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Sharks continue to stumble
SJ loses 4th straight with 3-2 decision in Minnesota
3/21/17 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks freefall continued in Minnesota on Tuesday night, as San Jose fell for a fourth consecutive game in regulation. The host Minnesota Wild napped their own 5 game losing streak by dominating the Sharks in a 3-2 game that wasn't as close as the score might suggest. The Sharks chased their own tails and the Wild for 60 minutes, as the regular season winds down to the final 10 games before the playoffs begin.

The Wild used their speed to keep the Sharks on their heel throughout the contest, limiting San Jose 5 goals in each of the 1st and 3rd periods. The absence of any scoring chances in those periods were the direct result of the muzzle that the Wild slapped on the Sharks offense.

San Jose had to play catch up after Matt Dumba staked the Wild to a 1-0 lead 10:29 into the game. Joel Ward put the Sharks on the penalty kill after taking a lazy hooking penalty. Dumba converted from the doorstep after Zach Parise set him up with a pass from the left side. All four Sharks defenders inexplicably migrated over to the left wing boards, leaving the front of the net wide open. Dumba took Parise's feed and cut across the slot before lifting a shot past Martin Jones.

San Jose's lone chance on the power play was no different than the myriad of wasted chances over the past two weeks. The Wild actually ended up generating more shots on goal during the power play chance, which is indicative of the struggles the Sharks have had on the man advantage this season.

The Sharks tied the game with 3:03 to play in the 2nd period when David Schlemko sent a shot through traffic from the left point that beat Wild goaltender Devin Dubnyk. Patrick Marleau created a distraction on the right side of the net that distracted Dubnyk.

The goal was the high water mark for the Sharks, who seemed content with their offensive output, snapping a 127 minute stretch without a goal.

Minnesota answered immediately when Martin Hanzal converted 33 seconds after Schlemko's goal. Nino Neiterreiter carried the puck up the right wing and tried jamming a shot past Jones but it was deflected tot he end boards. Jason Pominville and Hanzal then proceeded to take a series of shots from the side of the left post while Justin Braun sat mesmerized by the display. Hanzal finally banked a shot off Jones' back and into the goal.

Former Sharks draft pick Charlie Coyle made it a 3-1 game 15 seconds later by firing a shot from the right point that beat Jones.

Patrick Marleau got in on the act 15 seconds after that by grabbing a loose puck from behind the goal and slipping it past Dubnyk who was scrambling to his post after trying to play the puck. Dubnyk had a chance to clear it as it sat perched up against the back of the goal, but Marleau swooped in and deposited his 24th goal of the season.

In a matter of 63 seconds, a 1-0 game became a 3-2 contest. Regardless, the Sharks still trailed.

Their flaccid offense did nothing against the Wild, who put the clamps on San Jose in the 3rd period. Dubnyk faced one shot that was even a marginal scoring chance, and even then he simply turned it aside to help the Wild keep pace with the Chicago Blackhawks.

San Jose continues to open the door for both Edmonton and Anaheim, who site 4 points behind the Sharks for the Pacific Division lead. The Oilers and Ducks play each other on Wednesday night. The worst outcome in that game would have the two teams reach overtime to make it a 3 point contest.

Game Notes:

* Marc-Edouard Vlasic was a scratch after coming down with the flu.

* Jannick Hansen continues to miss time after catching a stick near his eye last week.

* Micheal Haley squared off in a bout with Chris Stewart 2 minutes into the game. The bigger Stewart had his way with Haley, landing a series of upper cuts to start the fight.

* Timo Meier and Haley were the only forwards who logged less than 10 minutes of ice time. The Sharks only dressed 11 forwards in the game.





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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 2 0 2
MIN 1 2 0 3
1st period - 1, MIN, Dumba 10 (Parise, Staal), 10:29, (pp).
2nd period - 2, SJ, Schlemko 3 (Pavelski, DeMelo), 17:57. 3, MIN, Pominville 12 (Hanzal, Niederreiter), 18:30. 4, MIN, Coyle 17 (Parise), 18:45. 5, SJ, Marleau 24 (unassisted), 19:00.
3rd period - None.
Penalties
1st period - Haley, SJ (fighting major), 2:07; Stewart, MIN (fighting major), 2:07; Ward, SJ (hooking), 9:02; DeMelo, SJ (holding), 17:44.
2nd period - Thornton, SJ (hooking), 0:58; Spurgeon, MIN (high sticking), 9:25.
3rd period - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 27 24
MIN - Dubnyk 23 21
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 5 13 5 23
MIN 11 12 4 27
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 1
MIN 1 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Zach Parise
Charlie Coyle
Martin Hanzal
Attendance
Xcel Energy Center - 19,104
Officials
Referees: Kozari, Luxmore. Linesmen: Devorski, Gibbons.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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