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Defensive gaff late costs SJ
Sharks battle back from deficit, but still lose
12/7/16 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks inconsistency is one of the most consistent things about them this season. After their mesmerizing performance against the Montreal Canadiens last Friday, the Sharks turned 5 days of rest into a dumbfounding performance that resulted in a 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night on SAP Center ice. The Senators jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, then stunned the Sharks with a go-ahead goal with a minute left in regulation after San Jose clawed their way back to tie the game.

The Sharks were 0-7-1 this season when entering the 3rd period with a deficit. They had a chance to overcome that statistic with a 3rd period goal by Brent Burns that helped the Sharks erase a 2-0 deficit.

That was all for not when a bouncing puck skipped past a flat-footed Justin Braun late in the 3rd period. Braun had his back to his own goal, so his failure to control the puck resulted in a break for Chris Kelly who took two strides toward Martin Jones before flipping a shot that hit the Sharks goaltender in the shoulder and into the San Jose net.

Braun's defensive gaff took the air out of the building in the blink of an eye.

Burns showed why the Sharks just inked him to an 8-year contract, when he unloaded a shot from the top of the right circle that tucked inside the upper right corner of the net to tie the game at 2-212 minutes earlier. Burns used Paul Martin and a Senators defender to screen Senators goaltender Mike Condon on the shot, shifting all the momentum in San Jose's favor.

Patrick Marleau stunted that momentum by taking a bad interference penalty with 4 minutes to play. Pageau drew the penalty by essentially jumping into the glass. Logan Couture was displeased with the play and basically accused Pageau of diving.

The Senators forward got the last laugh with an empty net goal late, which was added salt to the wound. Pageau and Joe Thornton were chirping at each other all night, but his stunt to draw the 3rd period penalty set Thornton off.

The opening period was a disaster for the Sharks, who seemed to be stuck in neutral early in the game. Mark Stone staked the Senators to a 1-0 lead just 3:42 into the game after Tommy Wingels was sent off for hooking. Stone was sniffing around the front of the net when his shot attempt bounced off Jones, hit Burns in the skate and bounced back to him for the quick put back.

Ottawa captain Erik Karlsson made it 2-0 with a shot from the high slot 4 minutes later. Joonas Donaskoi may have deflected the shot a bit with his stick, but regardless, the puck caught twine and the Sharks were in a quick hole.

The Sharks had to whittle away at the Senators lead, which started with a power play goal by Couture. The Sharks forward took a drop pass from Joe Pavelski in the slot before snapping a shot that beat Condon.

Couture was 4 days removed from ankle surgery. The Sharks forward had one of the six screws in his ankle removed because it was causing him some discomfort. Couture had the screws inserted last season after breaking his ankle in Tampa Bay.

San Jose had plenty of opportunities to score, out-shooting the Senators 37-17, but also out-chancing them on the power play. The Sharks had 6 chances on the man advantage, but Couture's goal would be all they would salvage from the opportunities.

Game Notes:

* The Sharks continue to fail to draw fans in mid-week games. The game was a non-sellout, which is more often than not the last two seasons.

* Joe Pavelski led all skaters with 7 shots on goal. Pavelski just missed on a chance in the 3rd period when his partial breakaway chance pinged off the crossbar.

* The Senators blocked 21 shots, which isn't surprising given the Sharks habit of trying to derive scoring with long shots from the point.

* San Jose out-hi the Senators 24-21


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1 2 3 T
OTT 2 0 2 4
SJ 0 1 1 2
1st period - 1, OTT, Stone 9 (Hoffman, Karlsson), 3:42, (pp). 2, OTT, Karlsson 7 (unassisted), 7:19.
2nd period - 3, SJ, Couture 10 (Pavelski, Thornton), 8:19, (pp).
3rd period - 4, SJ, Burns 11 (Martin), 4:30. 5, Kelly 2 (Pageau, Karlsson), 18:54. 6, OTT, Pageau 4 (Smith), 19:44, (en).
1st period - Wingels, SJ (hooking), 3:09; Robinson, OTT (holding), 8:46; Kelly, OTT (interference), 14:58.
2nd period - Karlsson, OTT (holding), 6:54; Bench, SJ (too many men), 11:51; Neil, OTT (slashing), 16:11; Phaneuf, OTT (interference), 19:27.
3rd period - Neil, OTT (interference), 4:52; Boedker, SJ (goaltender interference), 5:46; Marleau, SJ (interference), 16:02.
Shots Saves
OTT - Condon 37 35
SJ - Jones 16 13
SJ - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
OTT 6 5 6 17
SJ 9 10 18 37
Power Play Conversion
OTT 1 of 4
SJ 1 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Chris Kelly
Jean-Gabriel Pageau
Erik Karlsson
SAP Center - 17,349
Referees: Walsh, Hebert. Linesmen: Cameron, Heyer.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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