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Penalties sink Sharks
Colorado converts 4 of 6 power plays in 6-3 win
12/28/15 - By Mike Lee -

Taking 6 penalties in a game isn't a back breaking statistic so long as your special teams does its job. The Sharks didn't do that on Monday night, and ended up paying the price. San Jose gave up 4 power play goals to the visiting Colorado Avalanche in a 6-3 shellacking at SAP Center. Nathan MacKinnon scored 2 of his 3 goals on the man advantage to lead the Avalanche, who vaulted into the 7th spot in the conference. San Jose fell to 4th in the division and sit 4 points out of the Western Conference basement.

The grave digging began in the opening period when San Jose took 4 stick-induced minor penalties. Those penalties were the effect of the Sharks not moving their feet and getting drawn into having to hook and hold rather than gaining position by skating. Colorado cashed in with a pair of power play goals.

MacKinnon opened the game's scoring with his 11th goal of the season, burying a gimme after Carl Soderberg lured half the Sharks on the ice over the left side of the rink. Soderberg found MacKinnon on the off wing, and sent a pass through the slot for the one time chance.

The Sharks dropped to 0-10-0 when giving up the first goal on home ice. Knowing that, the Sharks played way too haphazardly against a team that has been hot of late and that is clawing alongside the Sharks for a playoff spot. That served as little motivation for a Sharks team that has the worst home record in the NHL.

Patrick Marleau tied the game less than 2 minutes after by chipping a shot from between the circles past Avalanche backup goaltender Calvin Pickard. Jack Skille made a poor back pass into his own zone that Joel Ward pounced on before sliding a pass to Marleau. The Sharks forward got off a shot that clipped a stick before slipping past Pickard.

Paul Martin was sent off for a hooking penalty at 13:41 that cost the Sharks a 2nd goal. Soderberg sat in front of the net and got a stick on a Francois Beauchemin shot that deflected past Martin Jones for his 6th goal of the season.

Matt Duchesne made it a 3-1 game midway through the 2nd period by skating a puck out of the left corner before spinning to his left and banking a shot off Martin's skate and into the goal. Martin was chasing Duchesne and failed to get a body on the Avalanche forward. That was a mental mistake that allowed Colorado to take the wind out of the announced sellout crowd.

Melker Karlsson helped the Sharks match Duchesne's goal in the period by snapping a shot from the high slot that beat Pickard just inside the right post. Joe Thornton setup the goal with a pass from behind the net, finding Karlsson streak toward the net from the blueline.

A lazy holding penalty by Brent Burns 5 minutes into the 3rd period setup the Avalanche's 3rd power play goal of the night. Blake Comeau converted with 3 seconds left in the penalty, tipping an Erik Johnson shot from the left point.

Just when you though the Sharks were out of it, Tomas Hertl made an appearance by scoring his 4th goal of the season58 seconds after Comeau's goal. The Sharks forward cycled out of the right corner before whipping a shot while facing down ice. Pickard seemed to be caught by surprise by the shot that slipped through the netminder's pads.

Tommy Wingels squashed any chance of a comeback by taking another mind boggling hooking penalty. MacKinnon pushed the game out of reach by roofing a one-time chance from the bottom of the left circle after Soderberg set him up with a pass from the right side.

Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer pulled Jones late, essentially handing MacKinnon his hat trick. The Colorado forward scooped up a deflection off Pickard and whipped a shot from his own end down the length of the ice and into the Sharks empty net.

Game Notes:

* Jerome Iginla failed to record his 600th career goal, but came close during the last minute of play. With the Sharks net empty, Iginla found himself with the puck, but his shot toward an empty net was deflected by Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

* Kevin Kurz reported that the Nashville Predators had scouts at the game, and are actively looking for a centerman. San Jose is heavy at the position, so it would seem likely that they might attract possible trade partners as the Sharks slip in the standings.


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1 2 3 T
COL 2 1 3 5
SJ 1 1 1 3
1st period - 1, COL, MacKinnon 11 (Soderberg, Iginla), 8:46, (pp). 2, SJ, Marleau 14 (Ward), 10:07. 3, COL, Soderberg 6 (Beauchemin, Tanguay), 14:28, (pp).
2nd period - 4, COL, Duchesne 17 (Martinsen), 11:19. 5, SJ, Karlsson 4 (Thornton, Vlasic), 13:58.
3rd period - 6, COL, Comeau 6 (Johnson, Barrie), 7:09, (pp). 7, SJ, Hertl 4 (Brown, Burns), 8:07. 8, COL, MacKinnon 12 (Soderberg), 8:44, (pp). 9, COL, MacKinnon 13 (unassisted), 18:32, (en).
1st period - Hertl, SJ (hooking), 5:33; Thornton, SJ (tripping), 7:58; Dillon, SJ (hooking), 10:31; Martin, SJ (hooking), 13:41.
2nd period - Comeau, COL (hooking), 5:01; Bench, COL (too many men), 8:15.
3rd period - Burns, SJ (holding), 5:11; Wingels, SJ (hooking), 8:23; Iginla, COL (hooking), 14:04.
Shots Saves
COL - Pickard 38 35
SJ - Jones 25 20
SJ - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
COL 9 9 8 26
SJ 8 17 13 38
Power Play Conversion
COL 4 of 6
SJ 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Carl Soderberg
Nathan MacKinnon
Matt Duchsne
Referees: O'Rourke, St Pierre. Linesmen: Heyer, Sharrers.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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