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Sharks outlast Pens
3-for-3 on the shootout wins it
2/24/08 - by Mike Lee

Building on their win Philadelphia on Friday night, the Sharks got back to the basics in Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon and kept one of the most potent young offenses in check in a 2-1 shootout win. All three Shark shooters scored in the shootout, including Jeremy Roenick, who has gone 3-for-3 this season. Roenick sealed the victory with his 2nd consecutive shootout game-winner.

As has been the case for many of the games on the season lone 8-game road trip, San Jose came out strong, but couldn't muster any scoring. A Jarko Ruutu interference penalty gave the Sharks an early power play, but the offense seemed to go into a shell with the man advantage. Matt Carle had a wide open net, but Penguins goaltender Ty Conklin made a spectacular diving save to rob the Sharks defenseman.

Missed opportunities on the power play was the story of the period for the Sharks, who would go on to flub two other man-advantage chances. Jonathan Cheechoo came closest to scoring by batting a puck out of the air after Joe Thornton tried feeding Cheechoo a pass from behind the Penguins net.

San Jose would outshoot the Penguins 14-4, and out-chanced them 4-1, but the offense continued to sputter.

The Penguins 3rd ranked power play had two chances of their own in the 2nd period, narrowly missing on an Evgeni Malkin shot that rang off the left post after it slipped past Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.

Malkin also had a nifty scoring chance after splitting two Shark defenders in the high slot then swatted at the puck as he was falling to the ice. Nabokov stayed patient on the play, waiting for Malkin to put the puck on goal before committing as he followed the play move from his left to right.

San Jose dodged a bullet at the 2nd period horn when a Patrick Rissmiller at the Penguins blueline turned into a scoring chance that had Nabokov pushed back into his own goal. The puck bounced off the Sharks netminder, then sat dangerously in the slot until Mike Grier swept it clear.

Cheechoo finally brook the scoring stand off with a Sydney Crosby-esque goal 3:10 into the 3rd period. Cheechoo took a pass from Joe Thornton at the Pittsburgh blueline, then bulled his way around Ryan Whitney on the left wing, then cut back across the top of the goal crease before slipping a shot past Conklin. The goal was Cheechoo's 4th in the last 5 games.

Erik Christensen would tie the game at 1-1 with a power play goal at 10:02 after Jody Shelley took a hooking penalty. Christensen squeezed a one-timer between Nabokov and the right post, after one-timing a Sergei Gonchar pass from the right corner.

Cheechoo would earn a trip to the box with a careless holding penalty in the Penguins zone with just under 4 minutes to play in regulation. Malkin would trip Torrey Mitchell with 44 seconds remaining in Cheechoo's penalty, to give the Sharks a short power play, but again the man advantage provided no relief for San Jose.

The Sharks got 5 shots on Conklin in the overtime period, but couldn't find a way to put one past him.

In the shootout, Christensen scored on a deek right to left. Joe Pavelski would counter that with a snap shot that beat Conlkin to the stick side. Nabokov snuffed Kris Letang with a pad save in front of the right post. Cheechoo would put the Sharks up with another wrist shot that beat Conklin to the 5-hole.

Ruutu, would keep the Penguins in the game for a moment more with a goal, but Roenick ended it with yet another wrist shot that Conklin failed to stop.

Game Notes:

The game started late because of a Zamboni malfunction right after the pre-game warm-ups. The Zamboni broke a hydrolic line at center ice, spewing hydrolic fluid all over the center-ice logo, melting a portion of the rink. Tomas Plihal was placed on the injured reserve with n upper respiratory infection. Alexei Semanov returned to the Sharks lineup, after he was activated off the injured reserve.

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1 2 3 OT SO T
SJ 0 0 1 0 1 2
PIT 0 0 1 0 0 1
1st period - None.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 1, SJ, Cheechoo 18 (Thornton, Shelley), 3:10. 2, PIT, Christensen 9 (Gonchar, Taafe), 10:02, (pp).
Overtime - None.
Shootout - Pitt: Christensen (goal), Letang (miss), Ruutu (goal). SJ: Pavelski (goal), Cheechoo (goal), Roenick (goal).
1st period - Ruutu, PIT (interference), 4:02; Ruutu, PIT (10 min misconduct), 4:02; Orpik, PIT (roughing), 9:42; Whitney (hooking), 14:52.
2nd period - Ehrhoff, SJ (holding), 4:38; Whitney, PIT (hooking), 9:53; Carle, SJ (interference), 14:30.
3rd period - Shelley, SJ (hooking), 9:47; Cheechoo, SJ (holding), 16:06; Malkin, PIT (tripping), 17:22.
Overtime - None
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 21 20
PIT - Conklin 37 37
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 14 7 11 5 37
PIT 4 10 7 0 21
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 5
PIT 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Jonathan Cheechoo
Ty Conklin
Evgeni Nabokov
Referees: McCreary, Morton. Linesmen: Brisebois, Driscoll.

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