“Hits and Misses” for Sharks at Kings Game 3 WCQF 4/19/11

Result:  SHARKS 6, Kings {Overtime}   {Sharks lead series 2-1}

Sharks forward Ryane Clowe celebrates with Sharks goalie Antero Niittymaki after Devin Setoguchi's game winning goal in overtime. Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports.

HITS

Patrick Marleau – Marleau scored his first goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, 46th of his career, at 3:08 of the second period to finally get the Sharks on the scoreboard and cut the Kings deficit to 4-1.  The goal snapped a four period scoring drought for the Sharks, who were shutout Saturday night at HP Pavilion 4-0 and in the first period of this game, and snapped the Kings streak of eight unanswered goals.  The goal came as the result of Marleau releasing from the front of the Kings net and re-positioning himself at the side of the goalie crease as Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle held the puck at the blue line.  Making eye contact with Marleau, Boyle fired a slick shot pass over to Marleau, who from the side of the goalie crease quickly re-directed the Boyle feed into the net for the goal.  Marleau also had an assist for a two point night.

Ryane Clowe – Clowe scored his first two goals of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, 13th and 14th of his career, one of which was the Sharks first Power Play goal of the series, snapping an 0-for-8 drought with the man advantage for the Sharks.  Clowe’s first goal came at 6:53 of the second period with the Sharks on the Power Play and cut the Kings deficit to 4-2.  With Kings forward Dustin Penner in the penalty box for “roughing,” Clowe held the puck on his stick inside the high face-off circle.  At an angle, Clowe attempted to center the puck in front of the net with a pass but the puck deflected off of the stick of Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell in front and the puck re-directed through the 5-hole of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick for the goal.  Clowe’s second goal of the game came at 18:35 of the second period and cut the Kings deficit to 5-4.  With tremendous pressure in the Kings zone due to a tired Kings group on the ice, Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic refused to let the puck leave the zone, holding it in on several occasions.  With the sustained pressure and the puck on his stick in the high face-off circle, Boyle fired a pass down to Clowe, who was standing just on the edge of the lower face-off circle near the goalie crease, and Clowe fired the puck into the open net for the goal.

Logan Couture – The “Calder Trophy” finalist Couture scored his second goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, sixth of his career, at 13:32 of the second period and cut the Kings deficit to 4-3.  With the puck on his stick in the lower face-off circle in the Kings zone, Sharks defenseman Ian White fired a beauty of a cross zone pass to Couture, who was positioned in the high face-off circle, and Couture ripped a one-time shot past Quick for the goal.

Joe Pavelski – Pavelski scored his second goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, 17th of his career, at 19:29 of the second period to tie the game at 5-5.  With the puck in the Kings zone, White fired a shot from the blue line that hit Pavelski in the back of the skates in the slot.  Somehow, Pavelski was able to get the puck on his stick and beat Quick with a shot from in the slot for the goal.

Devin Setoguchi – Setoguchi scored the game winning goal at 3:09 of overtime to give the Sharks a remarkable 6-5 comeback victory and 2-1 series lead.  The goal was Setoguchi’s first of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs and eighth of his career.  The goal started back in the Sharks zone as White fired a pass over to Sharks defenseman Niclas Wallin, who got the puck over to Marleau in the neutral zone.  With the puck on his stick, Marleau skated into the Kings zone along the lower side board and fired a pass to a cutting Setoguchi in the slot, just between the two face-off circles.  With the puck on his stick in the slot, Setoguchi fired a wrist shot that beat Quick for the game winning goal.

Antero Niittymaki – Seeing his first action of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and first since 2006 with the Philadelphia Flyers,  Niittymaki made 11 saves on 12 shots in relief of starting Sharks goalie Antti Niemi, who was pulled after giving up four Kings goals on 10 shots {more later in misses}, and won his first career Stanley Cup Playoff game.

Ian White – After missing game 2 with an injury due to the hit laid on him by Kings forward Jarret Stoll, White had a two point night with two assists and now has three assists in two career Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Penalty Killers – After a horrendous performance in game 2, the Sharks Penalty Killers bounced back with their best outing of the playoffs, going a perfect 4-for-4, including killing off Wallin’s “high sticking” double minor penalty in the first period after the Sharks had quickly fallen behind 2-0.

Sharks Defensemen – The Sharks defenseman had a seven point night as Boyle, White and Wallin each had two assists and Jason Demers, who had a team high six hits tonight, had one assist.

Second Period – After playing their worst period of hockey ever in the first period {more later in misses}, the Sharks responded with one of, if not their best period of hockey ever played as they set a franchise record by scoring five goals in the middle frame to head into the second intermission all even with the Kings at 5-5.  As a Sharks fan, I only have one question to ask…Why don’t the Sharks play like that every period of every game?  They would be undefeated if they did so!

