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Sharks fall short in barn burner
Canucks win on Burrows SO goal
3/10/11 - By Mike Lee -

A loss is a loss, but the Sharks showed everyone that they’re ready to trade punches with the top teams in the NHL. San Jose dropped a 5-4 decision in the shootout to the visiting Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night, coming back late in regulation after a controversial call gave the Canucks a late power play. That penalty turned into a go-ahead goal, but the Sharks would battle back, scoring with 21 seconds left in regulation to get the game to overtime.

San Jose scored two dramatic goals in the 3rd period to overcome two deficits in the period. After Torrey Mitchell and Ryane Clowe scored their huge goals, the Sharks would draw a penalty in the extra session to setup what would have been a dramatic win. Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider felt otherwise, stopping 44 shots on the evening, including 9 big ones in the overtime period.

“I’m happy with the effort, obviously disappointed with the results," Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said. "But, again, it’s the shootout. In my opinion, the game is basically over. We go from a team game to an individual game at that point. The fact that we were able to come back three times against a team of that caliber, we have to be happy with that.”

Antti Niemi made a nifty save four minutes in on the penalty kill, after Joe Pavelski was sent off for high sticking. Vancouver forward Ryan Kessler had a wide open net to shoot on, but his backhand chance from the top of the crease was stuffed by a kick save by Niemi.

The Canucks grabbed a 1-0 lead on Alex Burrows 19th goal of the season at 13:25 on a one-time snap shot from the slot. Daniel Sedin setup the goal with a pass from behind the Sharks net. Dany Heatley had the defensive assignment on Burrows, but he took his eye off the mark for a split second, allowing the Canucks top line to convert.

Dany Heatley took a customary lazy penalty at 17:11 and the Sharks penalty kill would oblige with a regularly scheduled goal against. Defenseman Sami Salo cranked a 40-foot blast just inside the left post to give the Canucks a two-goal lead. The NHL’s 20th ranked penalty-kill unit has been the Sharks Achilles’ heel this season, getting progressively worse as the playoffs approach.

Devin Setoguhi cut the Canucks lead in half just 57 seconds into the 2nd period, hacking his own rebound past Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider. Setoguchi took a feed from Joe Thornton, and drove up the center of the ice before putting a shot on net from the slot. Schneider deflected the shot out to the left side, serving it up for Setoguchi to swat it into the Vancouver net.

Clowe followed up Setoguchi’s tally just 67 seconds later, driving to the net and sliding a shot just inside the right post.

With the energy swaying in the Sharks favor, Ben Eager took an ill-timed penalty to put the Canucks on the power play. San Jose would over power the Vancouver man-advantage, generating three scoring chances. Pavelski would have the best chance to bag a short-handed goal, putting a shot low to the right side that Schneider had to defend with a nice kick save of his own.
BR> The Canucks capitalized on a fortuitous bounce at 5:38, when Mason Raymond collected a pass off the end boards, and deposited into a wide open net. Former Shark Mikael Samuelsson sent a shot in from the right side that hit the end boards behind the Sharks net and deflected out to the left side. Raymond reached back to pull in the puck and swept it home as Niemi failed to get over and cover the left side of the net.

San Jose just missed tying the game with 5 minutes to play in the period when Thornton and Setoguchi teamed up for a two-on one play that ended with a diving save by Schneider. Thornton raced in on net from the left side, then sent a pass to Setoguchi on the weak side for the one-time chance from 6-feet out.

“I think we made a couple small adjustments between the first and second period, and the guys talked about it between periods," said McLellan. "We weren’t happy with the effort. We didn’t have any opportunity to be physical because of where we placed the puck, didn’t get on the forecheck at all. I thought as the second period went on, we got better at it. And, by the end of the night, we were okay.”

A cross checking penalty to Niklas Wallin 2 minutes into the 3rd period put the Canucks on the power play, and once again the Sharks would generate the best scoring chances. Logan Couture intercepted a pass at the Sharks blueline and raced up ice, putting a shot on Schneider that hit the left post.

Vlasic went off for slashing at 8:20 and the first thing the Sharks did was generate a short-handed chance, when Jamal Mayers drove the net on the left side. Schneider was up to the task, defending the shot before a gaggle of bodies came crashing in on net.

