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Another 11th hour win
SJ finally beats Nashville
11/2/05 - by Mike Lee

The cardiac kids extended their win streak to four games on Wednesday night over the visiting Nashville Predators in the same dramatic fashion that has carried them through their current win streak. Same 11th hour, pull-a-win-out-of-a-hat ending, different savior this time. After trailing in the 3rd period once again, Patrick Marleau extended things with a goal with 7:27 remaining in regulation, then Alyn McCauley capped the storybook finish with a short-handed goal in overtime.

The Sharks seemed to be destined for an overtime loss after defenseman Rob Davison drew a high sticking penalty in the extra period. Starting the period 4-on-4 provides plenty of room on the ice, but forgoing a skater to defend with three players is suicide in the NHL. The sudden death setup also leaves no room for error, so the Sharks turned the tables by capitalizing on a Nashville gaff.

McCauley started things by pouncing on the puck following a faceoff in the Sharks zone. Predators center David Legwand and McCauley got tied up as the puck trickled toward the top of the right circle, but Legwand lost his feet and ended up face down on the ice. McCauley pushed the puck up ice to Brad Stuart, who forced defenseman Kimmo Timmonen to commit to a sliding block attempt as Stuart skated in on the Predators goal. Rather than shoot, Stuart fed the puck across the slot to McCauley who was breaking in on the left post.

McCauley uncorked a one-timer that beat Predators goaltender Chris Mason and sent the HP Pavilion crowd into a frenzy. It was McCauley's first goal of the season.

"The draw was won by their center (David Legwand) and I noticed him falling, so I went after his stick," McCauley said. "I immediately saw Stuart and sent him the puck right away hoping he'd shoot. I've been a little snakebit lately, but I was more than happy to take his great pass."

The only downside to the win was the fact that the Sharks had to play catch up yet again. San Jose has had problems controlling things defensively in the early stages of games, although Wednesday night's game may have been a step in the right direction.

After giving up a goal to Martin Erat just 1:35 into the contest, San Jose buckled down for the most part. Marcel Goc tied things up five minutes later, by redirecting a Josh Langfeld shot, but the Sharks relinquished the lead 7 seconds later on a fluke goal.

"It's a nice way to win, but you'd rather come out with the lead and stick with it," Marleau said. "I guess the good thing is, we know we can do it if we have to."

Immediately following the faceoff, Nashville dumped the puck deep into the San Jose zone and Predators winger Paul Kariya tracked it down behind the Sharks net. Sharks goaltender Nolan Schaefer tried to make a play on the dump in and got caught out of his net. As the Sharks hustled to cover their own net, Kariya tried throwing the puck out in front of the net, but the puck hit Niko Dimitrakos square in the stick and bounced into the Sharks empty goal.

"We did some good things, but the last two games penalties have just killed us," Kariya said. "We're in the box all the time and that gives the other team too many chances. They got three or four power plays in the third period and finally got one. Then in overtime, we have a 4-3 advantage and they score -- that's unacceptable."

After only mustering 5 shots on goal in the 1st period, San Jose picked things up in the final two periods, but they couldn't solve Mason. The Sharks got a break midway through the final period when Danny Markov was sent off for high sticking Nils Ekman.

On the ensuing power play, Marleau scored his team leading 7th goal on a feed from Marco Sturm. The Sharks kept the offensive pressure on Mason, but couldn't end things in regulation.


Schaefer became the first Sharks rookie to win his first four decisions in net with the victory.

Forwards Wayne Primeau and Scott Thornton were both scratched for injuries.

Mark Smith tried sending a message to Darcy Hordichuk after the Predators left winger took a run at Marleau in the 2nd period. Hordichuk went on the offensive early and landed a square shot before both players tumbled to the ice.

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1 2 3 OT T
NAS 2 0 0 0 2
SJ 1 0 1 1 3
1st period - 1, Nashville, Erat 3 (Timonen, Kariya), 1:35. 2, San Jose, Goc 2 (Langfeld, McLaren), 6:14. 3, Nashville, Kariya 5, 6:21.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 4, San Jose, Marleau 7 (Sturm, Cheechoo), 12:33, (pp).
Overtime - 5, San Jose, McCauley 1 (Stuart), 1:44, (sh).
1st period - Hordichuk, NAS major (fighting), 7:16; Smith, SJS, minor-major-misconduct (instigator, fighting), 7:16; Stevenson, NAS (interference), 10:23
2nd period - Nichol, NAS (high-sticking), 8:19; Hordichuk, NAS (holding), 10:44; McLaren, SJS (boarding), 10:46
3rd period - Suter, NAS (tripping), 4:23; Eaton, NAS (holding), 8:49; Markov, NAS (high-sticking), 11:30
Overtime - Davison, SJS (high-sticking), 1:12
  Shots Saves
NAS - Mason 36 33
SJ - Schaefer 23 21
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
NAS 5 9 8 1 23
SJ 5 15 14 2 36
Power Play Conversion
NAS 0 of 3
SJ 1 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Alyn McCauley
Chris Mason
Referees: Tom Kowal, Bill McCreary. Linesmen: Mike Cvik, Pat Dapuzzo.

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