Sharks Team – With their remarkable comeback victory, the Sharks became just the fourth team in NHL history to win a Stanley Cup Playoff game when trailing by four or more goals and the first to do so since the Minnesota {now Dallas} North Stars accomplished this feat back in April 1985.  In addition, the Sharks proved beyond a shadow of doubt that they are not the “same old Sharks” who would have just stopped trying and moved on to the next game when facing a daunting task.  Instead, the Sharks dug deep and showed everyone in the hockey world just how bad they want the Stanley Cup as they kept fighting and found their heart, passion and desire.

MISSES

First Period – After being shutout at home in game 2, most in the hockey world figured the Sharks would come out with their foot on the pedal and take it to the Kings in their place.  Instead, the opposite occurred and the Sharks, who were out shot 9-7, found themselves trailing at the end of the first period 3-0 as the Kings got goals from Willie Mitchell {2:26}, Kyle Clifford {2:39} and Michael Handzus {18:22}.  Even more baffling was the fact that the Mitchell and Clifford goals were scored 13 seconds apart!

Sharks Team – While their remarkable comeback and victory were a “hit,” the Sharks woeful start almost, and probably should have, cost them the game and series lead.  Flat out, the Sharks have to have better starts to the games and cannot make it a habit of putting themselves in that big of a hole.

Ryan Smyth Goal – This goal, which was the only goal scored on Niittymaki, came at 13:47 of the second period,  just 15 seconds after Couture’s goal and extended the Kings lead to 5-3.  The goal was the result of a terrible defensive breakdown by both Pavelski and Wallin, who allowed Smyth to sneak in backdoor near the goalie crease as they were too busy starring at the puck on the stick of Stoll on the high side.

Joe Thornton – Just like in game two, I have no idea what planet the Sharks captain was skating on tonight because it seemed like everytime Thornton touched the puck, his lackadaisical play resulted in either a turnover or a give-away.  Yes, Thornton had one assist but he also had only one shot on net.

Antti Niemi – No doubt, Niemi had an off night, allowing four Kings goals on only 10 shots and was pulled 44 seconds into the second period after Kings forward Brad Richardson scored blocker side from in the slot to put the Kings up 4-0.  To be fair, three of the goals were the result of either Sharks turnovers or lackadaisical play.  The only goal that one can say is totally on Niemi was the Kings first goal scored by Willie Mitchell because Niemi got his glove on the puck but the puck trickled out of his glove and into the net.  The Clifford goal 13 seconds later would have never happened had the four Sharks in front of Niemi gotten their stick on the bouncing puck instead of just starring at it.  The Handzus goal was the result of a turnover in the neutral zone by Boyle and the Richardson goal was the result of a turnover in the Sharks zone by White.

Kyle Wellwood – All I have to say about Wellwood is this…Shoot the Puck!  Wellwood had several scoring chances from in close that he would have scored on had he not been hesitant about shooting the puck. Even Sharks announcer Drew Remenda made the comment that Wellwood was reminding him of former Shark Craig Janney, who was also reluctant to shoot the puck despite having a scoring touch.

Fourth Line – This isn’t a “miss” on the Sharks fourth line players of Scott Nichol, Jamal Mayers and Ben Eager.  This is a “miss” on the coaching staff that only allowed them a handful of ice time.  Nichol had 3:13 of ice time, Mayers had 2:25 and Eager had 1:07.  That amount of ice time is practically next to nothing and begs the question of why did they even dress out if they were going to be used so sparingly?  Honestly, how can the Sharks expect their energy line to inject energy into the team when they’re not given shifts on the ice?  I hope the Sharks remember that this fourth line is not a scrub line as all three of them can score, play solid two-way hockey, do dirty/grit work and drop the gloves if necessary.

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About Jon Allred

Life long San Jose and Worcester Sharks fan that bleeds teal and black.

Posted on April 20, 2011, in Sports and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Your last sentence of the Marleau paragraph should have made a much bigger deal of the Marleau assist of Seto’s goal, it was a perfect pass that Seto just needed to Re Direct….that goal was ALL Marleau….well, all Seto, but set up by Marleau’s beautiful assist.

    • Now, I read the Seto paragraph and you gave more kudos to Marleau’s assist…good job…haha!!!!!

      When you write that it was Seto’s “first goal of the Stanley Cup playoffs”, you should probably write “first goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs”…….add the 2011 or “‘this years”maybe every time you used “Stanley Cup playoffs”.

      But great article.

      (I didn’t miss the 4th line at ALL….but I bet the rest of the team is TIRED today!) You think we will get to see Ginner next game??? 7 d men?????

      • Thanks for the “2011” tip. Your right, it does sound better. I went back and fixed the post.

        As for Thursday night, I don’t see any roster changes unless there’s an injury though I wouldn’t mind seeing Justin Braun back on the ice since he’s a favorite of mine.

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