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SJ caps comeback in shootout
Cheechoo bags winner
2/21/07 - by Mike Lee

Averting a free-fall, the Sharks rallied from a 2-0 deficit in Washington D.C. on Wednesday night, rallying to tie in the 3rd period, then winning in the shoot-out on Jonathan Cheechoo's backhand shot that sailed over goaltender Brent Johnson's right shoulder. The win was the Sharks 10th consecutive over the Capitals, evening their 8-game road-trip to 3-3 after dropping their last three games in a row.

San Jose tried establishing control of the Washington zone early on, with an up tempo 1st period. The approach earned the Sharks an A for effort, but the breaks would go to the Capitals.

Washington withstood the Sharks pressure and converted on a seemingly harmless shot from Shaone Morrisonn at the midway mark. Morrisonn sent a blast on goal from 35-feet out, but Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov either didn't see the shot or he misjudged the angle on net. The puck sailed past Nabokov to the goaltender's right, catching the inside of the left post for a 1-0 Capitals lead.

Brian Sutherby tacked on another goal 49 seconds later after a wild scrum in front of the net left Nabokov sprawled outside the crease and the puck in the net.

Rather than panic, the Sharks regrouped late in the period to salvage a goal on a bang-bang play at 17:02. Mike Grier carried the puck up the right wing, before sending a pass across the slot to Patrick Rissmiller on the left post. Rissmiller stabbed at the puck, lifting it over Johnson, cutting the Washington lead to 2-1.

The Sharks defense held Washington to 4 shots on goal in the period, but half of those shots found the back of San Jose's net.

The offensive pressure picked up in the middle period, but San Jose couldn't get anything past Johnson. San Jose out-shot Washington 12-10 in the period.

The Capitals didn't do themselves any favors by committing two key penalties to start the 3rd period. 30 seconds after Jeff Schultz's interference penalty ended, Eric Fehr was sent off for hooking. The Sharks wouldn't let the second Capitals gift go to waste. After Joe Pavelski and Jonathan Cheechoo traded shots off Johnson, defenseman Matt Carle pinched in from the point and punched in Cheechoo's deflection to knot the game at 2-2.

Neither team would score again in regulation, but Washington almost settled things after the Sharks sent Kyle McLaren to the box for slashing with just over 5-minutes to play in the period. Nabokov stoned Alexander Ovechkin during the ensuing power play.

Nabokov also stopped Alexander Semin in the overtime period, on a partial breakaway after the Sharks allowed the Russian forward to slip past Milan Michalek during the 4-on-4.

In the shootout, Washington elected to shoot first and quickly converted on a Matt Pettinger shot that beat Nabokov just to the Sharks goaltender's right. Ryane Clowe shot first for San Jose and quickly let a weak attempt sail wide of the net.

Nabokov then made the save of the game by denying Ovechkin with a poke-check on the Capitals second shot attempt in the shoot-out. Joe Pavelski calmly rocketed a shot past Johnson to even things up at 1-1. Semin then opened the door for the Sharks when his attempt was snuffed by Nabokov just outside the right post.

Cheechoo then ended things with a discombobulated attempt that fooled Johnson, who guessed left as the Sharks forward cut in the opposite direction. The shot floated into the net, giving the Sharks only their 2nd shootout win since it was implemented last season.

Notes: Sharks Captain Patrick Marleau missed his second game of the season after coming down with a case of food poisoning. Curtis Brown, Joe Pavelski and Steve Bernier all returned to the lineup. Bernier was making his first appearance for the Sharks since being demoted to Worcester on January 2nd.

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1 2 3 OT SO T
SJ 1 0 1 0 1 3
WAS 2 0 0 0 0 2
1st period - 1, WAS, Morrisonn 2 (Bradley, Gordon), 9:52. 2, WAS, Sutherby 5 (Brashear, Heward), 10:41. 3, SJ, Rissmiller 5 (Grier, Bell), 17:02.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Carle 7 (Cheechoo, Pavelski), 5:49, (pp).
Overtime - None.
Shootout - WAS - Pettinger. SJ - Pavelski, Cheechoo
1st period - McLaren, SJ (interference), 3:19; Beech, WAS (triping), 19:20.
2nd period - Cheechoo, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 15:15.
3rd period - Schultz, WAS (interference), 2:24; Fehr, WAS (hooking), 5:08; McLaren, SJ (slashing), 14:31.
  Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 26 24
WAS - Johnson 35 33
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 7 12 15 1 35
WAS 4 10 7 5 26
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 3
WAS 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Matt Carle
Jonathan Cheechoo
Brian Sutherby
Referees: Kerry Fraser, Don Koharski. Linesmen: Brad Kovachik, Andy McElman.

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