Sharks power play shows improvement in loss

Highlights: Sharks' skid continues with loss to lowly Islanders

Sharks power play shows improvement in loss
December 11, 2013, 9:30 am
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San Jose finished 1-for-4 on the power play with six shots on net, including Patrick Marleau’s second period goal. (AP)

SAN JOSE – If there was one positive to be taken out of the Sharks’ disheartening blown lead and 3-2 shootout loss against the lowly New York Islanders on Tuesday, it’s that the power play looked better than it did on the team’s recently completed road trip.

San Jose finished 1-for-4, with six shots on net, including Patrick Marleau’s early second period goal that gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead.

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“It looked very dangerous,” said Joe Thornton, who saw his eight-game scoring streak come to an end. “It obviously scored the one goal, but it looked sharp, and we need it to be sharp to win some games.”

Todd McLellan said: “It was significantly better than where it was on the road trip. It looked like it played with authority. It had a good breakout, established possession, and scored us a goal, so that was good.”

Unfortunately for San Jose, Marleau’s goal at 5:26 of the second period – just 10 seconds after Matt Carkner’s roughing minor – came on the final power play the Sharks would enjoy. Their first three advantages came in the first period, including nine seconds of five-on-three time. They never had a chance to put that final nail in the coffin and increase their two-goal lead, and it ended up costing them by the end of the night when New York tied it with a pair of third period goals.

And, to keep things in perspective, the defensively sloppy Islanders remain dead last in the NHL in penalty killing after Tuesday’s game, at 71.3 percent. The Sharks are 16th in the NHL on the power play with a 17.8 percent success rate.

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On Tuesday morning, the Sharks went on the ice a little later than usual, sitting in a power play meeting that presumably included video and instruction from the coaching staff. In that regard, it was good to finally see it result in a goal, after Marleau’s marker ended a miserable 3-for-41 stretch with a man advantage.

“It was a lot better today,” Joe Pavelski said after the game. “You could feel the energy in the building. We haven’t had that in awhile. It’s been a topic, we haven’t been good there.”