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Sharks take Columbus Day off
Islanders welcome newcomers with spanking
10/8/18 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks hit the eastern seaboard with a stop in Brooklyn to take on the New York Islanders at Barclays Center in a matinee match-up on Columbus Day. The 1pm faceoff was essentially a morning start for the Sharks who hit the snooze on the alarm, dropping an awful 4-0 decision to the host Islanders. San Jose went toe-to-toe with the Islanders for 20 minutes, then decided to go back to bed, with another disastrous 3rd period.

The juggernaut power play that is supposed to distinguish the Sharks this season has yet to make an appearance this season, flubbing to an 0-for-10 performance through the first three games of the season. Special teams mattered on Monday afternoon, as the Sharks failed to get on the board in 4 power play chances.

The Islanders on the other hand bit the Sharks with their special teams play. In addition to killing all four Shark power plays they faced, New York scored a 1st period goal on the man advantage and converted short-handed to cap the game's scoring in the 3rd period.

Islanders captain Anders Lee opened the scoring with a power play tally 14:34 into the 2nd period on a simple put back from the top of the crease. New York employed a simple concept that San Jose has failed to grasp. Put a player in front of the net and good things happen. New York's young phenom Mathew Barzal setup the goal with a nice pass through the slot from the left side to Josh Bailey at the right dot. Bailey one-timed a shot that Sharks goaltender Martin Jones stopped, but the rebound kicked out to the front of the net where Lee was parked unencumbered. Lee buried the chance to provide the Islanders with all the offense they would need.

Backup goaltender Robin Lehner got the start over former Sharks netminder Thomas Greiss, and the Sharks made the fill in look like a Vezina candidate. Lehner finished the game with 35 saves, but he was rarely challenged. The goaltender withstood a breakaway chance by Evander Kane in the opening period, but after that, most of his stops were mundane.

Mundane was all the Islanders needed, because the Sharks did little that required the extraordinary.

While Lehner was suppressing the Sharks absence of offense, the Islanders put the game out of reach 5:16 into the 3rd period when Scott Mayfield put a puck past Jones after a hard-nosed forecheck. Cal Clutterbuck checked Marcus Sorensen off the puck inside the Sharks zone, then Mayfield whipped a shot to the front of the net as a delayed penalty was being called on San Jose. Mayfield's shot hit rookie Rourke Chartier in the high slot, changing direction on Jones as it slipped past Brendan Dillon and Clutterbuck at the top of the crease.

New York would score two more times in the period on 5 total shots. Mayfield's came on the Islanders 1st shot of the period. The box score gives the impression that San Jose then controlled the period, throwing the next 9 shots at Lehner, but the Islanders were simply in prevent mode, and the Sharks propensity to run up the shot counter with harmless long range shots were easily brushed aside by the Islanders goaltender.

Matt Martin scored on what can simply be called a half-hearted attempt to defend by Erik Karlsson and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. After a dump in attempt was directed to the left corner by Jones, Valteri Filppula pursued the puck, beating the two Shark defenders to what should have easily been controlled by San Jose. Filppula then flipped the puck to Martin who sat uncontested in the slot for the easy deposit. The two Shark defender's effort was bad enough, but the absence of any defensive support by the forwards was all you needed to know about San Jose's desire to compete.

A late Clutterbuck interference penalty setup a chance for San Jose to finally solve Lehner, but the Islanders used it as an opportunity to work on their 200-foot shot attempts. New York had four chances to bag a goal with attempts that ran the full length of the ice, but only Casey Cizikas would convert to cap the game's scoring.

Game Notes:

* The game marked the first of the season without Joe Thornton who returned to San Jose on Sunday due to swelling in his right knee. The Sharks disclosed that Thornton has an infection in the knee, which was operated on during the off season after the Sharks centerman injured the ACL late in the 2017-18 season. The Sharks recalled Dylan Gambrell from the Barracuda to fill the roster spot vacated after Thornton was places on the injured reserve.

* Rourke Chartier made his NHL debut for San Jose. The rookie skated 15 shifts and was a -1 with 3 shots on goal. The centerman was also 6 of 11 from the faceoff circle.

* The decision to schedule the matinee didn't help the Islanders at the box office. Only 8,790 patrons paid to see their team man-handle the Sharks.

* San Jose elected to avoid the airport following the loss and bussed the team from Brooklyn to Philadelphia where they will take on the Flyers on Tuesday night. The trip was a short two hours by bus.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 0 0
NYI 0 1 3 4
1st period - None.
2nd period -1, NYI, Lee 2 (Bailey, Barzal), 14:34, (pp).
3rd period - 2, NYI, Mayfield 1 (Cizikas), 5:16. 3, NYI, Martin 1 (Filppula, Komorov), 13:02. 4, NYI, Cizikas 1 (Boychuk), 19:04, (sh) (en).
Penalties
1st period - Kane, SJ (slashing), 8:00; Kuhnhackl, NYI (hooking), 11:19; Pavelski, SJ (hooking), 14:28.
2nd period - Mayfield, NYI (interference), 2:12; Lee, NYI (hooking), 6:44; Kane, SJ (slashing), 12:46.
3rd period - Labanc, SJ (boarding), 10:10; Clutterbuck, NYI (interference), 17:22.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 29 26
SJ - empty net 1 0
NYI - Lehner 35 35
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 11 8 16 35
NYI 13 12 5 30
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 4
NYI 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Robin Lehner
Anders Lee
Matt Martin
Attendance
Barclays Center - 8,790
Officials
Referees: Kozari, Pochmara. Linesmen: Mach, Nagy.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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