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Preds bite in the shootout
3rd straight loss for SJ
2/28/07 - by Mike Lee

Bill Guerin made his debut in teal on Wednesday night, but the new acquisition couldn't help the Sharks snap out of their latest skid. San Jose dropped a 4-3 decision in the shootout to the visiting Nashville Predators at HP Pavilion. The Sharks came back from a late 3-2 deficit in the 3rd period, but the continued shootout woes stung San Jose again.

Steve Bernier opened the scoring with a redirect goal that beat Tomas Vokoun on the Sharks 13 shot of the period. Bernier was parked outside the right post, as Milan Michalek rifled a pass from the top of the right circle. With his back to the net, Bernier angled his stick on the puck, forcing it to change directions before it sliding through his legs and into the net.

Joe Pavelski missed on an open net chance with four minutes to play after Bernier set him up with a pass from behind the Nashville net. Vokoun left his net to play Bernier, but Pavelski couldn't get a strong shot off. Vokoun managed to throw a pad at Pavelski's floater. The miss was costly.

Vernon Fiddler would tie the game moments later on a redirect of his own after Kimmo Timonen sent a cross-ice pass through the slot from the left point. Fiddler simply let the puck hit his stick, redirecting it just inside the right post.

Nashville would take a delay of game penalty right before the end of the period, which opened the door for the Sharks. Matt Carle buried a rebound from the Predators doorstep after Christian Ehrhoff fired a shot from the point. Vokoun gave up a big rebound, allowing Carle to scoop it up outside the crease before back-handing it into the Nashville goal.

The Sharks dodged a bullet midway through the 2nd period, when Martin Erat was awarded a penalty shot after Rob Davison hauled down the Nashville forward on a breakaway. Erat carried the puck in on the penalty shot, but he elected to try wristing it past Nabokov. The Sharks goaltender stood up Erat, snuffing out the shot.

Erat would atone for the miss with a power play goal 6 minutes into the 3rd period after Curtis Brown was sent off for hooking. Nashville kept the puck alive for an eternity on the man-advantage, finally finishing with Erat's shot from 15 feet out.

San Jose shot themselves in the foot when Mark Bell took a lazy hooking penalty on Paul Kariya as he was skating off. Nashville would make the Sharks pay, converting on the ensuing power play when Alexander Radulov tipped a Shea Weber shot from the point.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic would tie the game at 3-3 just 58 seconds later when he intercepted an outlet pass from Peter Forsberg and snapped a 30 foot shot into the upper right corner of the net. Forsberg was trapped deep in his own zone and tried to force the pass up ice, but it deflected off a teammate to Vlasic in the slot.

Both teams traded several chances in the overtime, but none was bigger than Paul Kariya's point blank chance as time expired. Kariya one-timed a shot that was headed for the back of the net, until Nabokov made a circus save, swatting at the shot while spinning to the ice.

The Sharks would sputter in the shootout, missing on 3 of 4 shots. Ryan Clowe missed with a weak deak back to his forehand, before Radulov slipped a shot through Nabokov's 5-hole with a backhand attempt.

Pavelski would convert the Sharks only shot, snapping a shot stick side past Vokoun. Kariya tried snapping a shot above the left pad, but Nabokov snuffed him. Joe Thornton tried the same shot as Kariya, and came up with similar results, firing it into Vokoun's pads.

After Erat missed his attempt, Jonathan Cheechoo tried a weak pump fake, then missed on a 5-hole attempt. J.P. Dumont ended things by slipping his 5-hole attempt through Nabokov.


Patrick Marleau joined Scott Hannan in the infirmary on Wednesday night. Marleau was scratched for an upper body injury. Hannan missed his second consecutive game with a lower body injury.

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1 2 3OTSO T
NSH 1 0 201 4
SJ 2 0 100 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Bernier 12 (Michalek, Carle), 12:07, (pp). 2, NSH, Fiddler 9 (Timonen, Zidlicky), 16:34. 3, SJ, Carle 9 (Ehrhoff, Thornton), 18:59, (pp).
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 4, NSH, Erat 14 (Timonen, Forsberg), 6:29, (pp). 5, NSH, Radulov 12 (Weber, Suter), 14:53, (pp). 6, SJ, Vlasic 3 (Bernier), 15:51.
Overtime - None
Shootout - SJ - Pavelski, NSH - Radulov, Dumont
1st period - Clowe, SJ (hooking), 6:49; Team, NSH (too many men), 9:30; Timonen, NSH (cross checking), 11:26; Vishnevski, NSH (delay of game - puck over glass), 18:04; McLaren, SJ (holding), 19:46.
2nd period - Cheechoo, SJ (boarding), 2:30; Hamhuis, NSH (delay of game), 5:35; Suter, NSH (tripping), 9:26; Dumont, NSH (slashing), 13:55; Thornton, SJ (roughing), 13:55; Kariya, NSH (hooking), 17:19.
3rd period - Brown, SJ (hooking), 4:40; Team, NSH (too many men), 9:04; Bell, SJ (hooking), 12:56; Erat, NSH (hooking), 17:31.
Overtime - Ehrhoff, SJ (hooking), 4:20.
  Shots Saves
NSH - Vokoun 30 27
SJ - Nabokov 32 29
Shots On Goal
1 2 3OT T
NSH 8 6 144 32
SJ 18 5 52 30
Power Play Conversion
NSH 2 of 6
SJ 2 of 8
3 Stars of the Game
Kimo Timonen
Tomas Vokoun
Evgeni Nabokov
Referees: Stephane Auger, Kevin Pollock. Linesmen: Brad Kovachik, Tim Nowak.

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