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Nabokov shines in shutout
SJ snaps 4 game skid
3/4/07 - by Mike Lee

Perhaps the Sharks strategy has been to open the playoffs on the road all along. After a decisive 4-0 win in Dallas on Sundsy afternoon, the Sharks showed why they’re a force to be reckoned with on the road. Even through their recent shortcomings, the Sharks are still one of the best road teams in the NHL, pushing their record to 21-13-0 away from HP Pavilion with the win in Dallas. Evgeni Nabokov turned aside all 26 shot she faced en route to his 5th shutout of the season. The win also pulled the Sharks back to within a point of the Stars for 5th place in the Western Conference.

The Sharks turned in one of their grittiest performances of the year, wearing down the Stars.

Curtis Brown got things going early for San Jose, rifling a shot past Marty Turco just 2:38 into the game. Brown took a pass up ice from Christian Ehrhoff, then split Stephane Robidas and Trevor Daley before sending a shot inside the right post. Brown was positioned near the left dot, shooting across Turco for the 1-0 lead.

That single shot on goal, would be the only one the Sharks would muster in the opening period.

Evgeni Nabokov prevented the Stars from tying the game up moments later stoning Mike Ribeiro, after the Dallas forward one-timed a cross-ice pass. Nabokov was forced to cut across his crease in order to get a pad on the shot.

Ryane Clowe deposited a rebound past Turco at 11:27 of the 2nd period for this 14th goal of the season. The Sharks 3rd line created the opportunity with a strong forecheck and cashed in after Marcel Goc setup Patrick Rissmiller with a pass from the deep in the Stars zone. Rissmiller one-timed a shot from the left dot, but Turco failed to control the rebound. Clowe scooped up the loose puck then skated around the fallen Stars goaltender before backhanding the puck into a wide open net.

Joe Pavelski made it 3-0 4 minutes later with his 13th goal of the season, moments after the Stars narrowly missed on a Daryl Sydor shot that found its way through Nabokov’s 5-hole. Jonathan Cheechoo tried jamming a wrap-around attempt from the left post, but Turco denied the Sharks winger. Pavelski followed up from the opposite post, jamming home the puck as it sat underneath Turco’s pad.

Chris Barch tried lighting a fire under his teammates by dropping the gloves with Mark Bell. The skirmish was quickly stopped after Barch pulled Bell’s jersey over his head.

San Jose failed to bury the Stars late in the period after two Stars were whistled for separate infractions. Clowe missed on a chance in front of the net as the buzzer sounded, keeping the door open for Dallas.

San Jose would finish the period with 12 shots on goal, but more importantly they headed into the final period with a 3-goal lead. That’s a luxury San Jose has enjoyed much of in the last two months, but it was critical in ending the 4-game losing streak.

Brown would open the door for Dallas to start the 3rd period by earning a double minor for slashing, but the Sharks would keep the Stars from getting close to Nabokov.

Bernier would narrowly miss on a play that started with the Sharks winger getting past two Dallas defenders and that ended with Bernier’s shot bouncing off the left post. San Jose would suppress the Stars offense throughout the period, even though the Stars put 10 shots on goal. Stu Barnes would come closest to solving Nabokov with a shot that rang off the crossbar with 2:38 to play.

Dallas was forced to deviate from their defensive style and open things up in order to generate some scoring chances late. Pavelski would cash in on the opportunity with his 2nd goal of the game late on a give-and-go with Clowe after the Stars were caught in the Sharks zone. Cheechoo chipped the puck up off the right wing boards to Pavelski, who sent a pass to Clowe across to the opposite wing. With only one Dallas defender back, Clowe elected to return the pass to Pavelski who was cutting in on net.


The shutout was the 32nd of Nabokov’s career. The Sharks recalled goaltender Dimitri Patzold from Worcester, with Toskala still on the fence with a groin injury. Patrick Marleau missed his 3rd consecutive game as he continues to nurse his upper body injury. Scott Hannan returned to the blueline after missing the past two games with a leg injury.

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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 2 1 4
DAL 0 0 0 0
1st period - 1, SJ, Brown 8 (Ehrhoff, Grier), 2:38.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Clowe 14 (Rissmiller, Goc), 11:27. 3, SJ, Pavelski 13 (Cheechoo, Carle), 15:58.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Pavelski 14 (Clowe, Cheechoo), 18:17.
1st period - Miettinen, DAL (high sticking), 12:32; Guerin, SJ (hooking), 17:50.
2nd period - Barnes, DAL (hooking), 4:07; Bell, SJ (fighting major), 17:09; Barch, DAL (fighting major), 17:09; Nagy, DAL (high sticking), 18:08; Norstrom, DAL (slashing), 18:31.
3rd period - Brown, SJ (high sticking - double minor), 2:03.
  Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 36 26
DAL - Turco 18 14
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 1 12 5 18
DAL 9 7 10 26
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 4
DAL 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Evgeni Nabokov
Ryane Clowe
Jonathan Cheechoo
Referees: Greg Kimmerly, Rob Martell. Linesmen: Darren Gibbs, Shane Heyer.

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