– Checking the Western Conference standings is not yet a daily
requirement for fans of the San Jose Sharks. The schedule still
offers 35 games, sufficient time for the Sharks to shake off their
current six-game losing streak and reassert themselves as a force
to be reckoned with in the Stanley Cup
Playoffs in April.
SAN JOSE – Checking the Western Conference standings is not yet a daily requirement for fans of the San Jose Sharks. The schedule still offers 35 games, sufficient time for the Sharks to shake off their current six-game losing streak and reassert themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in April.
The sixth straight loss came Thursday night at HP Pavilion against Edmonton, the cellar-dweller of the Western Conference. The Oilers, winners of only two of their past 13 outings, powered past San Jose 5-2.
The Sharks finish a three-game home stand Saturday night against the St. Louis Blues. Patrick Marleau is scheduled to play in his 1,000th NHL game Monday when San Jose plays at the Phoenix Coyotes.
Rookie Logan Couture was out of the San Jose line-up after suffering a lower body injury in Tuesday’s game against Toronto. Torrey Mitchell, also absent, was placed on Injured Reserve.
Edmonton took a 1-0 lead after one period and expanded the edge to 3-0 after two periods, taking the final game of the four-game series with San Jose after dropping the first three.
San Jose managed a 14-9 edge in shots on net in the first period, yet fell behind when Oiler Andrew Cogliano scored his fifth goal of the season at the 15:34 mark.
Linemate Liam Reddox gained control of the puck at the right boards in the San Jose zone, drawing defenseman Douglas Murray to him. As Cogliano took a pass at the end line, neither Dan Boyle nor Dany Heatley were able to move toward the Oiler before Cogliano reached the crease and pushed a shot inside the right post past goalie Antero Niittymaki.
Edmonton’s top two goal scorers for the season, Dustin Penner and rookie Taylor Hall, each scored in the second period.
Penner’s 13th on the year was a wrist shot from the left dot that found that back of the net after Niittymaki was prone on the ice defending an earlier assault from the right flank at 3:50.
Hall was not credited with his 13th of the year until a five-minute off-ice review determined that the puck had rolled just over the goal line before Shark Joe Thornton pulled the puck out of the crease. Hall sped into the San Jose zone with the puck and jammed a shot from 20 feet out that dropped off the left pad of Niittymaki and finally over the goal line at 15:36.
The Sharks owned a 1-11-1 record when trailing after two periods and that mark would not improve after both teams scored twice in the final 20 minutes.
San Jose produced at least 35 shots on net for each of the past six games. San Jose had 43 shots against Edmonton, equaling the team’s season high.
Oiler goaltender Devan Dubnyk failed to earn his first NHL shut-out in a 33-game career when Thornton converted on the power play 5:55 into the third. Dany Heatley’s cross-ice pass to an unmarked Thornton at the inside edge of the left circle led to Thornton’s snapshot behind Dubnyk.
Edmonton had 1:56 of 5-on-3 power play in the third, scoring five seconds after the second penalty elapsed. Rookie Linus Omark stuffed in a short rebound at the 9:14 mark.
Thornton’s feed from the right flank was redirected by Ryane Clowe past Dubnyk during a Shark power play at 19:11 to make it 4-2. Hall netted an empty-netter with 1.5 seconds left for his 14th goal of the year.