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More ragged play at home
Sharks drop another game to doormat
10/19/10 - By Mike Lee -

The Carolina Hurricanes were supposed to be the tired team, stumbling into HP Pavilion on Tuesday night, with little chance of earning any points against the San Jose Sharks. So much for that scouting report. The Sharks looked like the haggard club, being outplayed all night in a lop-sided 5-2 loss. The game marked the second consecutive game that San Jose has dropped a game to a Southeast Division team that failed to make the playoffs last season.

It was also the third consecutive loss for a club still searching to find their game. The Sharks still looked like a team suffering from jet lag from the drop of the opening puck. After a Patrick O’Sullivan tripping penalty put the Sharks on the power play at 5:46 of the opening period, the special teams imploded for a second straight game, allowing another short-handed goal. Eric Staal would deposit a Chad Larose feed on a break 10 seconds into the penalty while down a man, and just like that the Sharks were in a 1-0 hole.

San Jose would bounce a shot squarely off the left post two minutes later, creating a scoring chance when the puck rebounded back toward Carolina goaltender Cam Ward, hitting him in the back. The puck would roll toward the goal, before Ward swept it safely out of the crease.

Erik Cole made it a 2-0 Hurricanes lead late in the period after the Sharks failed to cover bodies in front of their own net. Jeff Skinner tried jamming a wrap-around past Antti Niemi, but the chance was kicked out into the slot. Cole pinched down the slot and snapped the big rebound home with 2:25 before the 1st intermission.

More of the same would haunt the Sharks to start the 2nd period. 3rd line winger Patrick Dwyer would give the Hurricanes a 3-0 lead at 2:43 with a put back after Niemi deflected a shot out to the slot. The Sharks defense seemed unsure of who to cover, which allowed Dwyer to swoop in on the deflection for his 1st goal of the season.

San Jose would finally get to Ward, when Patrick Marleau deflected a Dan Boyle shot from the top of the crease. Marleau fed the puck to Boyle in the high slot, before the defenseman snapped a shot on net. Marleau crashed the net after making the feed, then got his stick blade on the waist high shot for his 1st of the season.

Marleau would cut the Hurricanes lead to a lone goal just over three minutes later with a nice shot from outside the left post. The speedy forward took a feed from Devin Setoguchi in the left corner then drove to the goal, catching Ward with a shot that bounced off the Hurricane netminder’s right elbow and into the Carolina net.

Ward preserved his team’s slim lead with a nifty glove save off a Setoguchi shot with 5 minutes remaining in the period.

All the momentum that Marleau helped regain was thrown out the window 2:11 into the 3rd period when Douglas Murray had his pocket picked in his own zone by Staal, who promptly sent to the puck to Larose in front of the net for a 4th Carolina goal.

Joni Pitkanen turned it into a laugher at 7:05 with a howitzer shot from the top of the left circle that snapped past Niemi for the 5-2 lead. The sharks aided the goal by coughing he puck up in the neutral zone.

Game Notes:

The Sharks owned the faceoff circle and shot count, but that's all irrelevant when you get beat by three goals. Joe Thornton won 13 of 21 faceoffs, but finished the night a minus 3.

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1 2 3 T
CAR 2 1 2 5
SJ 0 2 0 2
1st period - 1, CAR, Staal 2 (Larose, Babchuk), 5:56, (sh). 2, CAR, Cole 1 (Gleason, Skinner), 17:35.
2nd period - 3, CAR, Dwyer 1 (Jokinen, Larose), 2:43. 4, SJ, Marleau 1 (Boyle, Thornton), 6:34. 5, SJ, Marleau 2 (Setoguchi, Murray), 9:46, (pp).
3rd period - 6, CAR, Larose 1 (Staal), 2:11. 7, CAR, Pitkanen 1 (Kostopoulos, McBain), 7:05.
1st period - Ruutu, CAR (slashing), 1:43; O’Sullivan, CAR (tripping), 5:46; Boyle, SJ (interference), 6:34; Harrison, CAR (holding), 9:47.
2nd period - Corvo, CAR (high sticking), 8:03; Nichol, SJ (boarding), 9:55; McGinn, SJ (boarding), 16:37.
3rd period - Cole, CAR (roughing), 2:02; McGinn, SJ (roughing), 2:02; Marleau, SJ (hooking), 11:59; Babchuk, CAR (hooking), 14:19.
Shots Saves
CAR - Ward 43 41
SJ - Niemi 31 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
CAR 10 9 12 31
SJ 9 19 15 43
Power Play Conversion
CAR 0 of 4
SJ 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Chad Larose
Cam Ward
Joni Pitkanen
Referees: Kozari, McCreary. Linesmen: Cvik, Kovachik.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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