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Sharks stumble at home...again
New Jersey lures SJ into lethargic loss
3/10/16 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks returned to the scene of the crime on Thursday night, dropping a 3-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils. The crime being the product the Sharks throw out on the ice in front of their home fans. San Jose slept-walked through 60 minutes of lifeless hockey that was best suited for an insomniac. New Jersey entered the contest 0-5-1 and were shellacked for 6 goals in their last game, but they played a lockdown defensive road game that was tailor made for the Sharks lethargic offense.

Devils goaltender Keith Kincaid strapped on the pads for New Jersey and stopped 30 shots. Most of those shots were of the typical long range variety. Easy shots to take, because they're a mile away from the goal and anyone who will touch you, but even easier to stop.

San Jose made Kincaid's night an easy one, as the Devils kicked off a 3-game road trip through California. The netminder was never challenged, nor was he called upon to make any difficult saves.

It was the perfect scenario for the defensive first Devils who simply played to keep the puck out of their own net, and capitalize on a few chances. New Jersey went over 18 minutes without a shot between the 2nd and 3rd periods, but the two shots that book-ended that span were deposited into the Sharks net.

Devante Smith-Pelley slipped a shot past Martin Jones 3:14 into the 2nd period. Smith-Pelley fired a shot from the outside of the left circle as Stephen Gionta cut across the slot. Gionta partially screened Jones on the play, allowing the shot to catch the top right corner of the net.

New Jersey took the next 20 minutes off for a bite and a beer, while the Sharks tripped over themselves trying to break the trap that the Devils used to hem the San Jose offense.

Travis Zajac put the Devils up 2-0 1:35 into the 3rd period on a puck that was pushed into the crease and San Jose finished off by sweeping it into their own net. The scoring chance started with the Sharks inability to clear the puck, as New Jersey pushed the puck along the end boards. Zajac got a shot off from the left side, bouncing it as Paul Martin and Jones tried unsuccessfully to move it away from the goal mouth. They failed.

A Tyler Kennedy penalty setup the Sharks 3rd and final power play chance of the evening. Brent Burns missed on a gimme goal from the right side after Kincaid fell to the ice defending a shot, leaving the net wide open. Burns whiffed on the bouncing puck, and missing out on a chance to cut the Devils lead in half.

San Jose pulled Jones, helping to pad Zajac's stats after he converted on the empty net.

The Sharks are now 0-7-1 this season when returning home after a road trip. It's a telling stat for a team that has been mediocre at home this season. The bad news is San Jose has more home games left than road games.





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Scoring
1 2 3 T
NJ 0 1 1 2
SJ 0 0 0 0
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, NJ, Smith-Pelly 9 (Gionta), 3:14.
3rd period - 2, NJ, Zajac 11 (unassisted), 1:35.
Penalties
1st period - Couture, SJ (tripping), 16:50.
2nd period - Kincaid, NJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 7:20; Helgeson, NJ (holding), 16:57.
3rd period - Kennedy, NJ (closing hand on puck), 13:31.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
NJ - Kincaid 30 30
SJ - Jones 15 13
SJ - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
NJ 7 3 6 16
SJ 6 16 8 30
Power Play Conversion
NJ 0 of 1
SJ 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Keith Kincaid
Stephen Gionta
Travis Zajac
Attendance
16,234
Officials
Referees: St Laurent, Furlatt. Linesmen: Murchison, Racicot.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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