jose Sharks history. In addition, he currently holds the 5th longest consecutive games played streak in the NHL.

* Joe Thornton recorded an assist on the Marleau goal, he is now tied with Denis Savard for 23rd place on the NHL's All-Time Assist List.



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Scoring
1 2 3 OT SO T
FLA 1 1 0 0 1 3
SJ 0 1 1 0 0 2
1st period - 1, FLA, Bjugstad 5 (Kulikov, Huberdeau), 0:24.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Couture 8 (Pavelski, Marleau), 6:19, (pp). 3, FLA, Bjugstead 6 (Gudbranson, Huberdeau), 17:23, (pp). SJ, Marleau (missed penalty shot), 13:07.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Marleau 6 (Thornton, Hertl), 19:26.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - SJ: Pavelski (miss), Couture (goal), Burns (miss). FLA: Hueberdeau (miss), Jokinen (goal), Bjugstad ().
Penalties
1st period - Desjardins, SJ (holding), 18:07.
2nd period - Kulikov, FLA (cross checking), 4:41; Mitchell, FLA (delay of game - puck over glass), 13:16; Wingels, SJ (holding the stick), 15:56.
3rd period - Bruan, SJ (hooking), 0:54; Jokinen, FLA (hooking), 6:45; Burns, SJ (tripping), 10:38; Vlasic, SJ (high sticking), 19:49.
Overtime - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
FLA - Luongo 30 28
SJ - Niemi 28 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
FLA 6 9 10 3 28
SJ 12 13 3 2 30
Power Play Conversion
FLA 1 of 5
SJ 1 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Nick Bjugstad
Patrick Marleau
Roberto Luongo
Attendence
17,331
Officials
Referees: Chmielewski, Rooney. Linesmen: Cameron, Driscoll.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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