Support this community by becoming a Sponsor
  HOSER of the WEEK
  Contact Us
  Meet the Staff
  Join the Team
  Our Sponsors

Slam dunk win slips away
Evgeni Nabokov returns to San Jose
12/10/13 - By Mike Lee -

Things haven't exactly been peachy for the Sharks lately, but Tuesday night's shootout loss to the New York Islanders may be one of the low points of the season. Having dropped their three previous games to end a forgettable road trip, San Jose was looking to get things back on track with some home cooking. They responded by serving up some bitter leftovers with another 3rd period collapse, before eventually losing in the shootout.

* There were a series of factors which made the loss painful. Most notably is the fact that the Islanders had dropped their previous 10 games and were ripe for the picking having won only 4 times on the road this season.

* To make things more painful, the Sharks hadn't lost to the Islanders in almost 5 years. New York last won in San Jose more than 10 years ago. Current general manager Garth Snow was the last Islanders goaltender to beat the Sharks in San Jose, having accomplished that feat in February of 2003.

* Things started ominously enough, when the Sharks sent 18 shots at Islanders goaltender Kevin Poulin. It was the highest shot total for a team not to score in a period this season.

* Poulin was awarded the game's 1st star, after allowing his team to stay close enough to tie the Sharks. Poulin made circus save after circus save in the opening period as the sharks peppered him. Credit the Sharks for at least trying to work the puck to the front of the Islanders net, rather than pumping up their shot totals with a number of long range shots. Poulin simply made the saves that he needed to make to keep the game scoreless after 20 minutes of play.

* San Jose gave the impression that they were headed in the right direction in the 2nd period when they scored a pair of goals, including a power play tally. San Jose had misfired on three power play chances in the opening period against the league's worst penalty kill.

* Patrick Marleau scored his 14th goal of the season 5:26 into the 2nd period on a put back from the left circle after Dan Boyle bounced a shot off Poulin from the right side. The goal came on a man-advantage after former Shark Matt Carkner was sent off for roughing Tomas Hertl.

* Joe Pavelski pushed the Sharks lead to 2-0 with 4:36 left in the period with his 10th tally of the season. Pavelski's goal also came courtesy of a rebound off Poulin after Marleau bounced a shot off the goaltender's leg pad with a shot from the right side. The puck kicked out to Pavelski on the left side for the easy deposit in to a wide open net.

* With one of the worst teams in the league on the ropes, holding a 2-goal lead in the 3rd period, the Sharks simply let down their guard and let an inferior team take it to them.

* Tomas Vanek cut the Sharks lead in half with his 10th of the season just 51 seconds into the 3rd period. John Tavares forced the issue by cutting across the top of the crease in an attempt to jam a shot home, but Antti Niemi denied him. The Sharks netminder couldn't cover the puck up and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic ended up pushing it back into the crease where Vanek cleaned up after fighting off Marleau.

* San Jose was 100 seconds away from locking up the 2 points and calling it a night. They had Pavelski in the faceoff circle, having won 10 of 13 draws up to that point. Tavares kicked off the nightmarish sequence by beating Pavelski on the draw, pulling the puck back to Kyle Okposo who was parked at the top of the left circle. Okposo wound up and fired a shot over Niemi's right shoulder to unbelievably tie the game.

* Tavares went on to lose 3 of the next 4 faceoffs, but the damage was done. Both teams traded scoring chances in the overtime period, but neither could bag the game winner in the extra session.

* In the shootout, Pavelski missed on the opening chance, then Vanek put the Islanders up with a wicked wrist shot that beat Niemi top shelf. Logan Couture drew the Sharks even with a goal of his own, which was magnified when Frans Nielsen missed on his chance. Dan Boyle and Tavares both missed on their chances to push the shootout to an extra round. Tomas Hertl tried to deek Poulin with a move to his right and drag the puck left, but his attempt slid wide of the left post. Okposo ended things with a backhand shot that beat Niemi to sink the Sharks.

* Former Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov was in the building even though he's on the shelf allowing an injury to mend. He stepped out of the tunnel leading to the Islanders dressing room during a television timeout and received a standing ovation when arena cameras focused in on him. "Nabby" chants filled the arena as the netminder acknowledged the crowd.

* Nabokov's ovation should have been bigger, but the announced sellout crowd appeared to be much more sparse than the official 17,562 paid attendance.


Head Coach Todd McLellan: "I thought we started the game very well. I thought we got a little loose in the second period, we decided we wanted to trade chances, we gave up some odd-man rushes. We gave up a goal in the first minute and last minute of the third."

McLellan (on the game): "What's disappointing for me is that in three of the last four games, the top line on the other team has handled us, done all the damage. Our shutdown group, our guys we rely on in that situation, are getting beat right now along with the goaltender. That has to improve."

Joe Thornton: "When you go into the third with a 2-0 lead you want to lock out those games. You don't want to leave it down to the last two minutes of the game to win. So disappointing we didn't get the two points."

Dan Boyle: "We kept it simple. We probably didn't do enough to get that third goal then we give up one in the first minute then one in the last minute of the third. Through two [periods] we have to be pretty pleased with our effort."

Joe Pavelski (on the power play): "It was a lot better today. You could feel the energy in the building. We haven't had that [feeling] in a while. It's a been a topic...we haven't been good there, so it's good to get one."


What did you think of this article? Post your comments on the Feeder Forums

What did you think of this story? Post your comments on the
Feeder Forums
1 2 3 OT SO T
NYI 0 0 2 0 1 3
SJ 0 2 0 0 0 2
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, SJ, Marleau 14 (Boyle, Couture), 5:26, (pp). 2, SJ, Pavelski 10 (Boyle, Marleau), 15:24.
3rd period - 3, NYI, Vanek 10 (Okposo, Tavares), 0:51. 4, NYI, Okposo 9 (Tavares), 18:23.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - SJ: Pavelski (miss), Couture (goal), Boyle (miss), Hertl (miss). NYI: Vanek (goal), Nielsen (miss), Tavares(miss), Okposo (goal).
1st period - Boulton, NYI (delay of game - puck over glass), 7:23; Hamonic, NYI (delay of game - puck over glass), 9:15; Hamonic, NYI (hooking), 17:32.
2nd period - Carkner, NYI (roughing), 5:16; Wingels, SJ (holding), 8:34.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
NYI - Poulin 48 46
SJ - Niemi 28 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
NYI 3 11 10 4 28
SJ 18 11 16 3 48
Power Play Conversion
NYI 0 of 1
SJ 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Kevin Poulin
John Tavares
Patrick Marleau
Referees: Martell, St Laurent. Linesmen: Heyer, Kovachik.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees


Privacy Statement   |   Contact Us   |   Advertise
Copyright 1997-2021 All rights reserved.
This website is an unofficial and independently operated source of news
and information not affiliated with the San Jose Sharks, any team, or league.