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1000th game is a winner
SJ extends lead in Pacific to 8 points
1/21/04 - by Mike Lee

The Sharks celebrated the franchise's 1000th game by taking the front end of a home-and-home series with the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday night in Glendale, Arizona. San Jose jumped out to a 3-0 lead, then coasted to a 4-2 win over their division opponent. Four different Sharks scored, including defenseman Scott Hannan, who notched his third tally of the season. Vesa Toskala spelled Evgeni Nabokov in net because of the back to back games, turning aside 26 of 28 Phoenix shots on goal.

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1 2 3 T
SJ 2 1 1 4
PHO 0 0 2 2
1st period - S.J, HANNAN (2) (SMITH), 08:44 S.J, EKMAN (12) (MCCAULEY, PREISSING), 12:02
2nd period - S.J, CHEECHOO (13) (STUART, RICCI), 05:56
3rd period - PHX, MARA (2) (SILLINGER, LANGKOW), 10:26 S.J, KOROLYUK (6) (EKMAN, MCCAULEY), 16:04 PHX, DOAN (17) , 19:39
1st period - PHX, CLEARY, 00:56 - Holding stick S.J, SMITH, 04:01 - Slashing PHX, NAZAROV, 08:52 - Fighting (maj) S.J, PARKER, 08:52 - Fighting (maj) PHX, FERENCE, 15:31 - Roughing S.J, KOROLYUK, 18:40 - Hi stick S.J, RICCI, 19:16 - Tripping
2nd period - PHX, SPILLER, 08:09 - Holding stick S.J, DAMPHOUSSE, 10:21 - Holding PHX, NAGY, 10:36 - Slashing PHX, HULSE, 15:12 - Unsportsmanlike conduct PHX, HULSE, 15:12 - Holding
3rd period - S.J, KOROLYUK, 18:41 - Unsportsmanlike conduct PHX, NAGY, 18:41 - Unsportsmanlike conduct S.J, RICCI, 19:05 - Holding stick
  Shots Saves
SJ - Toskala 28 26
PHO - Burke 38 34
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 10 20 8 38
PHO 11 6 11 28
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 6
PHO 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Nils Ekman
Alyn McCauley
Scott Hannan
As has been customary for much of the season, the Sharks jumped on their opponent early. Hannan cranked a shot from the top of the left circle past Sean Burke at the 8:44 mark of the 1st period.

Nils Ekman would follow up Hannan's goal four minutes later with a goal off Burke's leg. Alyn McCauley setup the goal with a centering pass from the right corner as Ekman drove to the net from the blueline. Ekman forced Burke to commit by holding onto the puck as he deeked the Coyotes netminder before depositing his 13th goal of the season.

Jonathan Cheechoo extended the Sharks lead to 3-0 at 5:56 of the 2nd period on a strange play. Mike Ricci tried stuffing a shot past Burke from in tight, but the puck kicked out behind the Sharks net. Burke thought he had covered the puck up, while three of his teammates unloaded on Ricci at the top of the crease. While everyone's attention was on Ricci, Cheechoo kept the attack up and snapped a shot past Burke just inside the right post.

Like Monday night's game versus Detroit, the Sharks managed to keep the Coyotes off the board until after the ten minute mark in the 3rd period. Paul Mara broke up Toskala's shutout bid with a goal at 10:26.

Alexander Korolyuk would negate Mara's tally with his own goal with just under four minutes remaining in regulation after Ekman set him up with a touch pass as the two skated up the right wing. Korolyuk led Ekman ont eh charge and redirected the pass past Burke for this 7th of the season.

Shane Doan would score a meaningless power play goal in the final minute after Toskala failed to clear the puck from his own zone.

Play of the Game
The combination of Ricci's sacrifice and Cheechoo and Brad Stuart's hustle on the Sharks third goal was an encapsulation of the Sharks season in a ten second span. Multiple players contributed to the end goal and the team was rewarded with a nice three goal cushion.

The Turning Point
They say that little things win games, and Mark Smith's faceoff win in the 1st period set the tone for the rest of the game. Smith pulls the puck back to the point for Scott Hannan to unload on, and just like that the Sharks have the lead.

Save of the Game
A little irony in the fact that Burke was left out to dry by his defense on Wednesday night. Pretty remarkable considering that teammate Brian Boucher set his NHL record for consecutive shutouts just last week. Burke kept the game a lot closer than it should have been, thanks in part to several saves that he was forced to make in tight quarters. Burke would finish with 34 saves on the night.

Box Scores Do No Justice
Alyn McCauley had two assist n the evening, but that only tells part of the story. The Sharks forward was buzzing all of the ice for most of the evening, was a +2, had five shots on goal and won half his faceoffs.

Honorable Mention
McCauley's five shots on goal was only 4th best for the Sharks. Wayne Primeau, Niko Dimitrakos, and Korolyuk each recorded six shots on Burke each.

"We played as solid as I've seen us play in a while. We got a little bad luck late in the game with the two goals, but I thought we handled ourselves well. Our defense did a great job in our end, great use of sticks on the puck and scoring was kind of spread around." - Sharks head coach Ron Wilson

"It was the easiest game for me in a long time. I got a little sloppy in the end, but we was leading by three goals and they score a goal, so it's not a big deal." - Vesa Toskala

"Smitty wins the draw, and Harv drove to the net and caused a lot of ruckus in front. I just saw the lane and shot at the net. I mean, with that much traffic in front I don't think Burke saw it at all." - Scott Hannan

The Sharks were without Patrick Marleau and Marco Sturm for the second time in three games. Marleau was scratched because of lingering issues with the ankle injury he suffered against Colorado. Sturm remained in San Jose to be with his wife Astrid, who delivered their first child.

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