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Gaffs cost the Sharks in loss to Sens
Ottawa wins 4-3 in shootout after SJ hands them game
1/18/16 - By Mike Lee -

Playing for a 6th straight win, the Sharks outplayed the visiting Ottawa Senators, but a series of mistakes cost the Sharks in a 4-3 shootout loss in front of 16,619 at SAP Center. The outcome of the game was frustrating, given the effort San Jose turned in. With the Sharks finally turning the corner on their horrific home performances, they make a pair of mistakes that essentially cost them a point in the standings.

It was a simple matter of lapses in better judgment. Poor decisions led to a pair of Ottawa goals. The back breaker was a miscue in the 3rd period while the Sharks were holding a 3-2 lead and were dominating the Senators. Goaltending miscues added to the one that got away on Monday night.

Martin Jones got the evening off, which let the netminding duties in the hands of backup Alex Stalock. Stalock immediately made his presence felt, when he surrendered a terrible goal midway through the 1st period. With Max McCormick chasing down a loose puck in the Sharks zone, Stalock gambled and tried to ou-tskate the Senators forward to the puck. He failed, allowing McCormick to swipe at the puck and knocking it home for his 2nd goal of the season.

Stalock made a similar mistake in Winnipeg last week, when he tried to play a puck behind his own net with Blake Wheeler breathing down his neck. Wheeler would gain control of that puck in that instance and tuck it into the unattended goal, but a tripping penalty negated the score. The goaltender didn't heed the risk of that mishap, but this time there was penalty to bail him out.

Joel ward was sent off for tripping Jean-Gabriel Pageau4 minutes into the 2nd period, setting up the first power play of the game for either team. It took the Senators 11 seconds to convert on the man advantage, when Bobby Ryan fired a shot from the right side, slipping the puck just inside the right post. Stalock was partially screened on the shot, but he anticipated the puck's flight path to hit him in the midsection, so he drew in his pads to try and absorb the shot. That opened up the space between his body and the pipe, allowing the puck to find twine for the 2-0 Senators lead.

San Jose responded immediately, when Tomas Hertl deflected a Joe Thornton feed past Senators goaltender Craig Anderson 8 seconds after the Ryan goal. Thornton carried the puck up the right side and spotted Hertl cutting across the top of the crease from left to right. He whistled a pass to the perfect spot in front of the net, allowing Hertl to drag his stick blade and redirect the puck into the open net.

Logan Couture woke the crowd up 2:47 into the 3rd period, by snapping a shot past Anderson after picking up a loose puck near the top of the right circle. The velocity in which Couture uncorked his shot caught Anderson by surprise. The goaltender responded late, catching a part of the shot with his right pad, but the puck;s momentum carried it over the goal line for Couture's 2nd tally of the season.

The Sharks grabbed the lead at 7:54, finishing off one of the prettiest goals of the season. Joonas Donskoi took a Chris Tierney feed on the right side, then had to position the puck onto his forehand by kicking the puck to his backhand then pulling the puck between his legs before slipping a pass to his right. Nieto received the puck in the slot, then pulled it back as he slid past Anderson from left to right. All the Sharks forward had to do was slide the puck underneath the sprawling goaltender's pads for his 6th goal of the season.

Call it a Christmas carry-over, because the Sharks were in a giving mood later in the period. Holding a 3-2 lead and outplaying the Senators, Erik Karlsson took a holding the stick penalty to setup a Sharks power play. Rather than use the opportunity to push their lead to a pair of goals, they did exactly the opposite. San Jose turned the puck over in the Ottawa zone and allowed Zack Smith to skate up the right wing with the puck. Brent Burns couldn't get back in time and tripped Smith setting up a penalty shot. Smith scored on the free chance, but the play was reviewed because the Senators 4th liner appeared to draw the puck backwards before shooting the puck past Stalock.

The challenge by Peter DeBoer was fruitless as replay officials ruled the puck never stopped moving toward the Sharks net. That was impossible, because Smith clearly pulls the puck backwards.

The Senators got the game to overtime where the Sharks out-chanced them and outshot them 3-1. Hertl hit the post with a shot from the slot, but when Bobby Ryan took a tripping penalty with 1:52 left in the extra session, the win was gift wrapped for the Sharks.

Unfortunately, the unwrapping was left in the hands of the power play unit, which failed a second time, unable to convert on the 4-on-3 advantage.

The game went to the shootout, where Mika Zibanejad roofed a shot past Stalock for the only goal of the skills competition. Stalock was caught between decisions, allowing the Senators forward to rifle a shot over his right shoulder.

On the other end of the ice, Anderson stoned Pavelski, Donskoi and Couture to steal the 2 points.


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1 2 3 OT SO T
OTT 1 1 1 0 1 4
SJ 0 1 2 0 0 3
1st period - 1, OTT, McCormick 2 (Ceci, Neil), 11:12.
2nd period - 2, OTT, Ryan 15 (Zibanejad, Karlsson), 4:08, (pp). 3, SJ, Hertl 8 (Thornton, Burns), 4:16.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Couture 2 (Ward, Vlasic), 2:47. 5, SJ, Nieto 6 (Donskoi, Tierney), 7:54. 6, OTT, Smith 9 (penalty shot), 14:29, (sh).
Overtime - None.
Shootout - SJ: Pavelski (miss), Donskoi (miss), Couture (goal). OTT: Ryan (goal), Zibanejad (goal).
1st period - None.
2nd period - Ward, SJ (tripping), 3:57.
3rd period - Karlsson, OTT (holding the stick), 12:45.
Overtime - Ryan, OTT (tripping), 3:08.
Shots Saves
OTT - Anderson 32 29
SJ - Stalock 17 14
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
OTT 5 8 3 1 17
SJ 11 9 9 3 32
Power Play Conversion
OTT 1 of 1
SJ 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Bobby Ryan
Matt Nieto
Joonas Donskoi
Referees: Pollock, Hanson. Linesmen: Rody, Henderson.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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