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Sharks win first shootout
Wild comeback earns another 2 points
10/26/05 - by Mike Lee

The new NHL was supposed to make things more exciting for the fans, but the Sharks have taken things to the extreme as of late. San Jose scored a key goal in the last minute of play for the third consecutive game on Saturday night, which prefaced a 3-2 shoot-out win over the visiting Calgary Flames. Brad Stuart scored a crazy goal with 22 seconds remaining in regulation to help the Sharks comeback from a 2-0 deficit and send the game to overtime. San Jose then won on their first shoot-out in franchise history.

Like Jonathan Cheechoo's 3rd period goal in Dallas on Wednesday, Stuart helped stave off a regulation loss with a cardiac special tally with only seconds remaining on the clock. The Sharks defenseman fired the puck toward the goal crease from the bottom of the left circle, bouncing the shot off Flames defenseman Jordan Leopold's left skate and past Calgary netminder Miikka Kiprusoff.

"Sometimes you get lucky, and we were able to come back," Stuart said. "That's a tough way to lose, on a lucky goal. It's kind of disheartening, I'm sure."

After a wild overtime period, which saw several near scoring chances from both sides, the teams squared off in the new format shootout. Both teams are allotted three penalty shots, and subsequent individual attempts if the shootout remains tied.

Both Steve Reinprecht and Cheechoo missed on their attempts, but Flames captain Jerome Iginla buried a wicked snap-shot on Calgary's second round. Sharks captain Patrick Marleau ripped a shot off the crossbar, which allowed the Flames to end the game with a Tony Amonte goal in the next round. Sharks goaltender Nolan Schaefer extend things by stoning Amonte with a kick save as Amonte tried to stuff the puck inside the left post.

Marco Sturm would match Iginla's goal with a shot that squeezed between Kiprusoff's pads.

Flames head coach Darryl Sutter then sent out Chuck Kobasew for the 4th shootout round, but Schaefer made a snap glove save on Kobasew's attempt up high.

Nils Ekman would send the Tank into a frenzy after he delivered a shootout ending goal. The recently benched Sharks forward, charged in on Kiprusoff and gave a stutter stop move that forced Kiprusoff to commit. With the upper right corner of the goal exposed, Ekman lifted a perfectly placed shot to end the game.

"This game was identical to every game we've had on the road trip," Flames coach Darryl Sutter said. "It just appeared they were attacking and we were deking. At least you get a point for effort."

The last 15 minutes of the contest was a far cry from the Sharks lack luster opening. After coming off the emotional high in Los Angeles less than 24 hours after their last second heroics down south, the Sharks failed to utilize their speed and the new wide open rules.

Calgary would score five minutes into the game on a Steve Montador goal after the Sharks failed to cover the defenseman who had pinched in from the blueline and sent a one timer past Schaefer.

The Sharks goaltender was making his second consecutive start while Evgeni Nabokov and Vesa Toskala continued to mend their wounds. Schaefer would keep the game in hand when he stopped an Amonte penalty shot at 9:08 of the period.

San Jose's offense couldn't muster any serious threats in the 2nd period, only putting three shots on goal and never challenging Kiprusoff. Things looked even worse with just under eight minutes remaining in the 3rd period when Iginla redirected a shot from Flames rookie Dion Phaneuf while Milan Michalek was in the penalty box for tripping.

Cheechoo would come up big with a power play tally of his own at 15:26 to cut Calgary's lead to 2-1.

"We played a real good game until the last five minutes," Iginla said. "That's when they got the power-play goal, (then) I gave Stuart too much room, and he got a shot off. This stinks. We let this one get away from us."

Both teams had looked inept on the power play all night, but found ways to convert late. The Sharks would kill 6 of 7 Calgary power plays, including a double minor to Ekman in the 2nd period, and a delay of game penalty to Rob Davison who was assessed the penalty as Ekman's four minute penalty had expired.

"If we had lost, I wouldn't have had a complaint because of the way we battled back to get a point," Sharks head coach Ron Wilson said. "And then we ended up getting two points. Our team just seems to find a way at times, and obviously won't give up. That's three games in a row where we've been battling right at the end to make a difference."

Notes:

Cheechoo has a four-game goal scoring streak.

Niko Dimitrakos played in his 100th career NHL game.

San Jose only had 18 shots on goal in regulation, but out-shot the Flames 3-0 in overtime.



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Scoring
1 2 3 OT SO T
CAL 1 0 01 0 0 2
SJ 0 0 2 0 1 3
1st period - 1, Calgary, Montador 1 (Nilson), 5:08.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 2, Calgary, Iginla 5 (Phaneuf, Langkow), 12:16, (pp). 3, San Jose, Cheechoo 6 (Marleau, Michalek), 15:26, (pp). 4, San Jose, Stuart 2 (Cheechoo, Marleau), 19:37.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - Ekman.
Penalties
1st period - Hamrlik, CAL (hooking), 1:31; Ekman, SJS (holding stick), 8:24; Donovan, CAL (charging), 14:24; Schaefer, SJS, served by Thornton (tripping), 15:42
2nd period - Ekman, SJS, double minor (high-sticking), 8:56; Davison, SJS (delay of game), 12:57; Ritchie, CAL (delay of game), 16:05
3rd period - Michalek, SJS (hooking), 7:11; Michalek, SJS (tripping), 10:34; Kobasew, CAL (delay of game), 15:05
Overtime - None
Goaltending
  Shots Saves
CAL - Kiprusoff 21 19
SJ - Schaefer 25 23
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
CAL 6 8 11 0 25
SJ 8 3 7 3 21
Power Play Conversion
CAL 1 of 7
SJ 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Nolan Schaefer
Jonathan Cheechoo
Marco Sturm
Attendence
17,496
Officials
Referees: Mike Hasenfratz, Shane Heyer. Linesmen: Brad Lazarowich, Lyle Seitz.

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