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Homestand remains spotless
Blues make things interesting
3/16/06 - by Mike Lee

Every Tom, Dick and Harry has been saying over the past two weeks that the St Louis Blues are a team not to be taken lightly, but the Sharks needed a wake up call to get eh message on Thursday night. The suddenly resurgent Blues took it to the Sharks for a period and a half, showing no signs that they are one of the cellar dwellers in the Western Conference this season. After falling behind twice in the first 25 minutes of play, the Sharks kick started their offense to take a 5-2 decision at HP Pavilion.

San Jose also got the bulk of their scoring from someone other than Jonathan Cheechoo, although the sharks leading goal scorer did chip in his 41st tally of the year. Steve Bernier and Tom Preissing each had two goal nights to pace the Sharks, who won their seventh consecutive game at home. Bernier's multi-goal night was the second in as many games.

With the Sharks sleep walking in the first period, Sharks nemesis Scott Young staked the Blues to an early 1-0 lead on a shot that knuckled over San Jose goaltender Vesa Toskala. Young chipped at the puck, which also caromed off a Sharks player.

Preissing answered at 14:36 with a blast from the point, that appeared to be deflected by Cheechoo, who was parked in front of the crease. San Jose came out of the gate in the 2nd period with the same indifferent flow and they would pay for it early. Trent Whitfield deposited the anchor leg of a zig-zagging three pass sequence past Toskala after Doug Murray was sent off for an interference penalty.

The Sharks would finally snap out of their funk and take control of things with three goals to end the period. Pressing started things off with another shot from the point that weaved its way through traffic. Blues goaltender Patrick Lalime, never saw the shot.

Bernier would score less than a minute later on a pretty passing sequence with Milan Michalek and Patrick Marleau on the break. Michalek carried the puck into the Blues zone on the left wing boards before dumping it to Marleau on his right. The Sharks captain waited for Bernier to clear a defender, before feathering a pass to the slot, where the rookie winger redirected it between Lalime's pads.

Cheechoo capped the period's scoring with a blast right off the faceoff after linemate Joe Thornton won the draw and calmly pulled the puck back to Cheechoo at the top of the right circle.

Bernier would add another goal for good measure early in the 3rd period to squash any ideas of a comeback by the Blues.


Nils Ekman missed the game, because his wife Johanna gave birth to a boy earlier in the day. Melvin Ekman joins the Sharks family.

Scott Thornton was a scratch, due to an injured rib he sustained in the Kings game on Monday night. Patrick Rissmiller was recalled from Cleveland to fill the open roster spot.

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1 2 3 T
STL 1 1 0 2
SJ 1 3 1 5
1st period - 1, St. Louis, Young 15, 1:16. 2, San Jose, Preissing 8 (McLaren, Thornton), 14:36.
2nd period - 3, St. Louis, Whitfield 1 (Glumac, Dallman), 3:48, (pp). 4, San Jose, Preissing 9 (Goc), 10:14. 5, San Jose, Bernier 5 (Marleau, Michalek), 11:09. 6, San Jose, Cheechoo 41 (Thornton), 18:46.
3rd period - 7, San Jose, Bernier 6 (Ehrhoff, Preissing), 2:31, (pp).
1st period - Mayers, STL, major (fighting), 10:32; Davison, SJS, major (fighting), 10:32; Michalek, SJS (cross-checking), 10:56.
2nd period - Murray, SJS (interference), 2:07; Smith, SJS (hooking), 15:56; Whitfield, STL (hooking), 19:08; Cheechoo, SJS (high-sticking), 19:33.
3rd period - Jackman, STL (holding), 1:08; Cajanek, STL (slashing), 3:45; Tkachuk, STL (hooking), 13:06; Tkachuk, STL (hooking), 15:59.
  Shots Saves
STL - Lalime 35 30
SJ - Toskala 29 27
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
STL 9 14 6 29
SJ 9 11 15 35
Power Play Conversion
STL 1 of 3
SJ 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Tom Preissing
Steve Bernier
Patrick Marleau
Referees: Bill McCreary, Craig Spada. Linesmen: Derek Amell, Jean Morin.

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