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Blues hammer Sharks again
SJ gives up 14 goals in 2 games to St Louis
1/8/14 - By Mike Lee -

There are beat downs, and then there's the Sharks taking their lumps against the St Louis Blues. Facing the Blues five days after a 7-2 thumping at SAP Center last Saturday night, the Sharks squared off against the Blues in St Louis. The outcome was not good. In fact, it was painfully clear that the Blues have the Sharks number. St Louis annihilated the Sharks by the same 7-2 score on a night that exposed man yof the same holes that have been nagging San Jose most of the season.

Special congratulations go to Sharks head coach Todd McLellan, who celebrated his 500th career NHL game coached by having his teeth kicked in. The only thing that could have made the loss more painful is if Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock had sat on McLellan.

Dispatching the heavy jokes, Hitchcock's heavies came in the form of an offense that scored at will against a Sharks team that seemed resolved to lose after their attempts to pull within a 3-2 deficit were answered with a pair of goals in the 2nd period. It was lights out from there.

San Jose didn't help themselves early, by putting the league's best power play on the ice after John Scott was sent off for high sticking Barret Jackman. The Sharks had a chance to turn the tables on the Blues when Logan Couture and Tommy Wingels skated up ice on a 2-on-1 chance. Couture's shot bounced off Blues netminder Brian Elliott's pad back the other way, creating a 4-on-2 chance for the Blues.

Alexander Steen did what Couture could not, putting the puck past the opposing goaltender after Vladimir Tarasenko returned a touch pass on the tail end of the Blues break.

St Louis turned to their defense to make it 2-0 less than 5 minutes later. Jay Bouwmeester put a shot past Antti Niemi with a shot from the left point as Jaden Scwartz parked himself in front of the Sharks netminder. Couture's passive attempt at clearing out Schwartz did more to screen Niemi's view than actually move the Blues forward.

Joe Pavelski turned a bad situation into a disaster by taking a double minor for high sticking Tarasenko. Couture helped right the ship a bit by scoring a short-handed goal just as the first penalty was expiring. Couture carried the puck up the left wing, and flipped it on net as he changed direction by turning toward the slot. Elliott may have tried to track Couture's path and ended up opening up the left side of the net.

The Sharks looked as if they were going to escape without any further damage, but Paul Stastny converted on the power play by snapping a T.J. Oshie feed past Niemi from the bottom of the left circle.

Melker Karlsson continued his hot hand, scoring his 4th goal in as many games 32 seconds into the 2nd period. Elliott mishandled the puck after San Jose forced it on net. Karlsson batted the loose puck form the right side for his 5th tally of the season to cut the Blues lead to a single goal.

Any illusions of a comeback were promptly and thoroughly dispatched by St Louis.

Jori Lehtera and Oshie scored to push the Blues lead to 5-2 to close out the 2nd period.

Patrick Berglund pushed the Blues lead to 6-2 at 9:05 of the 3rd period on a wrap-around chance that was simplified by the fact that Couture, Tomas Hertl and Brent Burns kept their skates static and literally watched Berglund skate around the back of the net and tuck the puck inside the right post for his 5th goal of the season.

David Backes got in on the scoring to rub a little more salt into the Sharks gaping wound. Backes snapped a one timer from between the circles after Schwartz fed him the puck from the right corner. The Sharks were guilty of chasing Schwartz, leaving Backes unattended for the easy snipe.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 1 1 0 2
STL 3 2 2 7
1st period - 1, STL, Steen 11 (Tarasenko, Schwartz), 10:38, (pp). 2, STL, Bowmeester 2 (Tarasenko, Lehtera), 15:06. 3, SJ, Couture 15 (Dillon), 18:27, (sh). 4, STL, Stastny 9 (Oshie, Shattenkirk), 19:06, (pp).
2nd period - 5, SJ, Karlsson 5 (Couture, Burns), 0:32. 6, STL, Lehtera 9 (Schwartz), 8:52. 7, STL, Oshie 11 (Steen, Backes), 13:20.
3rd period - 8, STL, Berglund 5 (Stastny), 9:05. 9, STL, Backes 14 (Schwartz, Pietrangelo), 11:59.
Penalties
1st period - Scott, SJ (high sticking), 9:29; , SJ (high sticking - double minor), 16:26.
2nd period - Jaskin, STL (high sticking), 6:15.
3rd period - Scott, SJ (interference), 13:22; Scott, SJ (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:15; Reaves, STL (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:15; Reaves, STL (tripping), 19:15.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 21 16
SJ - Stalock 7 5
STL - Elliott 26 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 7 13 6 26
STL 12 11 5 28
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 2
STL 2 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Jaden Schwartz
T.J. Oshie
Paul Stastny
Attendance
19,220
Officials
Referees: Furlatt, Skilliter . Linesmen: Gibbs, Nowak.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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