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Roadtrip ends with another 2 points
Korolyuk leads SJ to 4-2 win n Anaheim
3/19/04 - by Mike Lee

The Sharks tried making things interesting on Friday night in Anaheim by digging themselves into a 2-0 hole early on, then scoring four unanswered goals to pull off the comeback win versus the Mighty Ducks at the Arrowhead Pond. Alexander Korolyuk scored up two goals and Nils Ekman added three assists to pace the Sharks. Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov shook off a sluggish start to post his 26th win of the season, stopping 21 of 23 shots. The win also extended San Jose's lead in the Pacific Division to five points over the second place Dallas Stars.

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1 2 3 T
SJ 2 0 2 4
ANA 2 0 0 2
1st period - ANA, S. CHISTOV (1) (V. PROSPAL, S. RUCCHIN), 02:43 ANA, S. FEDOROV (26) (K. CARNEY), 04:42 S.J, B. STUART (6) (N. EKMAN, A. KOROLYUK), 06:05 S.J, M. SMITH (0) (P. MARLEAU), 11:34
2nd period - NONE
3rd period - S.J, A. KOROLYUK (15) (N. EKMAN, S. HANNAN), 03:52 S.J, A. KOROLYUK (15) (B. STUART, N. EKMAN), 16:09
1st period - S.J, A. MCCAULEY, 02:16 - Tripping ANA, G. BURNETT, 10:56 - Fighting (maj) S.J, S. PARKER, 10:56 - Fighting (maj) S.J, M. RATHJE, 13:50 - Hooking
2nd period - ANA, N. HAVELID, 03:12 - Tripping ANA, K. CARNEY, 13:51 - Holding
3rd period - ANA, R. SALEI, 01:53 - Hi stick ANA, K. CARNEY, 16:48 - Boarding
  Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 23 21
ANA - Gerber 12 10
ANA - Giguere 29 27
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 15 13 13 41
ANA 12 5 6 23
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 4
ANA 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Alexander Korolyuk
Jean-Sebastian Giguere
Nils Ekman
After their dominating win in Los Angeles the night before, the Sharks were looking to end their three-game road trip on a high note. Problem was, games on back-to-back nights take their toll on a team, especially this late in the season. Fatigue may not have played a part early on, but it was definitely a factor late in the game.

The Sharks tried to bring some tempo early on. Hot handed Jonathan Cheechoo narrowly missed on a scoring chance on the opening shift, when he backhanded a shot off the post.

After Cheechoo's miss, things started to get dicey for the Sharks. Stanislav Chistov scored a power play goal at 2:43 and Sergei Federov would follow up with a goal less than two minutes later.

Chistov jammed a shot past Nabokov from the goal line on the Mighty Ducks first power play of the game. While Alyn McCauley sat in the box for tripping, the Ducks tried cycling the puck around the end boards. The two Sharks defenders assigned to cover the low corner sloughed off in anticipation of a pass, which allowed Chistov to walk in and fire a shot past Nabokov's feet.

Federov took advantage of a blow defensive assignment while the Sharks tried exiting their own zone. Keith Carney intercepted a pass at the Sharks blueline and slipped the puck over to Federov who was lurking deep in the San Jose zone. Federov walked in all by himself before backhanding a shot past Nabokov's left shoulder.

The two Anaheim goals served as a wake up call and the Sharks responded immediately. Brad Stuart would kick things off by swatting a loose puck past Mighty Ducks backup goaltender Martin Gerber, after Gerber failed to control a rebound off a shot by Ekman.

Mark Smith would knot the game at 2-2 by scoring his first goal of the season just past the midway mark of the period. Smith skated in on a 2-on-1 break along side Todd Harvey, after Patrick Marleau slipped a pass over to Smith from the left boards. It looked as if Smith was trying to feed the puck over to Harvey on the right post, but his pass slipped through Gerber's pads and into the Anaheim net.

Anaheim head coach Mike Babcock had a short leash on Gerber, pulling the goaltender immediately after Smith's goal and replacing him with Jean-Sebastian Giguere.

The move would work for a period and a half after both teams settled down and concentrated on the defense until the 3rd period rolled around.

Korolyuk would extended his career high in goals scored in a season by beating Giguere with a shot from the high slot. Korolyuk carrie d a pass from Ekman over the Mighty Ducks blueline, put on the breaks at the top of the right circle, then cut back to the slot before launching a shot that found the top right corner of the net. Giguere was screened on the play by two of his own teammates and reacted to slowly once he did pick up the puck.

Korolyuk would add his 17th of the year with just under four minutes remaining in overtime, by bouncing a pass off Rob Neidermeyer's skate and into the net. Korolyuk tried hitting Ekman, who was breaking on the play, but the puck had a mind of its own.

Play of the Game
Korolyuk's first goal had eyes as it threaded itself through traffic and past Giguere. Korolyuk made the play because he was able to stop on a dime and circle back past a defender where he had a straight shot at the goal. It also broke a 2-2 tie which allowed the Sharks to play a more controlled game over the final period.

The Turning Point
Stuart's goal tilts the rink back to a level playing field after Anaheim stunned the Sharks with two quick goals to open the game. Stuart pinched from his defensive position as the puck squirted out from the goal crease area, allowing the Sharks defenseman to poke it back into the scrum and past Gerber.

Save of the Game
Nabokov made two back-to-back saves in the 3rd period after the Ducks tried mounting a comeback. Steve Rucchin missed with a shot from in tight, then Federov failed to take advantage of the rebound a moment later.

Box Scores Do No Justice
The final chapter of the season on Scott Parker's ongoing battle with Garrett Burnett wrapped up with a fight midway through the 1st period. Parker landed a nasty right that may have contributed to the end of Burnett's evening. The Mighty Ducks tough skated directly to the locker room following the tussle and did not return.

Honorable Mention
Nabokov got his bell rung when he took a Federov shot off the mask in the 3rd period. The puck seemed to handcuff Nabokov after Federov sent a blast from the point. Ruslan Salei drew the ire of the Sharks after he pushed Stuart into a fallen Nabokov. It took a acouple of minutes for Nabokov to clear the cob webs, but he would finish the game.

"Our chances of catching Detroit are pretty slim -- but we have a game left with them. And if we can get some help from some other teams here in Southern California, you never know. As crazy as it is, we could be playing Detroit for first place. But you don't want to far ahead of yourselves. This was a huge win for us. We've given ourselves a little breathing room." - Sharks head coach Ron Wilson

"You can never have enough good players -- especially on the blue line, because it's the most important position on any team. And to lose a guy of his ability, there's no question he was missed." - Steve Rucchin

"They're a great team and they can really skate. They had some power plays in the second half of the game that gave them some momentum. They're finding ways to win on a regular basis, and it's no accident." - Anaheim head coach Mike Babcock

"Any time you give a team chances to be on a power play in the third period, sooner or later they're going to capitalize. We gave them momentum with those penalties after we took charge of the game and killing those penalties gets players off their rhythm and messes up the matchups." - Sandis Ozolinsh

Smith played in his 200th NHL game

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