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Sharks sputter in 4-2 loss to Islanders
SJ falls behind early and never recovers
11/10/15 - By Mike Lee -

If there's any silver lining to Tuesday night's 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders is that the Sharks didn't get their teeth kicked in with another 6-goal disaster. You may recall the Islanders dismantling the Sharks three weeks ago in Brooklyn with a thrashing that ended the Sharks 4-game win streak to start the season, and started a downward spiral that now has the Sharks in sub .500 territory as they dropped their 8th game of the season. John Tavares scored a pair of goals and former Sharks goaltender Thomas Greiss stopped 34 shots to kick off a west coast swing.

Greiss becomes the second former Sharks netminder to beat San Jose in the past week. Antti Niemi dispatched his former teammates last week for the Dallas Stars. The 34 save performance by Greiss suggests that the Sharks threw a steady diet of pucks in Greiss' direction. The reality is, San Jose rarely challenged Greiss, and shots continue to misrepresent how offensively challenged the Sharks are.

There was little question who was going to win this game. New York clarified that with a Tavares goal 36 seconds into the game. If the timing wasn't painful enough, the way in which the goal was scored was salt in the wound. Tavares found himself all alone in front of the net after Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun got crossed up on coverage assignments following the game's first line change. Tavares gathered a Brock Nelson feed in the slot then slipped a shot past Martin Jones for his 6th goal of the season.

The Sharks continued their whiff on the power play, extending their streak to 21 power play chances that have gone fruitless at home.

"Power play goals in any of these games would be a difference and we're working at that," said head coach Peter DeBoer. "I liked the feel of our forward lines tonight. We're starting to get healthier and get some bodies in there. I think we can play an effective game going forward."

Mikhail Grabovski made it a 2-0 lead 3 minutes later on the Islanders 3rd shot of the game. Grabovski carried the puck across the Sharks blueline before whipping a wrist shot from the high slot that evaded Martin. Brent Burns screened Jones, but the shot was one that Jones had to make.

He didn't, and head coach Peter DeBoer decided that Jones evening was over. Jones play was worthy of a change, but if DeBoer's intent was to light a fire under his team, it failed to kick start his team.

Joel Ward cut the Islanders lead in half midway through the 2nd period when he found a crack in Greiss' 5-hole as he skate in on net from the left side. Ward took advantage of Travis Hamonic's misstep in the corner which sent the Islanders defenders losing an edge. Ward raced in on net and slipped a shot between Greiss' pads for his 8th goal of the season.

Jones replacement Alex Stalock let the Islanders reclaim a 2-goal lead 45 seconds into the 3rd period when he let a Johnny Boychuk shot from beyond the blueline slip over his left pad for another back breaking goal. A goal that not only should have been stopped, but a goal that allowed the Islanders to reclaim a buffer that the Sharks couldn't overcome.

"You've always got to be ready to go," said Stalock. "It's the job of the back up to be ready to go, whether because of injury or change of pace. You've got to be ready whether it's a few seconds in or to begin the third period. So I came in and tried my best."

Burns tacked on a goal with 5 minutes to play, but they couldn't draw even with the equalizer. San Jose was forced to pull Stalock, which allowed Tavares to poke home an empty net goal to ice the game.

"You can give up a bad goal in this league and recover but you can't give up two bad goals and expect to win," added DeBoer.

Game Notes:

Melker Karlsson made his season debut, after missing the first 14 games of the season with a lower body injury. Karlsson skated 21 shifts, registering 3 shots on goal and 5 hits. He did not register a point.


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1 2 3 T
NYI 2 0 2 4
SJ 0 1 1 2
1st period - 1, NYI. Tavares 6 (Nelson, Leddy), 0:36. 2, NYI, Grabovski 3 (Kulemin, Bernier), 3:30.
2nd period - 3, SJ, Ward 8 (Hertl, Braun), 10:14.
3rd period - 4, NYI, Boychuk 3 (De Haan, Grabovski), 0:45. 5, SJ, Burns 5 (Hertl, Ward), 14:49. 6, NYI, Tavares 7 (unassisted), 19:55, (en).
1st period - Braun, SJ (hooking), 6:02; Okposo, NYI (holding), 13:46; Leddy, NYI (hooking), 18:37.
2nd period - Thornton, SJ (high sticking), 2:39.
3rd period - Martin, NYI (roughing), 11:09; Dillon, SJ (roughing), 11:09.
Shots Saves
NYI - Greiss 36 34
SJ - Jones 3 2
SJ - Stalock 21 20
SJ - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
NYI 11 6 8 25
SJ 11 14 11 36
Power Play Conversion
NYI 0 of 2
SJ 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Mikhail Grabovski
Joel Ward
Johnny Boychuk
Referees: Hebert, St Laurent. Linesmen: Wheler, Rody.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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