Hurricanes Beat Sharks, 5-2, San Jose's Early Season Struggles Continue

The San Jose Sharks got off to a slow start in their 2010-2011 campaign, but without a week-long layoff impeding them, they're looking to pick up their first win in the Shark Tank this season against the Hurricanes. For more on the game and the team in general, go to Fear The Fin, SB Nation's Sharks blog.

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San Jose Gives Up Five Goals In Loss To Carolina

Sports Network | October 20, 2010

San Jose, CA (Sports Network) – Chad LaRose tallied a goal and two assists while goaltender Cam Ward was stellar with 41 saves, as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the San Jose Sharks, 5-2, at HP Pavilion.

Eric Staal, Erik Cole and Patrick Dwyer also scored for Carolina, which halted a two-game skid and improved its record to 3-2 on the young season.

“I felt really good,” Ward said. “We had tremendous puck pursuit and our penalty kill was excellent.”

Patrick Marleau scored both goals for the Sharks, who are winless in three straight games since their season-opening win. San Jose will now embark on a three-game road trip which begins in Denver on Thursday against the Avalanche.

San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi allowed five goals on 31 shots.

The Hurricanes opened the scoring on Staal’s short-handed tally at the 5:56 mark of the first period. LaRose skated down the right side on a 2-on-1 and sent a cross-ice pass to Staal, who lit the lamp with a wrister from the bottom of the left circle.

Cole’s rebound goal from the slot with 2:25 to go in the first stanza gave the visitors a 2-0 edge. After a failed stuff attempt at the right post, the puck made its way back to Tim Gleason at the left point. Gleason’s blast was saved by Niemi, but the rebound was loose and Cole punched it home.

Carolina moved ahead by three 2:43 into the second period on Dwyer’s goal.

However, later in the second, Marleau scored twice in under four minutes and brought the Sharks back into the game. At 6:34, Marleau’s first goal of the season cut the San Jose deficit to 3-1. Marleau held control along the goal line to the left of the net and passed into the slot for Dan Boyle, who was all alone. Boyle’s wrist shot was deflected by Marleau from the top of the crease and sailed into the back of the net.

Near the midpoint of the middle session, Marleau struck again. He out-muscled Anton Babchuk for control of the puck along the lower left half-wall, moved in on a partial breakaway and, from a sharp angle below the circle, beat Ward with a low wrist shot.

A strong defensive effort by Staal led to Carolina’s fourth goal. Douglas Murray had his stick lifted by Staal deep in San Jose’s defensive zone along the right rear boards. Staal then gained control of the puck, skated toward the net and passed across the crease for an easy tip-in goal by LaRose near the left post at the 2:11 mark of the third period.

The victory was sealed by Joni Pitkanen’s laser slap shot from the top of the left circle that beat Niemi over the far shoulder with 12:55 to play in regulation.

“We missed a number of chances around the net,” Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said. “We had a number of turnovers and out-numbered rushes that we gave up. It’s unacceptable.”

This was Marleau’s 42nd career two-goal game…The Sharks were 1-for-5 on the power play, while the Hurricanes were scoreless on their four chances with the extra skater…Ward made 17 saves in the second period and 15 in the third.

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Pitkanen Puts Hurricanes Up Decisively 5-2 Over Sharks

Joni Pitkanen hit one into the top corner of Antti Niemi, which is apparently his biggest weakness. Ruh-roh. Sharks fans at Fear the Fin are now pulling for the backup goalie. Not fun times at HP Pavilion.

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Sharks Turnover Leads To Hurricanes Goal, 4-2

Another San Jose mistake costs them dearly. Douglas Murray gave the puck away to Eric Staal on a quick turnover on San Jose’s side of the ice. Staal found Chad LaRose and gave the Hurricanes much needed breathing room 2:11 into the third period.

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Carolina Hurricanes Took Early 3-0 Lead, Patrick Marleau Rallies With Two Goals Through Two Periods

San Jose has 28 shots on goal compared to 19 for Carolina, but Cam Ward blocked things for the most part. Despite the Sharks winning 26 faceoffs to 11 for the Hurricanes, San Jose couldn’t take advantage until Marleau finally knocked two goals in the span of three minutes to make it a one score game. Can the Sharks rally and notch their first win of the year?

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