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Sharks hold on for wild 6-5 win
Blues fall short after scoring 3 unanswered
2/13/07 - by Mike Lee

The Sharks turned a laugher into a wild 6-5 win on Tuesday night in St Louis as the Sharks continued their longest road trip of the season. The nursed a 6-3 lead and allowed the Blues to sneak back into the game. St Louis had a 6-on-4 advantage with two minutes to play, but couldn’t bag the equalizer in a wild finish.

The Sharks wasted no time getting on the board, scoring just 39 seconds into the game on Ryane Clowe’s 13th goal of the season. Joe Thornton grabbed his own draw in the Blues zone, then slid the puck over to Clowe who floated over to the off post on the left side. Clowe gathered Thornton’s pass before sweeping it past Blues goaltender Mann Legace.

Matt Carle put San Jose up 2-0 on a power play goal at 6:51. Carle punched in a rebound from the slot after Jonathan Cheechoo fired a shot from the left circle. The Sharks defenseman had pinched from his spot on the point to add some offensive support and the move paid dividends.

Bill Guerin converted on the first of three goals with a shot that beat Vesa Toskala at 13:45.

San Jose responded immediately with a goal from Mike Grier to push the Sharks lead back to two goals. Sharks captain Patrick Marleau setup Grier with a pretty lead pass from the left dot as Grier skated in on Legace on the right post. Grier stuck his stick out in front of him, redirecting it past the Blues goaltender.

Joe Thornton would pad the Sharks lead in the 2nd period with a wicked snap shot from the right circle after Redek Dvorak was sent off for hooking at 4:10 of the period. Thornton held the puck while parked in his usual spot on the power play as hey surveyed the ice for a passing lane. Legace was cheating over in anticipation of a cross ice pass, so Thornton whipped the puck past him.

Blues head coach Andy Murray pulled Legace for Curtis Sanford, but the move didn’t stop San Jose from continuing their scoring feast. Rookie D.J. King tried to wake up his teammates by dropping the gloves with Scott Parker, it only served as an interruption from the inevitable.

Milan Michalek, Grier and Marleau, worked a tick-tack-toe passing sequence that ended in Marleau’s 29th goal of he season at 6:13 of the period. St Louis turned the puck over at their own blueline and got caught short handed as the trio skated into the St Louis zone. Marleau finished up the triangular path of passes by tapping in the puck just inside the right post.

Guerin would add his second goal of the game with a wrist shot from the right wing as he skated along the boards.

Cheechoo would add his 21st of the season on a pretty shot from the right side after faking a slap shot midway through the period. The goal capped a 4-point night for the Sharks forward.

Guerin completed a hat trick on a shot from the left circle after taking a cross-ice pass from Matt Walker with 8 minutes remaining in the period.

Keith Tkachuk cut the Sharks lead to 6-4 with his 19th of the season after Vesa Toskala let a shot by Dvorak creep up and over his shoulder. Tkachuk was crashing the net as the puck landed behind Toskala for the chip in.

Ths Sharks went into a prevent mode, but allowed the Blues too much skating room. Christian Backman would take advantage with 6 minutes to play, punching in a shot from 15 feet.

San Jose failed to convert on a delay of game penalty to Dvorak late in the game, then reciprocated with a Milan Michalek tripping penalty with 2:03 to play. The Blues held the Sharks zone with a wild power play for 1:53 of the penalty to close out the game, but San Jose’s penalty kill held. Murray pulled Sanford with a minute remaining to give the Blues the two-man advantage, but St Louis couldn’t muster a quality shot on goal.

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1 2 3 T
SJ 3 3 0 6
STL 1 2 2 5
1st period - 1, SJ, Clowe 13 (Thornton, Cheechoo), 0:39. 2, SJ Carle 6 (Cheechoo, Thornton), 6:51, (pp). 3, STL, Guerin 23 (Backman, Tkachuk), 13:!5, (pp). 4, SJ, Grier 12 (Marleau, Michalek), 13:48..
2nd period - 5, SJ, Thornton 15 (Ehrhoff, Cheechoo), 4:40, (pp). 6, SJ, Marleau 29 ( Grier, Michalek), 6:13. 7, STL, Guerin 24 (Cajanek, Jackman), 8:53. 8, SJ, Cheechoo 21 (Thornton), 11:30. 9, STL, Guerin 25 (Walker, Woywitka), 12:05.
3rd period - 10, STL, Tkachuk 19 (Dvorak, Mayers), 6:22. 11, STL, Backman 4 (Guerin, Cajanek), 14:03.
1st period - Drake, STL (interference), 5:55; Clowe, SJ (fighting major), 9:43; Mayers, STL (fighting major), 9:43; Goc, SJ (holding the stick), 12:51; Thornton, SJ (closing hand on puck), 14:45.
2nd period - Dvorak, STL (hooking), 4:10; Parker, SJ (fighting major), 4:42; King, STL (fighting major), 4:42; King, STL (high sticking), 12:52; Weight, STL (delay of game), 16:08.
3rd period - Salvador, STL (holding), 0:36; Dvorak, STL (delay of game), 15:35; Michalek, SJ (tripping), 17:57.
  Shots Saves
SJ - Toskala 23 18
STL - Legace 18 14
STL - Sanford86
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 10 11 5 26
STL 7 4 12 23
Power Play Conversion
SJ 2 of 6
STL 1 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Jonathan Cheechoo
Bill Guerin
Joe Thornton
Referees: Wes McCauley, Brad Meier. Linesmen: Ryan Galloway, Brad Lazarowich.

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