Final SO

Series (Game 1 of 1)

San Jose leads 1-0

Game 1: Thursday, December 1st
Canadiens3Final
SO
Sharks4

Canadiens 3

(10-11-5, 25 pts)

Sharks 4

(14-7-1, 29 pts)

Coverage: RDS

10:30 PM ET, December 1, 2011

SAP Center, San Jose, California

1 2 3 SO T
MTL 1 1 1 03
SJ 1 1 1 14

R. Clowe (Sharks - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

D. Desharnais (Canadiens - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

L. Couture (Sharks - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Canadiens-Sharks Preview

STATS LLC

With their offense struggling, the San Jose Sharks were particularly frustrated after their most recent effort.

The Sharks will try to avoid matching a season-high three-game losing streak Thursday night when they host the Montreal Canadiens.

After scoring 13 goals over a three-game stretch, San Jose has tallied three over the last three contests, losing 2-0 at Los Angeles on Monday.

The Sharks (13-7-1) are one of the NHL's most aggressive teams, averaging 34.2 shots per game, and they had 33 Monday. However, defenseman Dan Boyle thought the team came out slow, managing 20 shots in the first two periods and nine on five power plays.

"The first two periods there was not a lot of emotion," Boyle said. "We didn't really work to get our chances. Five-on-five we had nothing for the first two periods and weren't working hard enough to win. There are 82 games, and you have got to find a way to get up for every one."

Logan Couture, who had 32 goals last season, has one in his last eight games, while Ryan Clowe has been held without one in the last 10 contests. Joe Thornton, the team leader with 21 points, has one assist in the last three games.

Besides its top producers going cold, a big concern for the Sharks is their declining power play. They've failed to convert on their last 10 chances, going 0 for 8 the last two games after going 16 for 70 (22.9 percent).

However, San Jose plays its next four games at home, where it has won four of six after opening the season 2-2-1 at HP Pavilion.

They'll try to continue improving at home against Montreal, which has lost three straight, including a 4-1 defeat at Anaheim on Wednesday. The Canadiens (10-11-4) scored early in the first period, but the Ducks tied it before the first intermission and took the lead on two power-play goals.

Montreal had killed off 36 consecutive power plays over the previous 11 games.

"They won the special teams part of the game and scored two on the power play, and that was the difference. We've got to be better that way," coach Jacques Martin said.

The Canadiens were without left wing Max Pacioretty, who leads the team with 10 goals, after the league suspended him three games for a hit to the head of Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang on Saturday.

Without him, Montreal was limited to a season-low 20 shots, including three in the final period. In their own offensive slump, the Canadiens were 0 for 7 on the power play, dropping to 0 for 23 in the last five games. They've failed to put more than 27 shots on goal in each of the last three contests.

Tomas Plekanec, who leads the team with 21 points, had an assist on Andrei Kostitsyn's goal, but was a minus-1 and has a minus-5 rating during the last three games. Captain Brian Gionta is a minus-10 in the last four.

The Canadiens won the most recent meeting against the Sharks, 3-1 on Dec. 4, but are 0-4-1 in their last five visits to San Jose since a 3-2 overtime victory in 1999.

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