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Special teams fails Sharks in St Louis
Sharks drop second straight game
11/17/16 - By Mike Lee -

After an abysmal showing in Carolina again an inferior team on Tuesday, the Sharks squared off against a more qualified team that was also looking to settle a score Thusday night. The St Louis Blues had a score to settle after they were eliminated in the Western Conference Finals by San Jose last spring. The Blues converted on a power play late in the 2nd period to take a 3-2 win an exact a bit of revenge over the Sharks at Scottrade Center in St Louis.

David Perron scored with 4:04 left in the 2nd period to push the Blues to the 3-2 lead that would win them the game. Perron's goal came with Mikkel Boedker sitting in the penalty box after taking a controversial interference penalty. The Sharks had just responded to another go-ahead goal by the Blues earlier in the period.

They had also killed 26 consecutive penalties prior to the Perron goal, so everything was in the Sharks favor. Except they didn't stop the Blues. Perron snapped a shot from between the circles, that goaltender Martin Jones stops nine times out of ten. This was the tenth time. Perron's shot squeezed between Jones and the left post to stake the Blues to a lead that they would not relinquish.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic took a phantom holding penalty at the buzzer that ended the period, putting the Blues back on the power play to start the 3rd. That allowed the Blues to kill valuable time and to force an already fatigued Sharks roster to chase the puck instead of mounting any pressure on Blues goaltender Jake Allen. The Blues took the first 8 shots of the period, before San Jose mustered anything resembling a shot.

The Sharks finally got rubber on Allen after Robby Fabbri was whistled for tripping Logan Couture. The ensuing power play was the Sharks 5th of the night. They would end the night with six chances with the man advantage, but they bumbled every one of them.

The equation has become so predictable that opposing defenses have figured out that San Jose only shoots from the point, and if you get into shooting lanes, you can keep the Sharks suppressed. That's what the Blues did and it was curtains for the Sharks special teams.

When the Sharks did score, it wasn't via Hail Mary shot. Their goals came from in tight.

San Jose jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the game 6:16 in when Couture took a feed from Joonas Donskoi on the break before snapping a shot past Allen from 12 feet out. Couture had been AWOL from the scoring sheet, but his goal helped the Sharks get off on the right foot. That was especially important after their lackluster showing against the Hurricanes 48 hours earlier.

Jaden Schwartz wiped out any good feelings the Sharks had with his 5th goal of the season at 10:38 of the 1st period. Schwartz snapped a shot from between the circles after the Sharks failed to clear the puck on a Blues cycle.

The big goaltending game that San Jose never came. Jones seemed to be a hair late on every Blues goal. That was certainly the case when Schwartz deposited his 2nd goal of the night 8:45 into the 2nd period. The Blues forward threw a puck at the Sharks net, aided by a screen out front to put the Blues up 2-1.

Sharks rookie Kevin Labanc tied the game 2-2 19 seconds after Schwartz goal by taking a Joe Thornton feed while parked in the slot. Labanc gathered the pass then spun 180 degrees as he whipped a shot that beat Allen to the left. Joe Pavelski swooped in to retrieve the puck for the winger's display case.

San Jose had a brief 5-on-3 later in the period when Jay Bouwmeester was called for hooking, and then Kyle Brodziak clipped Boedker with a high stick with 23 seconds left on the first infraction. San Jose could muster little on the 2-man advantage, as was the case whenever they had an alleged advantage.





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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 1 1 0 2
STL 1 2 0 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Couture 4 (Donskoi, Ward), 6:16. 2, STL, Schwartz 5 (Pietrangelo), 10:38.
2nd period - 3, STL, Schwartz 6 (unassisted), 8:45. 4, SJ, Lebanc 1 (Thornton, Braun), 9:04. 5, STL, Perron 5 (Stastny, Fabbri), 15:56, (pp).
3rd period - None.
Penalties
1st period - Perron, STL (hooking), 2:02; Jaskin, STL (holding the stick), 14:42.
2nd period - Schlemko, SJ (cross checking), 3:23; Bouwmeester, STL (hooking), 11:52; Brodziak, STL (high sticking), 13:29; Boedker, SJ (interference), 14:57; Vlasic, SJ (holding), 20:00.
3rd period - Fabbri, STL (tripping), 6:07; Labanc, SJ (interference), 11:16; Brodziak, STL (delay of game - puck over glass), 19:04.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 25 22
STL - Allen 31 29
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 7 11 13 31
STL 4 9 12 25
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 6
STL 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Jalen Schwartz
David Perron
Paul Stastny
Attendance
Scottrade Center - 17,618
Officials
Referees: O'Rourke, Romasko. Linesmen: Wheler, MacPherson.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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