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Shootout improbably saves the day
Sharks win 3 straight for 1st time this season
11/14/07 - by Mike Lee

Winning streaks have been few and far between for the Sharks this season, and a 3rd period meltdown in Dallas on Wednesday night almost let a win slip through their fingers, but a improbable shootout performance salvaged a 4-3 win and helped San Jose string together their first 3-game winning streak of the season. Devin Setoguchi and Patrick Marleau each scored goals and converted their shootout attempts to lead San Jose.

The Stars continued to struggle, losing for the third straight time and first since owner Tom Hicks shook up the front office on Monday. Dallas overcame a 2-goal deficit in the 3rd period, turning the tide on the Sharks. San Jose built a lead early, taking advantage of two mistakes by the Stars.

Torrey Mitchell opened the games scoring on a miscue by Stars goaltender Marty Turco. With the puck cycling behind the Stars net, Turco tried to wind it clear of the goal, but the puck ended up on Jeremy Roenick's stick. Roenick immediately fed Mitchell through the slot, who was cutting in on goal. Mitchell easily tapped in the pass for his 3rd goal of the season.

Jiri Lehtinen tied the game at 15:49 on a put back after his point blank shot bounced off Sharks netminder Evgeni Nabokov. Lehtinen's scoring chance was setup after the Sharks turned the puck over at center ice. Brendan Morrow dumped the puck into the Sharks zone, while San Jose was on a line change. Lehtinen grabbed the puck in the right corner, before circling back on the Sharks goal.

Devin Setoguchi scored his 6th goal of the season, also giving the Sharks the lead back with just under 2 minutes remaining in the period. Joe Thornton setup the goal by picking Sergei Zubov's pocket at the Stars blueline, then making a pass from the left wing boards, feeding Setoguchi as the rookie forward skated toward the net down the slot. The Sharks rookie gathered the pass between the dots, then rifled a wrist-shot off Turco and into the net.

Marleau would tack on another score less than a minute later after another Stars turnover. Stars centerman Stu Barnes tried to wind the puck from the end boards, but his clearing attempt hit Dallas defenseman Matt Niskanen and kicked out to Marleau near the bottom of the right circle. The Sharks captain looped around to his right, then snapped home his 4th of the season. The goal also marked his 499th career point.

The Sharks let up the gas early in the 3rd period and it would cost them. Stars captain Brendan Morrow made it a one-goal game with a power play goal at 5:33 of the 3rd period after Mike Grier took a hooking penalty. Lehtinen put a shot on goal from the slot that bounced off Nabokov, right to Morrow, who deposited the rebound.

Sensing a shift in momentum, Dallas stepped up the pressure in the offensive zone on the very next shift. After working the puck deep, Antti Miettinen found Niklas Hagman with a pass fro behind the Sharks net. Hagman had slipped behind Marcel Goc and Mark-Edouard Vlasic in the slot, before beating Nabokov with his 8th goal of the season.

Curtis Brown had a 2-on-1 break chance in the overtime period, but his backhand chance sailed over the Stars net. Vlasic hit the post moments later to cap a wild rush.

Douglas Murray took an interference penalty with 1:12 left in the overtime period, but the Sharks stopped the Stars 4-on-3 advantage.

In the shootout, San Jose made quick work of the Stars, turning the tide on the league's best shootout team. Zubov led off by putting a weak shot right in to Nabokov's pads, putting the Stars in the early hole. Setoguchi then snapped a shot 5-hole, beating Turco. Jussi Jokinen skated in on net wide right, then tried wristing a shot inside the left post, but Nabokov made the kick save, catching the puck with his right pad. Marleau ended things with a shot that beat Turco to the stick side.

Game Notes:

The Sharks entered the game 3-9 on the shootout all time, while Dallas sported a 22-5 record all-time. Milan Michalek, who is nursing the elbow he strained on Monday night was scratched from the game. Matt Carle and Alexei Semanov were healthy scratches for San Jose.

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1 2 3 OT SO T
SJ 3 0 0 0 1 4
DAL 1 0 2 0 0 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Mitchell 3 (Roenick), 9:33. 2, DAL, Lehtinen 5 (Morrow, Modano), 15:49. 3, SJ, Setoguchi 6 (Thornton), 18:04. 4, SJ, Marleau (unassisted), 19:03.
2nd period - None
3rd period - 5, DAL, Morrow 8 (Lehtinen, Ribeiro), 5:33, (pp). 6, DAL, Hagman 8 (Miettinen, Jokinen), 6:31.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - DAL: Zubov (miss), Jokinen (miss). SJ: Setogucji (goal), Marleau (goal).
1st period - Barch, DAL (hooking), 7:07; Pavelski, SJ (tripping), 12:14.
2nd period - Daley, DAL (hooking), 5:40; Daley, DAL (hooking), 16:18; Lehtinen, DAL (tripping), 19:15.
3rd period - Grier, SJ (hooking), 4:49; Daley, DAL (delay of game), 13:00.
Overtime - Murray, SJ (interference), 3:48.
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 29 26
DAL - Turco 25 22
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 9 7 7 2 25
DAL 9 9 8 3 29
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 5
DAL 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Brendan Morrow
Devin Setoguchi
Referees: Tom Kowal, Michael McGeough. Linesmen: Thor Nelson, Lyle Seitz.

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