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Sharks heat up frozen Edmonton
Nabokov pegs 40th career shutout
1/29/08 - by Mike Lee

The post All Star segment of the season kicked off on Tuesday night and the Sharks picked up where they left off, knocking off the Edmonton Oilers 3-0 in Alberta. With subzero temperatures freezing the city, San Jose heated up Rexall Place with 39 shots on goal, including 21 in the 2nd period. Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov had a much lighter workload, turning aside all 13 shots he faced to earn his 6th shutout of the season.

Both teams played tentatively in the opening period, but the ice would tilt toward the Oilers net after the Sharks got their legs under them.

Dustin Penner missed on a golden opportunity midway through the 1st period with an uncontested shot from point blank range, but Nabokov was up to the challenge. The Sharks goaltender slid to his right on his knees, snuffing out the shut and denying Penner a second chance by sucking up the puck in his jersey.

That's as close to scoring to scoring as Edmonton would get all night.

The Sharks turned up the heat on Oilers goaltender Mathieu Garon in the 2nd period, narrowly missing on a Milan Michalek shot that bounced of Garon's right shoulder. San Jose controlled the puck in the Oilers zone for a good three minutes, before Edmonton cleared the zone. On the ensuing rush, Joe Pavelski was whistled for hooking.

The ensuing Edmonton power play almost turned to gold for San Jose when Patrick Rissmiller batted a centering pass out of the air right in front of the Oilers net, but the shot sailed just wide of the left post.

The toying would end there.

Pavelski would finally break the ice at 11:48 of the middle period on a rebound from the slot. Craig Rivet started the sequence with a blast from the point that hit Staios in the skate, knocking the Oilers defenseman to the ice. The puck dribbled out to Devin Setoguchi near the right dot, allowing the Sharks rookie to throw the puck on net, Garon made the save, but the rebound kicked out to Pavelski for the easy put back.

Garon would stone Setoguchi moments later on a nasty glove save that was headed top shelf.

Mike Grier made it 2-0 with a blast from the high slot with 45.6 seconds left in the period after the Sharks forced a turnover in the neutral zone. Rissmiller carried the puck in along the right wing boards and waited for the trailing Grier to skate into the zone. Rissmiller slid the pass to his left, where Grier cranked a slapper that hit the upper left corner of the net.

A tripping penalty on Torrey Mitchell put the Sharks in a precarious situation, but Nabokov received help from his defense with a flurry of blocked shots in the shooting lanes. Nabokov capped the penalty by making a nifty glove save with Penner clogging up the top of the crease.

Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish puled Garon with 1:30 to play, but the Sharks never let go of the stranglehold defense. Rissmiller would bag the empty netter to cap the scoring and send the 16,839 in attendance home to battle the elements.

Game Notes:

Defenseman Alexei Semanov was placed on the injured reserve for a viral infection. Rob Davison and Marcel Goc were healthy scratches.

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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 2 1 3
EDM 0 0 0 0
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, SJ, Pavelski 11 (Setoguchi, Rivet), 11:48. 2, SJ, Grier 6 (Rissmiller, Mitchell), 19:14.
3rd period - 3, SJ, Rissmiller 5 (Grier, Murray), 19:30, (en).
1st period - Greene, EDM (holding), 5:02; Thornton, SJ (tripping), 8:26; Tarnstrom, EDM (hooking), 10:07; Ozolinsh, SJ (holding), 14:22; Staios, EDM (hooking), 19:52.
2nd period - Pavelski, SJ (hooking), 4:36; Stortini, EDM (roughing), 13:33.
3rd period - Mitchell, SJ (tripping), 2:40; Reasoner, EDM (hooking), 5:44; Michalek, SJ (tripping), 10:20.
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 13 13
EDM - Garon 38 36
EDM - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 10 21 8 39
EDM 5 4 4 13
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 5
EDM 0 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Pavelski
Mathieu Garon
Mike Grier
Referees: Meier, Sutherland. Linesmen: Cvik, Henderson.

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