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Season begins to spiral
Ottawa the latest to knock off Sharks
2/28/15 - By Mike Lee -

When the Los Angeles Kings knocked the Sharks out of the playoffs last season, the world saw a defeated team. Given that the roster hasn't changed much, that defeated team has manifested into something more hopeless after the Sharks coughed up their second straight 3rd period lead to lose a game they should have won. The Ottawa Senators rallied from a 2-1 deficit with 3 goals in the 3rd period on Saturday night to confirm that the Sharks are a broken team.

The Sharks dropped their 8th consecutive game at home, going winless at home in the month of February. The team that should have cleaned house last summer may get another chance over the next 36 hours with the NHL trade deadline looming. Several players are unrestricted free agents at the end of the season, so it makes sense to try and obtain some value for them rather than lose them for nothing. Goaltender Antti Niemi is at the top of that list.

The Sharks got off to the start they needed when Tommy Wingels jammed home a shot from inside the Senators crease after San Jose did a nice job of working the puck to the front of the ice after a strong forecheck. The goal broke rookie goaltender Andrew Hammond's California shutout streak, after the Senators knocked off both Los Angeles and Anaheim with goose eggs.

Ottawa turned up the heat late in the period, just missing on a goal with under 15 seconds left in the frame. Niemi made a spectacular kick save before following it up with a rejection with his paddle as the Senators threw multiple shots at him from point blank range.

San Jose got into penalty trouble to open the 2nd period. Wingels was sent off for hooking at 2:24, then Brent Burns took a questionable interference penalty that setup an Ottawa goal. Senators captain Erik Karlsson pumped a shot between Niemi's pads after a shot kicked off the end boards, caroming to the Senators defenseman.

Logan Couture was sent off moments later after leveling Mark Stone with a legal hip check. Referee Ian Walsh somehow saw it as a trip. Luckily for San Jose, Stone could keep his cool and went after Couture with a cross check to earn an offsetting penalty.

Colin Greening took a legitimate penalty when he sent Wingels into the boards head first from behind. The boarding penalty setup a Patrick Marleau goal 9 seconds into the power play. The sharks forward was lurking in front of the net when a shot kicked out to the left post for the easy put back. The goal was MArleau's 3rd in the last 4 games.

As if on cue, the Sharks allowed Ottawa to tie the game in the 3rd period on a less than stellar play by Niemi. Stone fired a shot from the slot that Niemi allowed to kick back out to the Senators forward for a follow up chance that found the back of the net at 3:52 of the frame. It was yet another blown 3rd period lead by the Sharks this season.

Brendan Dillon would follow that up with a tripping penalty after the Senators created a partial break. That resulted in the go-ahead goal after Mike Hoffman deposited his 22nd goal of the season on the ensuing power play.

Ottawa added an empty net goal after Melker Karlsson elected to send a blind backhand pass back up the slot rather than shoot from the right circle. It was text book Sharks. Rather than put the puck on net, they try to setup a pretty pass away from the net.

Game Notes:

* With the NHL trade deadline on Monday, the following unrestricted free agents will have the biggest targets on their backs: Niemi, Matt Irwin, Scott Hannan, Tyler Kennedy, James Sheppard, Andrew Desjardins, and John Scott.

* Marleau's goal was his 14th of the season. With the goal, Marleau now has 451 goals in his career, good for 57th place on the NHL's All-Time Goals List.

* The loss marked eh fist time in franshise history that the team lost back to back games after blowing 3rd period leads.

* The Sharks penalty kill is now ranked 25th in the league (79.5%)


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1 2 3 OT SO T
OTT 0 1 2
SJ 1 1 0
1st period - 1, SJ, Wingels 13 (Irwin, Nieto), 2:27.
2nd period - 2, OTT, Karlsson 15 (Turris, Hoffman), 7:29, (pp). 3, SJ, Marleau 14 ( Pavelski, Burns), 13:19, (pp).
3rd period - 4, OTT, Stone 15 (Turris), 3:52. 5, OTT, Hoffman 22 (Zibanejad, Karlsson), 7:59, (pp).
Overtime - .
Shootout - SJ: (goal/miss), (goal/miss), (goal/miss). OTT: (goal/miss), (goal/miss), (goal/miss).
1st period - None.
2nd period - Wingels, SJ (hooking), 2:24; Burns, SJ (interference), 6:05; Stone, OTT (cross checking), 9:10; Couture, SJ (tripping), 9:10; Greening, OTT (boarding), 12:57; Turris, OTT (holding), 14:18.
3rd period - Dillon, SJ (tripping), 7:17.
Overtime - .
Shots Saves
OTT - Hammond 23 21
OTT - empty net
SJ - Niemi 22 21
SJ - empty net
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
OTT 10 12
SJ 12 11
Power Play Conversion
OTT 1 of 2
SJ 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Referees: Watson, Walsh. Linesmen: Heyer, Mach.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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