The Sharks put big push on Schneider with 6 minutes to play, generating a handful of shot on net. Clowe missed on a shot from the slot, when his shot sailed over the crossbar. Heatley would follow that two minutes later with a point blank shot that Schneider stopped with his left pad.

The big tally would come at 17:47 when Mitchell scored a highlight reel goal, taking a pass from Kyle Wellwood at the Canucks blueline, then skated past three Canuck defenders before slipping a shot past Schneider.

San Jose would get jobbed moments later, when Douglas Murray was called for a phantom high sticking penalty after Kessler hit himself in the head with his own stick. Vancouver used the man-advantage to score their second power play goal of the evening on a Daniel Sedin tally.

With their backs against the wall, the Sharks would pull Niemi, then draw a holding the stick penalty on Burrows. San Jose tied the game at 4-4 on a Clowe redirect from out front. Thornton setup the goal by throwing the puck on net from the right wing boards. Clowe got his stick blade on the pass, tipping it past Schneider with 21 seconds remaining in regulation.

In the overtime, the Sharks would induce Kessler into taking a high sticking penalty, but they would fail to convert on the 4-on-3. The opportunities were there, but Schneider bailed out his teammates with a series of great saves. The Sharks outshot Vancouver 9-0 in the extra period.

The closest Vancouver would come to ending things in the overtime was off a Dan Hamhuis shot that hit the post.

In the shootout Clowe led off and missed on his backhand move. Raymond followed with his own backhand attempt that went wide right. Schneider stuffed Wellwood with his left pad. Burrows went top shelf with the back, beating Niemi. Schneider would finish off the Sharks with a stop on Pavelski.
“I thought our first period was really solid at both ends of the rink," said Canucks Head Coach Alain Vigneault. "In the second and third they played really strong and their power play gave them momentum.”

Game Notes:

Thornton’s assist on Setoguchi’s goal was his 400th as a Shark. The Sharks set a franchise record with nine shots on goal in the overtime period.


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1 2 3 OT SO T
VAN 2 1 1 0 1 5
SJ 0 2 2 0 0 4
1st period - 1, VAN, Burrows 19 (D. Sedin, H. Sedin), 13:25. 2, VAN, Salo 3 (Hamhuis, Malhotra), 18:26, (pp).
2nd period - 3, SJ, Setoguchi 19 (Thornton, Marleau), 0:57. 4, SJ, Clowe 20 (Couture, White), 2:04. 5, VAN, Raymond 12 (Samuelsson), 5:38.
3rd period - 6, SJ, Mitchell 5 (Wellwood, White), 17:47. 7, VAN, D. Sedin 35 (H. Sedin, Ehrhoff), 18:11, (pp). 8, SJ, Clowe 21 (Thornton, Heatley), 19:39, (pp).
Overtime - None.
Shootout - SJ: Clowe (miss), Wellwood (miss), Pavelski (miss). VAN: Raymond (miss), Burrows (goal).
1st period - Ehrhoff, VAN (slashing), 1:00; Pavelski, SJ (high sticking), 5:33; Heatley, SJ (hooking), 17:11.
2nd period - Eager, SJ (cross checking), 2:26; Torres, VAN (hooking), 9:33; Ballard, VAN (slashing), 10:47; Setoguchi, SJ (slashing), 10:47; Kessler, VAN (slashing), 16:25; Wallin, SJ (hooking), 16:25; Ehrhoff, VAN (tripping), 17:29.
3rd period - Wallin, SJ (cross checking), 1:57; H. Sedin, VAN (holding), 5:32; Vlasic, SJ (slashing), 8:20; Rome, VAN (interference), 12:01; Murray, SJ (high sticking), 17:58; Burrows, VAN (holding the stick), 19:25.
Overtime - Kessler, VAN (high sticking), 0:49; Burrows, VAN (roughing), 5:00; Vlasic, SJ (roughing), 5:00.
Shots Saves
VAN - Schneider 48 44
SJ - Niemi 28 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
VAN 12 9 7 0 28
SJ 6 19 14 9 48
Power Play Conversion
VAN 2 of 6
SJ 1 of 7
3 Stars of the Game
Ryane Clowe
Torrey Mitchell
Cory Schneider
Referees: Furlatt, L'Ecuyer. Linesmen: Schachte, Racicot.
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