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Wild 2nd period opens up offense
9 goals between NY and SJ
3/11/04 - by Mike Lee

The Sharks snapped their three game losing streak with a close 5-4 victory over the visiting New York Islanders at HP Pavilion on Thursday night. San Jose was outshot 41-28, but they unloaded on Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro for five goals, including four during a wild 2nd period. Jonathan Cheechoo bagged two goals and Nils Ekman had a goal and two assists to lead the Sharks. Evgani Nabokov struggled in net for the fourth consecutive game, but his offense bailed him out.

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Scoring
1 2 3 T
NYI 0 3 1 4
SJ 0 4 1 5
1st period - NONE
2nd period - NYI, ASHAM (11) (BLAKE, NIINIMAA), 01:20 S.J, KOROLYUK (13) (MCLAREN, EKMAN), 02:59 S.J, EKMAN (16) (MCCAULEY, KOROLYUK), 06:01 S.J, CHEECHOO (19) (STUART, HANNAN), 09:54 NYI, RONNING (6) (NIINIMAA, WEINHANDL), 12:53 S.J, MCCAULEY (16) (KOROLYUK, EKMAN), 14:07 NYI, RONNING (6) (JONSSON, KARPOVTSEV), 14:32
3rd period - S.J, CHEECHOO (19) (STUART), 01:59 NYI, PECA (8) , 10:18
Penalties
1st period - NYI, YASHIN, 01:02 - Hooking - Obstruction NYI, KVASHA, 09:22 - Holding stick S.J, MCLAREN, 12:25 - Hooking
2nd period - NYI, PECA, 04:17 - Interference - Goaltender S.J, THORNTON, 06:50 - Hooking - Obstruction S.J, MCCAULEY, 16:11 - Tripping
3rd period - NYI, KARPOVTSEV, 01:23 - Slashing NYI, WEINHANDL, 07:22 - Elbowing NYI, SCATCHARD, 09:56 - Slashing S.J, RATHJE, 10:43 - Hooking
Goaltending
  Shots Saves
NYI - DiPietro 21 16
NYI - Snow 7 7
SJ - Nabokov 41 37
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
NYI 12 17 12 41
SJ 11 7 10 28
Power Play Conversion
NYI 0 of 4
SJ 2 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Jonathan Cheechoo
Cliff Ronning
Nils Ekman
Attendence
15,543
Nabokov wasn't the only goaltender in search of his game. DiPietro was chased after he surrendered four goals on seven shots in the middle period, then game up the game winner to Cheechoo two minutes into the 3rd period on a wrap around attempt.

It was a free for all in the 2nd period. After Arron Asham staked the Islanders to a 1-0 lead early in the period, Alexander Korolyuk countered with a blast from the top of the left circle that fooled DiPietro.

Ekman would convert after the Islanders tuned the puck over in the neutral zone and a wild break ensued. Alyn McCauley wound up with the puck in the slot, then dished to Ekman who was parked outside the left post. Ekman held the puck as DiPietro tried to skate out and poke the puck away from the Sharks forward, before swiping home his 17th of the season.

Cheechoo would extend the Sharks lead to 3-1 at 9:54 by deflecting a Brad Stuart shot into the Islanders goal after racing to the slot after dishing the puck out to Stuart.

Cliff Ronning would bring New York to with a goal after he slipped a partial wrap around under Nabokov's outstretched stick. Nabokov should have stopped the scoring chance, but he didn't get his stick down in time.

McCauley would counter with a goal a minute later, but Ronning struck again with a blast from the left circle that caught the right corner of the net.

The Islanders wouldn't go away, countering again after Cheechoo opened the 3rd period with his second goal of the evening. Michael Peca grabbed a turnover in the neutral zone and ripped a shot from 35 feet past Nabokov to cap the scoring.

Play of the Game
Cheechoo's first goal was generated from pure hustle. After chasing down a loose puck along the left wing boards, he streaked back to the front of the net to poke Stuart's shot by DiPietro. The Islanders goaltender sat there shaking his head for allowing Cheechoo to beat him on the play.

The Turning Point
Call it divine intervention, but the Sharks dodged a huge bullet after they tied the game at 1-1. The Islanders appeared to score the go ahead goal, but Peca was whistled for goaltender interference even though Patrick Marleau clearly checked Peca into Nabokov. The would be goal was disallowed and the Sharks countered with a goal on the ensuing power play.

Save of the Game
Nabokov came up huge on a Trent Hunter shot late in the 2nd period, after Hunter one-timed the puck from the slot. All attention was on the puck in the left corner, but that changed in the blink of an eye, when it kicked out to Hunter who was cutting in from the high slot. Nabokov squared up and snuffed the shot.

Box Scores Do No Justice
Just like that Alexander Korolyuk has 26 points on the season after be relegated to press box representative early on in the season. Korolyuk turned another multi-point game with a goal and an assist.

Honorable Mention
Curtis Brown made his debut in teal and it quickly became clear why Sharks GM Doug Wilson went after him last Tuesday. Brown skated on the left wing along side Marleau and Niko Dimitrakos, and was a presence on the ice. It was hard to tell that it was Brown's first game in teal, as he logged time on the power play and penalty kill in addition to his regular ice time.

Quotables
"It's not good enough. We won tonight, but 41 shots (allowed), four goals, that's not us. - Kyle McLaren

"We've given up 20 goals in the last five games, and that's way too much for my taste. Although the shot chart didn't show it, I thought we were a lot more stable on defense." - Sharks head coach Ron Wilson

"You can't give up five goals on the road and expect to win hockey games. It's just not going to happen, and as a result, we got what we deserved." - Michael Peca

Milestones
It was Curtis Brown's first game as a Shark.

McLaren returned after missing six games with a facial laceration.


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