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Oilers cloud SJ'd future
Nabokov shaky again in net
3/21/04 - by Mike Lee

With two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Sharks suddenly have an issue between the pipes. As they cling to a three point lead in the division, starting netminder Evgeni Nabokov has suddenly contracted a case of hard luck in goal. Nabokov surrendered five goals to the visiting Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night in a 5-2 whitewashing. Nabokov has given up 13 goals in his past four games, and has allowed two or more goals in eight starts. The play of both teams made it hard to tell which was the division leading team and which was out of the top 8 in the Western Conference.

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Scoring
1 2 3 T
EDM 2 1 2 5
SJ 1 1 0 2
1st period - EDM, C. CROSS (6) (G. LARAQUE, J. STOLL), 03:12 S.J, P. MARLEAU (27) (J. CHEECHOO, T. PREISSING), 10:00 EDM, M. BERGERON (6) (P. NEDVED), 18:04
2nd period - S.J, K. MCLAREN (1) (C. BROWN), 08:29 EDM, J. SMITH (6) (M. YORK), 11:59
3rd period - EDM, E. BREWER (5) (A. HEMSKY, S. HORCOFF), 03:19 EDM, M. BERGERON (6) (P. NEDVED, E. BREWER), 09:35
Penalties
1st period - EDM, J. STOLL, 05:23 - Holding stick S.J, V. DAMPHOUSSE, 05:23 - Interference EDM, E. MOREAU, 09:07 - Cross check S.J, S. HANNAN, 11:49 - Roughing
2nd period - S.J, J. CHEECHOO, 03:22 - Holding S.J, M. RICCI, 06:31 - Tripping EDM, J. STOLL, 11:13 - Holding
3rd period - S.J, C. BROWN, 08:29 - Holding EDM, S. HORCOFF, 14:55 - Hi stick EDM, S. HORCOFF, 14:55 - Hi stick
Goaltending
  Shots Saves
EDM - Markannen 34 32
SJ - Nabokov 27 22
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
EDM 9 10 8 27
SJ 14 10 10 24
Power Play Conversion
EDM 1 of 4
SJ 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Jussi Markannen
Marc-Andre Bergeron
Eric Brewer
Attendence
16,176
The Oilers trail the St Louis Blues by a single point for the 8th seed in the West, and they played like a desperate team on Sunday. They never trailed in the game, and countered every Sharks score with an immediate response.

Cory Cross welcomed the Sharks back to HP Pavilion after concluding a three game road trip, with a goal three minutes into the game by firing a shot from the point that floated over Nabokov's shoulder.

Patrick Marleau responded on the power play at the midway mark of the 1st period by swatting a rebound past Jussi Markannen. The Sharks were on the power play after Ethan Moreau cross checked Tom Preissing in front of the Oilers net. San Jose appeared to score on the play when Mike Ricci punched the loose puck past Markannen, but referee Mike Leggo waved off the goal after he had determined that the Oilers had gained control of the puck by having it pinball off Markannen's right pad.

The Oilers took a 2-1 lead with just under two minutes to play in the period when Marc-Andre Bergeron sent a one-timer that beat Nabokov from the left circle.

The Sharks had a chance to steal back the momentum when Kyle McLaren uncorked a blast from the left point that found the back of the net while the Sharks were killing a penalty. The Oilers had just iced the puck, forcing the faceoff in the Oilers zone. Curtis Brown won the draw and pulled the puck back to McLaren for the goal.

Edmonton would negate that momentum when they countered with their own short-handed goal three minutes later. Tom Preissing tried to pinch on the power play, but the Oilers where able to move the puck out and force a three-on-two break. Mike York carried the puck deep into the Sharks zone before dropping a pass back to Jason Smith who punched a shot through Nabokov's 5-hole.

Eric Brewer and Bergeron would each score in the 3rd period to seal the victory. Markannen stopped 34 shots, including 10 in the 3rd period.

Quotables
"He's a very good goaltender. Nabokov just looked tired. On my second goal he was out of position when I got the rebound and there was no way for him to stop it." - Marc-Andre Bergeron

"Their goalie was better than our goalie. We just have to find a way to get Nabokov some rest. Hopefully Toskala will be back shortly." - Sharks head coach Ron Wilson


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