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Sharks fall short in Boyle's return
Thornton returns but Sharks lack offensive punch
1/10/15 - By Mike Lee -

Dan Boyle made his return to San Jose as a member of the New York Rangers on Saturday night, helping his new team knock off his former employer in a lopsided affair. Boyle didn't account for any scoring, but as a defenseman, he and the Rangers did plenty to suppress any semblance of an offense by the Sharks.

The Rangers scored a pair of 1st period goals, then coasted to their 9th win in their last 11 games. After getting their tails kicked by the St Louis Blues on Thursday, the Sharks succumbed to a different kind of St Louis on Saturday night.

Martin St Louis scored his 14th goal of the season10:40 into the game after the Rangers won a faceoff, then Chris Kreider sent a one-handed pass to St Louis in the slot. St Louis slipped into the slot with three defenders in the vicinity, before snapping Kreider's feed past Antti Niemi for the 1-0 lead.

Kreider made it 2-0 less than 5 minutes later after he punched home a rebound from just outside the crease. Dan Girardi fired a shot from the right dot that Niemi was able to stop, but Kreider out-muscled Justin Braun in front of the net, getting his stick on the puck with Braun literally perched on his back.

"It was just a couple of mistakes that we made that they capitalized on," said sharks forward Matt Nieto. "I think everyone came to play tonight. I think it's just a matter of making those plays and we could have easily won that hockey game."

Every Sharks to a man said after the game that the effort was there, they just didn't get the results. It's good that the Sharks still believe in themselves, even though they rarely had the upper hand against the Rangers. This was simply an issue of a better team outplaying their opponent.

"The moral victory is that the commitment level and the effort level was there," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. "I thought if we apply ourselves that way most nights we'll give ourselves, at least, an opportunity to win."

New York appeared to score their 3rd goal of the game 4:30 into the 2nd period, when a Matt Zuccarello shot was denied by Niemi. The Sharks netminder snared the shot with his glove hand, but the puck's momentum pushed the mitt toward the goal. Officials took several minutes to review, but the review confirmed the on-ice call that the puck did not cross the goal line.

Sharks rookie forward Melker Karlsson continued his hot hand by scoring his 5th goal in as many games 7:14 into the 3rd period. Karlsson punched home his own rebound after James Sheppard bounced a shot off Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Karlsson setup Sheppard's shot with a pass from the right corner, but Sheppard's shot fell short.

The goal tied a franchise record for consecutive games with a goal by a rookie, which Karlsson now shares with Jeff Friesen.

Trailing by a goal late, the Sharks were forced to pull Niemi for the extra attacker, but Rick Nash t0ok advantage of a crossed up Brent Burns after the Rangers pushed the puck into the Sharks zone to score the empty-net goal.

"I think it was a great answer of the bell. We talked about the three days before we came out here that this was going to be a great test, and I thought we played great," added Nash.


Game Notes:

The Sharks honored with a video tribute to Boyle during a stoppage in the 1st period. Boyle acknowledged the sellout crowd who game him a lengthy standing ovation.

Boyle the momen was something he would "live with forever."


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Scoring
1 2 3 T
NYR 2 0 1 3
SJ 0 0 1 1
1st period - 1, NYR, St Louis 14 (Kreider, Stepan), 10:40. 2, NYR, Kreider 8 (Girardi, Stepan), 15:13.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 3, SJ, Karlsson 6 (Sheppard, Tennyson), 7:14, (pp).
Penalties
1st period - Kreider, NYR (interference), 11:34.
2nd period - Tennyson, SJ (high sticking - double minor), 16:31; St Louis, NYR (interference), 17:23.
3rd period - Moore, NYR (holding), 5:41; Couture, SJ (holding), 11:58.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
NYR - Lundqvist 31 30
SJ - Niemi 31 29
SJ - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
NYR 9 11 12 32
SJ 11 9 11 31
Power Play Conversion
NYR 0 of 3
SJ 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Henrik Lundqvist
Chris Kreider
Melker Karlsson
Attendance
17,562
Officials
Referees: Meier, O'Halloran. Linesmen: Pancich, Mach.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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