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Roenick's SO Goal sinks Hawks
Sharks beat cellar dwellers
2/2/08 - by Mike Lee

Goal scorer isn't of the things Sharks GM Doug Wilson spells out when defining Jeremy Roenick's role in San Jose, but the veteran forward bagged a shootout goal that propelled the Sharks to a 3-2 shootout win on Saturday afternoon at HP Pavilion. Roenick scored the clincher against his former team, the Chicago Blackhawks in a matinee game the moved the Sharks back into a tie with the Dallas Stars for the Pacific Division lead. Evgeni Nabokov had a relatively light load throughout the game, then came up huge against Chicago's last two shooters in the shootout to preserve the win.

Roenick has scored some big goals for the Sharks this season, but this may have been the biggest. Sweeping wide right as he skated in on net, the veteran snapped a goal to the upper left corner of the net to send the sellout crowd home happy.

The Jody Shelley era started on the first shift of the game with Shelley nailing James Wisniewski against the Blackhawks bench. Several Chicago players took exception and congregated around the new Sharks acquisition. Douglas Murray locked up with Adam Burish.

Both teams parked the defensive game plans early in the game, allowing the opposing team with a pair of breakaway chances each. A Patrick Rissmiller break ended with a scoring chance and a Sharks power play after Wisniewski latched on to Rissmiller.

The Sharks failed to convert on the chance and then gave up a Chicago break that ended with Matt Carle in the box for hooking Patrick Kane.

Chicago opened the game's scoring with a Patrick Sharp deflection that got past Evgeni Nabokovwith 1:10 remaining in the opening period. After winning the faceoff in the Sharks zone, Chicago moved the puck over to Cam Barker on the left point. Barker threw the puck on net and Sharp redirected the shot as he skated across the top of the crease. The Sharks would finally get to Khabibulin after the Blackhawk sot themselves into penalty trouble early in the 2nd period.

Barker and Sharp took penalties 24 seconds apart, giving the Sharks a lengthy 5-on-3 power play. Jonathan Cheechoo tied the game at 1-1 with his 11th goal of the season on the two-man advantage. Joe Thornton set a pass through the crease from the right corner to Cheechoo, who one-timed it into a wide open net from just outside the left post.

The Sharks almost went back on a 5-on-3 after Brent Sopel fired the puck down the ice after Cheechoo's goal. The Chicago defenseman was given a 10-minute misconduct penalty for the infraction, but was not assessed a penalty that forced the Blackhawks to go down another man. Rough stuff ensued on the following whistle after Steve Bernier was knocked to the ice after a scoring chance in front of the Chicago net.

Thornton missed on a breakaway with 4:30 left in the 2nd period, taking a pass from Craig Rivet just outside the Blackhawks blueline. Khabibulin snuffed out the scoring chance with a leg save.

The Sharks took the lead at 3:30 of the 3rd period on Marc-Edouard Vlasic's 1st goal of the season. Vlasic took a feed from Thornton at the left point and ripped a shot passed a screened Khabibulin.

Duncan Keith would knot things up at 2-2 less than 2 minutes later on a goal similar to Vlasic's, except Keith appeared to allow the puck to clear the zone right before taking the shot. The linesman allowed the play to continue, and it ended badly for San Jose after Nabokov was partially screened and seemed to fail to pick up the shot off Keith's stick.

The two teams would end regulation deadlocked, forcing the overtime period. Thornton and Cheechoo had a chance to end it early on a give-and-go play that Khabibulin denied with a crazy blocker save.

A wild scrum in front of the Blackhawks net ended with Khabibulin grabbing a puck out of the air as Christian Ehrhoff swatted at a deflection in the crease and the horn sounding to send the game to the shootout.

Rookie Tomas Plihal led off the shootout for San Jose, but Khabibuln poked check the shot in tight. Patrick Kane answered with a roof shot that found the upper right corner of the net. Khabibulin denied Cheechoo with a glove save. Nabokov stopped a Martin Havlat backhand attempt, and then Joe Pavelski kept the Sharks alive with a roof shot.

Had Sharp buried his chance, the Blackhawks leave with a win, but his shot was turned aside by Nabokov. Steve Bernier deek attempt failed, but a circus save by Nabokov on Robert Lang kept the Sharks alive. Lang tried going top shelf, but Nabokov snagged it with his glove as he staked his pads.

After Roenick whipped his shot over Khabibulin's stick to put the Sharks up, Cam Barker put a shot right into Nabokov's pads to end it.

Game Notes:

Muray left the game at the end of the 2nd period with a hip pointer and did not return. With Shelley's addition to the lineup Devin Setoguchi was scratched. The Sharks tied a franchise record with 6 shots on goal in overtime, last accomplished April, 6, 2003 vs. Phoenix in a 3-3 tie.

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1 2 3 OT SO T
CHI 1 0 1 0 0 2
SJ 0 1 1 0 1 3
1st period - 1, CHI, Sharp 23 (Barker, Havlat), 18:50.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Cheechoo 11 (Thornton, Rivet), 5:35, (pp).
3rd period - 3, SJ, Vlasic 1 (Thornton, Rivet), 3:30. 4, CHI, Keith 6 (Ruutu, Wisniewski), 5:14.
Overtime - None
Shootout - SJ: Plihal (miss), Cheechoo (miss), Pavelski (goal), Roenick (goal). CHI: Kane (goal), Havlat (miss), Sharp (miss), Lang (miss), Barker (miss).
1st period - Burrish, CHI (roughing), 0:17; Burrish, CHI (fightin major), 0:17; Murray, SJ (fighting major), 0:17; Rivet, SJ (cross checking), 6:32; Mithcell, SJ (hooking), 10:48; Wisniewski, CHI (holding), 12:24; Carle, SJ (hooking), 14:13.
2nd period - Barker, CHI (interference), 4:07; Sharp, CHI (hooking), 4:31; Sopel, CHI (10 minute misconduct), 5:35; Seabrook, CHI (roughing), 6:06; Burish, CHI (roughing), 6:06; Bernier, SJ (roughing), 6:06; Roenick, SJ (roughing) 6:06; Bench, SJ (too many men), 10:00; Cheechoo, SJ (hooking), 12:47; Sharp, CHI (slashing), 17:26.
3rd period - Havlat, CHI (tripping), 12:45.
Overtime - None
Shots Saves
CHI - Khabibulin 40 38
SJ - Nabokov 21 19
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
CHI 4 8 7 2 21
SJ 13 13 8 6 40
Power Play Conversion
CHI 0 of 5
SJ 1 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Nikolai Khabibulin
Jonathan Cheechoo
Patrick Sharp
Referees: Furlatt, Rooney. Linesmen: Lazarowich, Wheler.

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