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Lifeless Sharks drop second straight
Antti Raanta posts shut out in Rangers debut
10/19/15 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks red-hot start has finally cooled off. 48 hours after dropping a 6-3 decision to the New York Islanders, San Jose fell to the host New York Rangers in a lopsided 4-0 decision at Madison Square Garden. The Sharks could do little against a faster and stronger Rangers team that toyed with San Jose all night long. Goaltender Antti Raanta faced a paltry 22 shots to earn his 4th career shutout in only his 40th career game in the NHL.

Raanta was what Martin Jones was the first two weeks of the season, except Raanta didn't need to do much to earn his shutout. The Sharks rarely challenged him, playing back on their heels most of the night.

Playing in their third game in four nights, the Sharks had little to belly ache about given that the Rangers played a day earlier, dropping a decision to the New Jersey Devils.

Jones actually kept the game to a reasonable 4 goal deficit. The Sharks goaltender was peppered throughout the night with quality scoring chance after scoring chance. Much like last season, the Sharks seemed disinterested in playing defense, and Jones paid the price.

The Rangers turned out fast break after fast break, and had little issue getting the puck to the Sharks net. 12 Sharks players registered a minus rating, including Patrick Marleau, Joel Ward and Tomas Hertl, who all turned in -2 games.

Marc Staal staked the Rangers to a 1-0 lead midway through the opening period, by ripping a shot from the top of the left circle that caught the crossbar to beat Jones. San Jose was caught chasing the puck, allowing New York to work the puck through the sharks zone with a series of passes before Staal's rifle shot.

San Jose took one penalty all night, but even that had negative consequences. Playing in his second NHL game, Dylan DeMelo got a dose of how important it is to stay out of the penalty box. The young defenseman was whistled for tripping Viktor Stalberg at 9:02 of the 2nd period. The Rangers took all of 26 seconds to convert on the ensuing power play, when Mats Zuccarelo bounced a puck off Jones' forearm for his 4th goal of the season.

The Sharks hade a pair of power play chances earlier in the period, but the Sharks top power play unit seemed to bungle the puck throughout the man advantage. Joe Thornton in particular failed to control possession at the most inopportune moments, coughing up the puck three times to allow clearing chances for New York.

In a tell-tale moment of the game, the Sharks had a faceoff in the Rangers zone with 11 seconds left in the 2nd period. Rather than generate a scoring chance in that limited window, the Sharks turned it over and allowed the Rangers to march up ice and fire a shot that rang off the cross bar.

The 3rd period was nothing but a formality, but the Rangers used it as a chance to feast a little more. Jesper Fast took advantage of Brenden Dillon's flat-footedness early in the period when he pounced on a lead pass off the right wing boards and raced around Dillon before tipping a shot past Jones.

Stalberg tacked on the Rangers fourth goal with 3:16 to play after Justin Braun was hit with a case of indecisiveness. Stalberg raced up ice after the Sharks turned the puck over in the Rangers zone, then cut to his left and snapping a shot as Braun was stuck trying to pivot and get a stick on the New York forward. All that did was allow Stalberg to fire a shot from that slid between Jones' pads.

Game Notes:

Melker Karlsson began skating with the San Jose Barracuda on Monday. The Sharks forward has been sidelined with an undisclosed injury since training camp. The game marked the 3rd year in a row that the Sharks have played a 3-game series that spanned 4 days through New York. In each of those series, the Sharks finished the series with a game against the Rangers.





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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 0 0
NYR 1 1 2 4
1st period - 1, NYR, Staal 1 (BRassard, Fast), 10:36.
2nd period - 2, NYR, Zuccarrello 4 (Nash, Boyle), 9:28, (pp).
3rd period - 3, NYR, Fast 1 (Kreider, Yandle), 3:47. 4, NYR, Stalberg 1 (Staal), 16:44.
Penalties
1st period - None.
2nd period - Boyle, NYR (tripping), 1:29; Staal, NYR (tripping), 3:08; DeMelo, SJ (tripping), 9:02.
3rd period - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 28 24
NYR - Raanta 22 22
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 9 4 9 22
NYR 13 10 5 28
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 2
NYR 1 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Antti Raanta
Mats Zuccarrello
Marc Staal
Attendance
18,006
Officials
Referees: Hebert, Rooney. Linesmen: Racicot, Nowak.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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