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Sharks shoot (and shoot) themselves in the foot
57 shots on goal nets OT loss
11/11/08 - By Mike Lee

The Sharks started a new streak on Tuesday night. A losing streak. For the first time this season, San Jose dropped consecutive games. Their 4-3 overtime loss to the visiting Nashville Predators snapped their franchise record 9-game winning streak to open the season. Predators goaltender Dan Ellis stopped 54 shots to stump the Sharks, who blew two leads in the game.

As was the case on Sunday in Phoenix, the Sharks grabbed a 2-0 lead, then got careless, allowing their opponent to battle back. A little bad luck also bit the Sharks, who were looking to become only the 3rd team in NHL history to open a season with 10 consecutive wins on home ice.

"We stole this game," said Nashville head coach Barry Trotz. "Dan Ellis stole it. They dominated us, we took too many penalties…San Jose was clearly the better team, but Dan Ellis was the reason we won this game."

San Jose may have enjoyed a 3-0 lead had referee Dave Jackson not waved off a Joe Thornton goal midway through the 1st period. Jackson lost sight of the puck after getting pinched in the corner by two players. Thornton clearly tapped home the puck as it sat perched next to Ellis, but the referee was out of position and blew his whistle quicker than the Sharks would have preferred.

Devin Setoguchi scored the 1st of his two goals late in the opening period on a blast from the left dot. Brad Lukowich setup the goal with a dish from the slot, allowing the Sharks to take the 1-0 lead on their 19th shot of the period.

Defenseman Rob Blake would score his 2nd goal of the season at 16:53 of the 2nd period on a put back from the slot after centerman Rich Peverley was sent off for hooking. Setoguchi's drive to the net deflected off Ellis in the goal mouth, and Joe Thornton missed on the deflection, but Blake pinched in from the point to clean up.

A defensive lapse a minute later allowed the Predators to go into the 2nd intermission only down a goal. Sharks nemesis Jason Arnott converted his 7th goal of the season on a backhand shot from outside the left post after Sharks goaltender Brian Boucher mishandled a dump-in chance. Arnott blew past Blake and Milan Michalek at the Sharks blueline to setup the scoring chance.

"There's some things we need to address," said defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. "We weren't very good on faceoffs, and on the PK we didn't clear the puck there when we had the chance. We've got to get better at that."

Nashville capitalized on an off-sides call that wasn't made 5:42 into the 3rd period to tie the game. A dump-in attempt hit a stick and took a high arching trajectory into the zone, fooling everyone on the ice except Vernon Fidler who scooped it up and snapped a shot past Boucher who was caught out of position. Sharks head coach Todd McLellan argued that the Predators were offsides, but referee Dave Jackson dismissed the claim.

Setoguchi would help the Sharks regain the lead just 27 seconds later on a no-look pass from Thornton. Skating behind the Predators goal, Thornton grabbed a puck that had been cycled in along the end boards, then whipped a backhand pass out to the slot. Setoguchi one-timed the pass past Ellis and the Sharks looked as if they were back in business.

"Give their goalie props," Setoguchi said. "He played great. He made a lot of stops. We need to narrow our mistakes there and we'd have the win."

Ryan Suter knotted things up again at 13:33 on a put back from in tight right after a Tomas Plihal hooking penalty expired. J.P. Dumont looked as if he had scored, but Boucher made a circus save diving to his right and deflecting the puck out with his paddle. Unfortunately for San Jose, the puck bounced right to Suter who tapped the rebound into an open net.

"We played well in a lot of areas," McLellan said after the game. "Our first goal we probably gave them that one, their second goal in my opinion was offside, and their third one was on the backend of a power-play. we took a penalty and made a couple of mistakes that we can correct quite easily."

San Jose missed on two golden opportunities to end the game in regulation. Patrick Marleau split two defenders at the blueline and had only Ellis to beat on a partial breakaway, but he couldn't get a shot off in time. Ryane Clowe also put a puck on net with 3 seconds remaining in regulation, but Ellis slid to his right to snuff the would be game winner.

Predators defenseman Ville Koistinen ended things with a rocket from 40 feet that sailed over Boucher's left shoulder. Radek Bonk won a key faceoff in the Sharks zone, then screened two Sharks defenders from converging on Koistinen. Without any defensive pressure, Koistinen was able to setup his shot then pick his target.

"They kept letting us hang around, when a team hangs around like that, they kept us on life support, we got off the table and got a big goal in overtime," Trotz said. "I'm absolutely thrilled that we won a game that we should not have won."

Game Notes:

The Sharks were without defenseman Dan Boyle, who was tending to the birth of his new daughter Eastin Sky Boyle. The 57 shots the Sharks put on goal set a franchise record for most shots in a game. The previous record was 50, set in February of 2004 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Sharks also set an NHL record for most games with 40 or more shots in a game…this coming 17 games into the season. Setoguchi also set a franchise record with 10 shots on goal in the contest.


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1 2 3 OT T
NSH 0 1 2 1 4
SJ 1 1 1 0 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Setoguchi 8 (Lukowich, Marleau), 16:52.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Blake 2 (Thornton, Setoguchi), 16:53, (pp). 3, NSH, Arnott 7 (Hornqvist, de Vries), 17:59.
3rd period - 4, NSH, Fiddler 2 (Weber, Suter), 5:42. 5, SJ, Setoguchi 9 (Thornton, Marleau), 6:09. 6, NSH, Suter 2 (Dumont, Legwand), 13:33.
Overtime - 7, NSH, Koistinen 2 (Peverley, Bonk), 2:28.
1st period - de Vries, NSH (tripping), 1:45; Arnott, NSH (hooking), 5:00; Tootoo, NSH (roughing), 9:01; Semenov, SJ (roughing), 9:01; Weber, NSH (holding), 9:40.
2nd period - Suter, NSH (tripping), 7:42; Blake, SJ (interfreence), 8:30; Peverley, NSH (hooking), 15:30.
3rd period - Koistinen, NSH (hooking), 9:22; Plihal, SJ hooking), 11:32; Smithson, NSH (cross checking), 14:28.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
NSH - Ellis 57 54
SJ - Boucher 29 25
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
NSH 6 12 8 3 29
SJ 21 22 12 2 57
Power Play Conversion
NSH 0 of 2
SJ 1 of 7
3 Stars of the Game
Dan Ellis
Devin Setoguchi
Ryan Suter
Referees: Jackson, Kozari. Linesmen: Arnell, Rody.

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