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Road win streak ends in stunner
Ducks steak win with late goals
1/13/08 - by Mike Lee

Evgeni Nabokov finally got to rest, ending his streak of 43 games started this season and giving Thomas Greiss his first NHL start against the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night. The rookie netminder played well enough to win, but a fluke goal in the last minute of regulation and a Francois Beauchemin tally in overtime spoiled Greiss' debut and snapped the Sharks 10 game road winning streak.

Greiss deserved better after turning in a yeoman's performance, but this was one of those head scratching games that left the Sharks wondering if they'd ever be able to beat the Ducks. The loss was the Sharks 5th in 6 tries this season against Anaheim, and it couldn't have been more painful.

San Jose held a 3-1 lead with 3 three minutes play in the 2nd period, but like their own comeback win over Toronto less than 24-hours earlier, late goals would stun the visitors.

An early forecheck paid dividends for San Jose. Jeremy Roenick bagged career goal #504 on a power play after Chris Pronger was sent to the box for hauling Joe Pavelski to the ice. Roenick chipped in a Patrick Marleau pass from the top of the crease, after the Sharks captain shoveled the puck toward the net from the right wing boards.

Todd Bertuzzi evened things up at 8:58 on a wraparound goal after Greiss got caught on a big rebound. Defenseman Francois Beauchemin bounced the puck off the end boards with a shot that ended up on Bertuzzi's stick near the left post. Bertuzzi circled around the back of the goal and whipped a shot that Greiss could only paw at as he sat just outside the low side of the crease. The goal was scored as an even strength tally, although Alexei Semanov was just stepping back on the ice after serving a hooking penalty.

Semanov's penalty was the first of three in a row, putting the Sharks into a precarious position. Matt Carle was sent off for interference just 35 seconds after a Torrey Mitchell hight sticking penalty ended, but the Sharks turned a defensive dilemma into gold when Mike Grier and Mitchell hooked up for a shorthanded goal at 15:23 of the period.

Rather than clearing the puck, Grier carried it up ice, and found himself in a 3-on-1 situation after the Ducks failed to get any defenders back. Grier skated up the right wing and sent a bullet to Mitchell who was breaking in on the left post. Mitchell chipped the pass over Jean-Sebastian Giguere for the 2-1 lead.

Patrick Marleau just missed extending the Sharks lead to 3-1 midway through the 2nd period, when his shot rang off the right post. Milan Michalek followed up that chance moments later, with an apparent goal, but referee Mark Joanette lost sight of the puck and waved off the tally.

Michalek would exact his revenge at 14:02 on a bang-bang play in front of the Anaheim net that ended with a one-timer on a feed from Joe Thornton. The Sharks cycled the puck behind the net, before Thornton made the feed for Michalek's 15th goal of the season.

Corry Perry would cut into the Sharks lead 3 minutes later with his 24th of the season on a whacky chip shot. After Bertuzzi threw a shot at Greiss, the puck deflected upwards, floating over the Sharks goaltender into the Sharks crease. Perry was parked in perfect position to punch it home.

Things got chippy early in the 3rd period after Bertuzzi plowed into Greiss on scoring chance. Bertuzzi would earn a goaltender interference penalty, but a scrum between Michalek and Perry that ended with punches. All three players were sent off, but the Ducks turned back the Sharks power play to keep the game at 3-2.

The Sharks had the Ducks in check over the final period, forcing Anaheim head coach Randy Carlisle to pull Giguere with a minute remaining. Anaheim's prayers were answered with 27.7 seconds left in regulation, when Doug Weight's shot bounced off Semenov's skate from 60 feet out to tie the game at 3-3.

The Sharks lost Craig Rivet as a defensive option in that final minutes because he took a shot off the skate moments earlier and ended up hobbling to the bench.

Beauchemin ended it just 33 seconds into the extra period by pinching on the 4-on-4 and one-timing a Todd Marchant pass through Greiss' pads for the game winner.

Game Notes:

Defenseman Kyle McLaren was placed on the injured reserve with a knee injury. McLaren had been nursing the knee for a couple of weeks. Steve Bernier was also a scratch with the flu. Rob Davison and Alexei Semanov were back in the lineup in their place. Defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh was also scratched.

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1 2 3 OT T
SJ 2 1 0 0 3
ANA 1 1 1 1 4
1st period - 1, SJ, Roenick 9 (Marleau, Thornton), 2:11, (pp). 2, ANA, Bertuzzi 8 (Beauchemin, Bochenski), 8:58. 3, SJ, Mitchell 9 (Grier, Murray), 15:23, (sh).
2nd period - 4, SJ, Michalek 15 (Thornton, Roenick), 14:02. 5, ANA, Perry 24 (Bertuzzi, Getzlaf), 16:55.
3rd period - 6, ANA, Weight 8 (Pronger), 19:32.
Overtime - 7, ANA, Beauchemin 2 (Marchant, S. Neidermayer), 0:33.
1st period - Pronger, ANA (hooking), 1:35; Semanov, SJ (hooking), 6:50; Mithcell, SJ (high sticking), 11:06; Carle, SJ (interference), 13:41.
2nd period - Mitchell, SJ (tripping), 2:17; O'Donnell, ANA (interference), 8:03; Roenick, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 17:25.
3rd period - Michalek, SJ (roughing), 4:26; Bertuzzi, ANA (goaltender interference), 4:26; Perry, ANA (roughing), 4:26.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
SJ - Greiss 29 25
ANA - Giguere 29 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 4 11 14 0 29
ANA 8 15 5 1 29
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 3
ANA 0 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Francois Beauchmin
Joe Thornton
Doug Weight
Referees: Marc Joanette, Chris Lee. Linesmen: Mike Cvik, Brad, Lazarowich.

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