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Power play excels in win over Habs
Sharks convert on 3 of 6 PP chances
3/3/04 - by Mike Lee

The Sharks accentuated the "power" in "power play" on Wednesday night by converting on three of six man-up situations, skating to a nail-biting 4-3 win over the visiting Montreal Candiens at HP Pavilion. Former Canadiens captain Vincent Damphousse led the assault with a goal and two assists during the wide open contest. The Sharks broke the game open with three 2nd period goals before holding on to knock off the red hot Canadiens.

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Scoring
1 2 3 T
MTL 0 2 1 3
SJ 1 3 0 4
1st period - S.J, STUART (5) (MARLEAU, DAMPHOUSSE), 06:51
2nd period - MTL, PERREAULT (10) (ZEDNIK), 07:45 S.J, DAMPHOUSSE (7) (STUART, PREISSING), 11:52 MTL, MARKOV (5) (RYDER, PERREAULT), 12:51 S.J, STURM (20) (DAMPHOUSSE, MARLEAU), 14:06 S.J, DIMITRAKOS (6) (RATHJE, STUART), 15:07
3rd period - MTL, RIBEIRO (17) (RYDER, BRISEBOIS), 08:33
Penalties
1st period - MTL, ZEDNIK, 05:30 - Elbowing MTL, KILGER, 10:39 - Interference S.J, MARLEAU, 11:59 - Tripping S.J, DAVISON, 14:20 - Holding stick
2nd period - MTL, KOMISAREK, 09:45 - Hi stick MTL, QUINTAL, 11:46 - Cross check MTL, JUNEAU, 13:57 - Holding MTL, PERREAULT, 18:43 - Hi stick
3rd period - S.J, SMITH, 02:08 - Slashing S.J, SMITH, 08:07 - Hooking
Goaltending
  Shots Saves
MTL - Theodore 29 25
SJ - Nabokov 28 25
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
MTL 8 9 11 25
SJ 8 17 4 29
Power Play Conversion
MTL 1 of 4
SJ 3 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Vincent Damphousse
Brad Stuart
Yannic Perreault
Attendence
15,614
The Sharks have been hot of late themselves, winning their 8th consecutive home game, a new franchise record. Both teams buzzed around the rink all night long, but San Jose was able to outlast Montreal in the 3rd period to keep their lead in the Pacific Division at six points over Dallas.

Damphousse, a native of Montreal, assisted on Brad Stuart's 1st period power play goal,, before tallying his own on the extra-man advantage in the 2nd period. Stuart scored on a blast from the point that snuck past Jose Theodore.

Yannic Perreault would knot things up less than a minute later.

Andrei Markov tied the game at 2-2 midway through the 2nd period on a shot that seemed to fool Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.

The power play continued to tick for San Jose in the period. Marco Sturm scored his 21st goal of the season less than ten seconds after Joe Juneau was sent off for holding.

Niko Dimitrakos would give San Jose a two-goal lead a minute later by carrying the puck up the left wing and rifling a shot past Theodore, just inside the right post.

Mike Ribeiro pulled the Candiens back to within a goal midway through the final period by bouncing a shot off Nabokov's leg from behind the Sharks goal, while Mark Smith was serving the second of his two penalties in the period.

Nabokov held Montreal at Bay over the last tem minutes of regulation to earn his 23rd win of the season.

Newly acquired forward Alexei Kovalev was in attendance, but he did not skate for the Canadiens.

Play of the Game
Damphousse was the man of the hour and his power play goal was proof positive that he steps his game up a notch when he's facing his former team. The veteran centerman was able to find the puck in traffic and chip a flop shot over Theodore's shoulder.

The Turning Point
The Dimitrakos goal turned out to be the game winner, but more importantly it provided the Sharks with some breathing room. This was a high octane affair with plenty of great skating and passing, and Dimitrakos displayed why the Sharks speed is such an asset. Theodore had a clear line of sight , and the shot was taken from the left circle, but it had enough mustard on it to beat the former Hart Trophy Winner.

Save of the Game
Take your pick. Theodore faced 17 shots in theh2nd period but he was only able to stop 14 of them. Nabokov turned aside 10 of 11 shots in crunch time, and you could say that Ribeiro's shot was tough luck, kicking off the back of Nabokov's leg.

Box Scores Do No Justice
Sturm tallied a power play goal in the 2nd period, but he could have netted a hat- trick had he converted on the handful of quality scoring chances throughout the evening. During one sequence in the 2nd period, the German winger had three mouth watering chances deep in the Canadiens zone, but he either lost the handle on the puck or he missed the net.

Honorable Mention
Stuart set a career scoring mark with his three point night (1 goal two assists). The Sharks defenseman has started to open up his game in the offensive zone as of late and it's resulted in points.

Quotables
"I know my parents are watching, and tons of friends back home are watching. It's always going to be a special game, especially when we only play them once a year." - Vincent Damphousse

"Obviously, we've got to be aware of who's behind us, but we've got to look ahead, too. I don't think we're just looking to hang on in the Pacific Division. We're looking at the whole Western Conference. If we take care of our games, we won't have to be looking over our shoulder." - Brad Stuart

"They're a hardworking team, and they created a lot of opportunities, and we took some bad penalties. You put those together, and you see what happens. If we were late on a play, or they tipped the puck, it went in." - Jose Theodore

Milestones
Damphousse moved into a tie for 60th place on the NHL all-time scoring leaders list. He now sits along side Yvan Cournoyer.

The Sharks named Marco Sturm the February Seagate Technology Player of the Month for February.

San Jose also acquired defenseman Jason Marshall in a trade with Minnesota. The Wild will receive the Sharks 5th round draft pick in 2004.

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