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Nabokov's blunder sinks Sharks
Woes continue to mount
11/23/05 - by Mike Lee

The Sharks didn't deserve to lose on Wednesday night in Calgary, but bad teams find ways to shoot themselves in the foot. On this night, goaltender Evgeni Nabokov would let one of the softest goals of his NHL career slip past him, sending the Sharks to their seventh consecutive loss. Nabokov's blunder broke a 1-1 tie with 8:46 remaining in regulation. The game would end with a 3-2 score in favor of Calgary, but the game was decided on the backbreaking mistake.

Robyn Regehr was credited for the tally, but all the credit belongs to Nabokov. The Flames defenseman simply threw the puck at the net from the blueline, but Nabokov misjudged the trajectory and let the soft floater duck under his glove.

"It was coming right for my glove and unfortunately it just went right past it," Nabokov said. "It's a bad goal and that's the reason we lost."

Regehr was overly polite in his assessment of the evening after the game.

"San Jose's defensemen and forwards do a great job of coming out and blocking shots, so we were just trying to get shots past those guys and I was lucky enough to get one through," Regehr said.

The Sharks packed it in at that point, which allowed Tony Amonte to push the score to 3-1 at 16:27 of the period. The Flames continued to press and were rewarded when Amonte took advantage of Mark Smith out in front of the Sharks net. Amonte grabbed a rebound off the end boards and poked home the puck with Smith in tow.

Tom Preissing scored a meaningless goal with six seconds remaining in regulation.

As has become the norm, San Jose was forced to chase down the lead after giving up the first goal. Roman Hamrlik beat Nabokov with another mundane shot from the top of the left circle midway through the second period. Nabokov could have stopped that shot as well, but he seemed no match for long range shots.

The Sharks were able to tie things up 1-1 early in the 3rd period after Grant Stevenson scored his first NHL goal just 1:31 into the stanza. Stevenson punched in a rebound on the power play after Patrick Marleau fired in a shot from the point.

Stevenson was called up by the Sharks earlier in the day.

"It's pretty cool," said the 24-year-old Stevenson. "Getting to be in the starting lineup to start the game, then to be able to get a goal with all my family here, that felt pretty good."

The Sharks failed to capitalize on a 2-on-1 break later in the period, which would have given them the lead, but former Sharks goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff stoned Smith on a one-timer from close range. Milan Michalek had just stepped out of the penalty box, when the puck trickled to him at center ice. He skated up the right wing and lifted a beautiful pass to Smith across the slot, but Kiprusoff took care of things with a sliding save.

"I just tried to get it away as quick as I could and try to beat him before he came across," Smith said. "If I bury that, it's a whole different game. Then they came down and score after that, it's a heartbreaker."


Nils Ekman was a scratch for the third time in the last four games. Sharks head coach Ron Wilson is trying to light a fire under his team and Ekman has been AWOL from the scoring sheet this season. If that's the only criteria, then expect several regular roster players to sit before the current losing streak is ended.

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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 2 2
CGY 0 1 2 3
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, Calgary, Hamrlik 4 (Iginla, Reinprecht), 11:35.
3rd period - 2, San Jose, Stevenson 1 (Marleau, Sturm), 1:31, (pp). 3, Calgary, Regehr 2 (Donovan, Yelle), 11:14. 4, Calgary, Amonte 6 (McCarty, Nilson), 16:27. 5, San Jose, Preissing 4 (Marleau, Goc), 19:53.
1st period - Leopold, CAL (hooking), 10:20; Simon, CAL (delay of game), 15:34
2nd period - None
3rd period - Regehr, CAL (holding), 0:41; Michalek, SJS (holding), 8:41
  Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 25 22
CGY - Kiprusoff 22 20
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 7 6 9 22
CGY 8 10 7 25
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 3
EDM 0 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Miikka Kiprusoff
Tony Amonte
Grant Stevenson
Referees: Stephane Auger, Mike Hasenfratz. Linesmen: Darren Gibbs, Lyle Seitz.

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