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Sharks slip at home again
Poor defense bookends good offense in loss to Flames
1/17/15 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks looked like world beaters in the 2nd period of their game with the Calgary Flames on Saturday night. Scoring three straight goals, they raced back from a 2-0 deficit by playing hard-nosed hockey. Unfortunately, they book-ended that period with defense that was worthy of a flogging, allowing goals seconds into the game and the overtime period that nullified their strong 2nd period. All of that coming on home ice was yet another maddening outcome that further validates that fact that this is a team that doesn't have much of an identity.

Are they a winning team? A losing team? It's hard to say. The outcomes are all over the place, devoid of much consistency right now. After losing three straight at home, their performance against Toronto two days ago looked like things might be headed in the right direction, but then Calgary comes along and they're right back to square one.

San Jose was forced to claw back in this one early. Dennis Wideman pumped a shot past Antti Niemi from the slot just 40 seconds in to the game. With defensemen standing in front of the net, it made things easier for Calgary to leverage traffic in front of the Sharks goaltender. Justin Braun created a wall in front of Niemi as he jostled with Markus Granlund, screening the goaltender's vision as the shot sailed past him.

Jiri Hudler took a tripping penalty 4 minutes later, then the Sharks power play unit did exactly the opposite of what they needed to do. Brent Burns tried to exit his zone by making a long pass up the right wing boards but Joe Colborne chipped it back toward the Sharks net. Burns whiffed on a chance to stop Colborne who scooped up the loose puck before changing direction from right to left and slipping a shot home for the 2-0 Flames lead.

The Sharks came storming back in the 2nd period. Logan Couture scored just 12 seconds into the period by ripping a shot from the left dot after the Sharks won the faceoff.

Joe Thornton tied the game at 2-2 just 2:28 later by lifting a rebound past Flames goaltender Joni Ortio after the Sharks used a series of passes to get the puck to Thornton on the right post. Couture sent a pass to the space just to the left of the trapezoid, where Patrick Marleau tapped the puck out to the slot where Joe Pavelski tried to get a shot on net. The puck either bounced off Ortio or a skate in the crease, which ended with it redirecting out to the right of the net where Thornton was lurking.

Rookie Melker Karlsson continued his hot January, by scoring his 7th goal of the season 9 minutes into the period. Pavelski took a pass from Braun near the left corner, then waited out defensemen Kris Russell before sliding a pass through the slot. Karlsson broke toward the net and slammed on the breaks as the puck got to him. He missed the puck with his stick, but it kicked off his skate and into the wide open goal to put the Sharks up 3-2.

With all the accomplishments in the period, San Jose failed to lock down the Flames in the period. Hudler negated Karlsson's goal by scoring his 14th of the season 2:32 after the Shark rookies goal. Like the game's opening goal, too many Shark defenders were caught watching the play and not covering the shooter. In this case it was Hudler who took a pass from Mikael Backlund before cutting across the slot and waiting to pick his shot. That ended up being one that headed fo the right side of the net, just clearing Niemi's glove hand.

Both team's went into prevent mode in the 3rd period, allowing few opportunities for their opponent. The biggest chance for the Sharks came when Marleau found himself unencumbered by any defensive presence as he raced up the ice with the puck. The breakaway opportunity turned into a missed opportunity when Marleau failed tolift the puck over Ortio's glove hand.

Sean Monahan end the game just 24 seconds into the overtime period, by sweeping home a rebound after Mark Giordano pumped a shot on net. Braun was draped all over Monahan, but the Flames forward seemed to brush aside the defensemen before putting the puck past Niemi.

Marleau breakaway chance with 11 minutes left in the 3rd period.

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Scoring
1 2 3 OT T
CGY 2 1 0 1 4
SJ 0 3 0 0 3
1st period - 1, CGY, Wideman 11 (Colborne, Raymond), 0:40. 2, CGY, Colborne 4 (Stajan), 5:59, (sh).
2nd period - 3, SJ, Caouture 16 (Marleau, Braun), 0:12. 4, SJ, Thornton 10 (Pavelski, Marleau), 2:40, (pp). 5, SJ, Karlsson 7 (Pavelski, Braun), 9:00. 6, CGY, Hudler 14 (Backlund, Giordano), 11:32.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - 7, CGY, Monahan 13 (Giordano, Byron), 0:24.
Penalties
1st period - Hudler, CGY (tripping), 4:09; Kennedy, SJ (slashing), 14:59.
2nd period - Bench, CGY (too many men), 2:10.
3rd period - Tennyson, SJ (hooking), 9:33.
Overtime - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
CGY - Ortio 22 19
SJ - Niemi 23 19
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
CGY 11 6 4 2 23
SJ 4 10 8 0 22
Power Play Conversion
CGY 0 of 2
SJ 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Colborne
Logan Couture
Justin Braun
Attendance
17,562
Officials
Referees: Skilliter, St Laurent. Linesmen: Wheler, Galloway.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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