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Duck hunt ends in shootout
Selanne's illegal stick adds to the plot
4/4/07 - by Mike Lee

The playoffs are officially a week away, but the Sharks and Ducks decided to give the fans a taste of what the NHL's second season is all about on Wednesday night in a wild 3-2 San Jose shootout victory at the Honda Center in Anaheim. The Sharks overcame a 2-0 deficit with a pair of 2nd period goals, then turned the game over to Evgeni Nabokov who stopped 2 of 3 attempts in the shootout.

The table was set for Anaheim to end things in overtime after Craig Rivet was sent off for hooking with 36 seconds remaining in regulation, but Sharks head coach Ron Wilson turned the Anaheim advantage upside down with a challenge on the curve of Teemu Selanne's stick.

The stick turned out to be illegal, which sent Selanne to the box and evened up the skaters at three aside for the first 1:24 of the extra period. The challenge would also impact the shootout, because Selanne was forced to use a legal stick. The Ducks sniper would flub on his shootout attempt, loosing control of it as he approached the net.

Ryan Getzlaf and Jonathan Cheechoo would trade goal in the first round of the shootout, but Selanne's miss opened the door for San Jose who shot second after Ducks head coach Randy Carlisle opted to shoot first.

Ryane Clowe would bury his attempt against Ducks netminder Ilya Bryzgalov to give the Sharks the 2-1 advantage. Andy MacDonald would miss on the Ducks final attempt to seal the victory for San Jose.

MacDonald had opened the games scoring in the 1st period, with his 27th goal of the season. MacDonald would put a 25-foot wrist-shot on goal that slipped through Nabokov's pads for the 1-0 Ducks lead just 6:19 into the game.

Scott Neidermayer would extend the Ducks lead to 2-0 with a goal 8 minutes later after Patrick Marleau was sent off for interference. Neidermayer lifted a rebound over Nabokov, after Chris Pronger sent a long slap shot in on the power play.

The Sharks turned up the heat to start the second period, and their pressure would pay dividends. First Scott Hannan beat Bryzgalov with a shot from the point at 7:57 of the period. Brygalov was screened by Mike Grier and Steve Bernier.

Bernier would add a goal of his own with just under 5 minutes remaining in the period after Chris DiPenta coughed the puck up deep in his own zone.

The game opened up in the 3rd period, but neither team could convert after spectacular goaltending saved the day for both teams. San Jose managed only 5 shots in the period, but three of those shots were quality scoring chances.

As regulation wound down, Bryzgalov snuffed Cheechoo on a golden chance, then Nabokov turned aside a sure goal by Selanne at the buzzer.

"The issue of the stick is my fault, in the sense that I have to make sure that I reinforce and even go to a point where all the sticks are measured," Carlyle said. "I have to make sure that those things are not an issue, and they were tonight. It might have cost us a point, it might not have. But I'll accept the responsibility."


Jean-Sebastien Giguere was out of the lineup after his wife delivered the couple's first child on Wednesday morning. Sebastien Caron served as Bryzgalov's backup in Giguere's absence. The victory gave the Sharks 26 for the season, establishing a new team record. The win was also the 50 of the season for San Jose, also a record. The Sharks will have two chances to extend the overall victory mark. They play at HP Pavilion Thursday night against Calgary, then cap the season at home against Vancouver on Saturday afternoon.

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1 2 3 OT SO T
SJ 0 2 0 0 1 3
ANA 2 0 0 0 0 2
1st period - 1, ANA, MacDonald 27 (Kunitz, Pronger), 6:19. 2, ANA, S. Neidermayer 15 (Pronger, MacDonald), 14:01, (pp).
2nd period - 3, SJ, Hannan 4 (Goc, Grier), 7:57. 4, SJ, Bernier 15 (McLaren, Goc), 15:42.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - ANA - Getzlaf. SJ - Cheechoo, Clowe.
1st period - Selanne, ANA (hooking), 3:37; Brown, SJ (tripping), 9:55; Marleau, SJ (interference), 12:46; Thornton, SJ (roughing), 14:36.
2nd period - Clowe, SJ (fighting major), 5:08; Thornton, ANA (fighting major), 5:08; R. Neidermayer, ANA (hooking), 9:16; Ehrhoff, SJ (roughing), 17:58; Perry, ANA (high sticking), 17:58.
3rd period - Rivet, SJ (hooking), 19:24.
Overtime - Selanne, ANA (illegal stick), 0:00.
  Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 39 37
ANA - Bryzgalov 31 29
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 9 15 5 2 31
ANA 10 9 14 6 39
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 3
ANA 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Evgeni Nabokov
Andy MacDonald
Steve Bernier
Referees: Eric Furlatt, Wes McCauley. Linesmen: Lonnie Cameron, Brad Lazarowich.

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