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Wild expose Sharks 3rd period woes
SJ blows 3-1 lead and lose in the shootout
10/30/14 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks had the chance to close out the opening month of the season on a high note. Leading 3-1 in the 3rd period, familiar bad habits made an appearance and before they could blink, San Jose was losing to the host Minnesota Wild 4-3 in the shootout. Kyle Brodziak pounced on the Sharks soft 3rd period defense by scoring a pair of goals, then Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville beat Antti Niemi in the shootout to win their 6th game of the season.

The 3rd period sleep walking continues to be a problem area for the Sharks who surrendered a 3rd period lead for the 5th time this season. Not a number you worry about at the end of the season, but this was only San Jose's 12th game of the year. Hold on to those leads and San Jose is cruising at the top of the Western Conference standings. They find themselves in the 4th spot, having played the most games of any team in the West.

The Sharks had a pair of would be goals waved off in the game, including a Logan Couture tally in the 1st period that was waved off after incidental contact with goaltender Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper. They had what would have been a sudden death winner in overtime when Brent Burns power a goal past Kuemper, but referee Kyle Rehman ruled that Burns tapped Kuemper before the goal crossed the goal line. Both calls were 50-50, but went in Minnesota's favor.

Mirco Mueller kicked off the game's scoring with his first career NHL goal 16:06 into the 1st period. Mueller whipped the puck on net from the left corner, then Zack Parise deflected the puck toward his own net. Kuemper was playing the original trajectory off Mueller's stick, failing to adjust to his teammates miscue.

Stephane Veilleux was sent off for charging 3 minutes into the 2nd period setting up a Tommy Wingels power play goal. Wingels scooped up a loose puck near the bottom of the left circle before snapping a wrist shot that beat Kuemper near side for his 5th goal of the season.

Minnesota would cut the Sharks lead in half after throwing 19 shots on goal in the middle frame. Koivu slipped past James Sheppard as he cut to the net from the right point, one-timing a pass out of the right corner from Jason Zucker.

Joe Thornton pushed the Sharks lead back to a pair of goals 1:#7 into the 3rd period and it looked as if they would cruise to their 3rd straight win, but the Wild had other ideas.

Both Burns and Mueller allowed Brodziak to slip past them as Tomas Vanek setup a pass from the slot. That pass split both defensemen, hitting Brodziak on the doorstep for the cake walk goal.

Mueller and Burns were on the ice 5 minutes later when Vanek and Brodziak teamed up a gain to tie the game. Mueller's inexperience was evident on the play as he was indecisive in who to defend, and Burns was late to get back. Brodziak tapped home a Vanek pass through the slot as both raced in on net.

Burns had the chance to atone for his poor defense in the extra period, but his contact with Kuemper was enough to disallow any heroics.

San Jose got off to a quick start in the shootout when Couture beat Kuemper through the 5-hole, but Koivu answered in the 2nd round and Joe Pavelski's misfire had things deadlocked heading in the final round. Pominville snapped a shot past Niemi to put Minnesota up, then Patrick Marleau and his lethargic approach allowed Kuemper to easily snuff out the shot and the Sharks.

Game Notes:

* Not only did the Sharks get outshot 46-28 in the game, but they were also man-handled in the faceoff circle, losing 66% of draws on the night. Pavelski lost 10 of 16, Marleau dropped 13 of 18, and Chris Tierney allowed the Wild to win 8 of 10.

* Koivu led all skaters with 9 shots on goal. Former Sharks prospect Charlie Coyle and Jared Spurgeon had 6 shots each. Marleau led San Jose with 5 shots.

* Ryan Suter led all skaters with 33:49 of ice time. Marc-Edouard Vlasic logged 26:57 to lead San Jose.


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1 2 3 OT SO T
SJ 1 1 1 0 0 3
MIN 0 1 2 0 1 4
1st period - 1, SJ, Mueller 1 (Nieto, Sheppard), 16:06.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Wingels 5 (Pavelski, Burns), 4:20, (pp). 3, MIN, Koivu 2 (Zucker, Suter), 8:40.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Thornton 3 (Pavelski), 1:37. 5, MIN, Brodziak 1 (Vanek, Fontaine), 5:13. 6, MIN, Brodziak 2 (Vanek, Prosser), 10:32.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - MIN: Parise (miss), Koivu (goal), Pomminville (goal). SJ: Couture (goal), Pavelski (miss), Marleau (miss).
1st period - Burish, SJ (holding), 8:24; Suter, MIN (interference), 12:18.
2nd period - Veilleux, MIN (charging), 3:15.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 46 43
MIN - Kuemper 28 25
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 10 5 9 4 28
MIN 15 19 8 4 46
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 2
MIN 0 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Kyle Brodziak
Tomas Vanek
Antti Niemi
Referees: Meier, Rehman. Linesmen: Mach, Pancich.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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