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Sharks get back in the series with 3-0 win
Korolyuk stirs the pot with 2 goals and an assist
5/13/04 - by Mike Lee

With all the subplots that were published about the Sharks match up with the Calgary Flames in the Western Conference Finals, most of the media elected to pass on the Alexander Korolyuk - Darryl Sutter saga. Korolyuk decided to kick some dirt Sutter's way on Thursday night with a three point performance and a victory over Sutter's Flames 3-0 at the Pengrowth Saddledome. The win helps the Sharks climb back into the best of seven series and also helped restore San Jose confidence heading into Game 4 on Sunday.

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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 2 3
CGY 0 0 0 0
1st period - NONE
2nd period - S.J, V. DAMPHOUSSE (6) (A. KOROLYUK, R. DAVISON), 07:31
3rd period - S.J, A. KOROLYUK (4) (W. PRIMEAU), 18:10 S.J, A. KOROLYUK (5) , 19:16
1st period - S.J, A. MCCAULEY, 10:45 - Hi stick CGY, S. YELLE, 16:31 - Interference CGY, C. SIMON, 19:50 - Holding
2nd period - S.J, V. DAMPHOUSSE, 09:01 - Elbowing S.J, B. STUART, 14:30 - Tripping
3rd period - CGY, C. SIMON, 06:16 - Roughing S.J, S. THORNTON, 06:16 - Roughing S.J, S. THORNTON, 16:53 - Roughing CGY, C. CLARK, 16:53 - Roughing CGY, V. NIEMINEN, 18:52 - Cross check S.J, M. RATHJE, 19:16 - Fighting (maj) CGY, C. SIMON, 19:16 - Roughing CGY, C. SIMON, 19:16 - Instigator CGY, C. SIMON, 19:16 - Fighting (maj) CGY, C. SIMON, 19:16 - Misconduct (10 min) CGY, J. IGINLA, 19:16 - Unsportsmanlike conduct CGY, J. IGINLA, 19:16 - Misconduct (10 min) CGY, J. IGINLA, 19:16 - Game misconduct
  Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 34 34
CGY - Kiprusoff 23 21
CGY - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 8 7 9 24
CGY 10 10 14 34
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 5
CGY 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Alexander Koroyluk
Evgeni Nabokov
Vincent Damphousse
Sutter, you may recall, didn't care too much for Korolyuk's style of play last year. So the Sharks former coach sent Korolyuk back to his native Russia. After Sutter's dismissal last season, Sharks GM Doug Wilson brought Korolyuk back to San Jose in a move to help bolster's San Jose's scoring.

Sharks head coach Ron Wilson also made a move of his own prior to Thursday night's showdown by elevating Korolyuk to the first line, and benching Nils Ekman. Ekman, the Sharks second leading scorer in the regular season, has only two assists in the playoffs thus far, and has been a perimeter player in all three series. Wilson's move paid big time dividends for the Sharks.

Korolyuk setup the Sharks first goal and scored their final two. His last goal would draw the ire of the Flames, resulting in a scrum after the tally. Calgary players felt that Korolyuk was show boating on the empty-net tally, when he hit the brakes in front of an open net before depositing the puck.

Korolyuk contends that he was trying to be unselfish and pass the puck to Patrick Marleau, who was cutting in along side him. Three Flames converged on Korolyuk in the corner after the goal, and a mugging broke out between Flames goon Chris Simon and Sharks defenseman Mike Rathje. Rathje tried to lock up Simon after pulling him off Korolyuk, but Simon decided to take things a step further by throwing several punches.

Things were much less intense in the 1st period, when both teams exchanged a handful of shots but no real scoring opportunities.

San Jose would break the deadlock 7:31 into the 2nd period when Korolyuk carried the puck into the Flames zone, then stopped near the right dot. Vincent Damphousse was bringing up the rear and took a pass from Korolyuk in the slot before carving his way toward the Flames net. Damphousse backhanded the shot past a partially screened Miikka Kiprusoff, giving the Sharks their first lead in the series.

Sharks netminder Evgeni Nabokov took over from there, stopping all 34 shots that he faced, including 14 in the 3rd period. The Flames tried turning up the heat on the Sharks after Damphousse's tally, but Nabokov answered the bell with several key saves in both the 2nd and 3rd periods.

Korolyuk would score his 4th goal of the playoffs with just under two minutes remaining in regulation while both teams skated 4-on-4. Korolyuk slipped past the Flames defense at the Sharks blueline and took a lead pass from Wayne Primeau up ice. The Russian winger deeked Kiprusoff with a move to the left, before cutting right and lifting the puck top shelf.

Flames winger Ville Nieminen would compound the Flames woes with a cross-checking penalty with just over a minute remaining. Nieminen didn't make any friends on the Sna Jose bench when he speared defenseman Rob Davison earlier in the game, then landed two shots to Jonthan Cheechoo's back with his stick. The blows to Cheechoo would land him in the penalty box, essentially erasing any chance Calgary had to mount a comeback.

Korolyuk would bag the empty-netter 24 seconds later. Calgary fans littered the ice as the fracas broke out with Simon and Rathje.

Play of the Game
Korolyuk's undressing of Kiprusoff was one of the prettiest goals scored by a San Jose player all season. Kirpusoff has been super human in the post season, but he looked like a mere mortal on that play.

The Turning Point
The multi-goal game was nice, but Nabokov's play early in the 3rd period as Calgary tried mounting an attack was the key to San Jose's win. The Sharks defense did a good job of clogging up the middle, but the Flames were still able to get off several quality shots in the period. On one sequence Martin Gelinas ripped a shot from just outside the left post, but Nabokov calmly snuffed it out with his right skate.

Save of the Game
Nabokov may have saved the game with a series of stops that came in rapid succession with just over five minutes remaining to play. Steve Montador, Gelinas and Shean Donovan all had quality scoring chances turned aside.

Box Scores Do No Justice
Sharks defenseman Kyle McLaren returned to the lineup after missing Game 2 with an undisclosed injury. The injury didn't prevent McLaren from pulling his weight during the game. The hard hitting defenseman logged 22:56 of ice time, second only to Scott Hannan.

Honorable Mention
Ekman's replacement was rookie forward Marcel Goc, who had his playoff scoring streak snapped at two games. Goc assisted on the series clinching goal in Round 1 against the St Louis Blues, and scored the game winning goal in the Sharks Round 2 clinching win over Colorado. Goc did unveil a new weapon to his arsenal, winning 5 of 6 six faceoffs.

" It was a big win. It went very well." - Alexander Korolyuk

"It's fun to grow a dislike for that team, and I'm sure they're growing one for us." - Jerome Iginla

"I don't think there's any reason for that to be in our sport. You can have 59½ minutes of great hockey, then you get a black eye at the end, literally. That's what Mike Rathje has right now, but that's also a black eye for the game." - Sharks head coach Ron Wilson

"We played more of a patient game. They've been doing a pretty good job for the whole three games. They were shooting the puck, and they were rushing the net. But today, we didn't have that many rushes against us, and that's why we were controlling the play in the defensive zone." - Evgeni Nabokov

Simon racked up 23 minutes in penalties for his on ice antics.

Korolyuk's first goal was the first power play goal scored in the series.

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