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Jets dim Sharks playoff hopes
Winnipeg pummels Sharks 5-2
3/17/15 - By Mike Lee -

The Grim Reaper is sharpening his scythe in preparation for the end of the Sharks season. Kicking off a 7-game road trip in Winnipeg to close out the month of March, San Jose did everything they didn't want to do against the Jets in a 5-2 shellacking. Winnipeg stormed out to a 3-0 lead in the opening period and then cruised to their 35th win of the season.

With 12 games to play in the season, the Sharks sit 5 points behind the Los Angeles Kings for the 8th playoff spot in the Western Conference. San Jose has 6 games left on their current trip and another 3 road games which sets up a tall order for the Sharks, who haven't won three consecutive games since January.

Winnipeg isn't exactly an elite opponent, so to get lit up by an also-ran is another sign that the Sharks days are numbered.

If San Jose's goal was to get out to a quick start, that went by the wayside just 70 seconds into the game when Adam Lowry scored one of those "how did that just happen" goals to set the tone for San Jose. Lowry grabbed the puck out of the left corner then skated toward the Sharks net along the end line. The Jets forward whipped the puck on net from behind that line, catching Antti Niemi in the skate to bank it home for his 8th goal of the season.

The goal was simply one of those chances that a goaltender with a laser focus brushes aside without batting an eye. For Niemi, anything sent his way turns out to be an adventure these days.

A holding penalty to Lowry at 7:23 was quickly negated when Justin Braun was sent off for slashing while the Sharks were on the power play. Braun's indiscretion not only negated a chance for the Sharks to tie the game, but it actually extended the jets lead when Mark Schiefele scored a power play goal.

Schiefele took a long pass from Toby Enstrom near the right dot and snapped a shot that Niemi clipped, but couldn't stop.

Melker Karlsson added to the Sharks misery when he caught Enstrom with a high stick to put the Jets right back on the power play. Jacob Trouba fired a shot from the left point, but Andrew Ladd got a stick blade on the shot, redirecting it past Niemi at 13:01 to put the Jets up by 3 goals.

That would end Niemi's night, albeit unfairly. The Sharks netminder really had no chance on the two power play goals, but it was a move that head coach Todd McLellan felt he had to make to shake up his lineup.

The only Shark willing or capable to put the puck past opposing goaltenders stepped up at the start of the 2nd period. De facto captain Joe Pavelski punched home a rebound off a Joe Thornton shot 1:06 into the frame. Thornton sent the puck in on Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec from the high slot, bouncing it off the netminder. Pavelski was lurking around the net, and was in the right place at the right time, when the puck landed on his stick for the easy put back.

Pavelski would add a meaningless goal late in the game after the Jets had pulled ahead by a 5-1 score. The Sharks forward changed the trajectory of a Brent Burns pass from the slot after the defenseman sent the puck hi way from the right point. The goal was Pavelski's 34th of the season.

Pavelski's goals served as bookends to a pair of tallies by Blake Wheeler. The Jets forward punched home a loose puck after the Sharks failed to clear it from around their net after Winnipeg chopped at it behind the San Jose net.

Wheeler added his 22nd goal midway through the 3rd period for the Jets' 5th goal of the evening.





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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 1 2
WPG 3 1 1 5
1st period - 1, WPG, Lowrry 8 (Ladd), 1:10. 2, WPG, Scheifele 12 (Enstrom, Wheeler), 9:39, (pp). 3, WPG, Ladd 24 (Trouba, Frolik), 13:01, (pp).
2nd period - 4, SJ, Pavelski 33 (Thornton, Karlsson), 1:06. 5, WPG, Wheeler 21 (Stafford, Scheifele), 7:05.
3rd period - 6, WPG, Wheeler 22 (Stafford, Scheifele), 9:12. 7, SJ, Pavelski 34 (Burns, Thornton), 17:35.
Penalties
1st period - Lowry, WPG (holding), 7:23; Braun, SJ (slashing), 8:28; Karlsson, SJ (high sticking), 11:54.
2nd period - Vlasic, SJ (interference), 13:49; Slater, WPG (holding the stick), 17:04.
3rd period - Stuart, WPG (cross checking), 3:47; Scott, SJ (roughing), 14:22; Scott, SJ (10 min miconduct)), 14:22; Harrison, WPG (roughing), 14:22.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 8 5
SJ - Stalock 14 12
WPG - Pavelec 40 38
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 7 17 16 40
WPG 10 8 4 22
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 3
WPG 2 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Ondrej Pavelec
Blake Wheeler
Mark Scheifele
Attendance
15,016
Officials
Referees: Lee, Walsh. Linesmen: Galloway, Henderson.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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