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Sens stunned at HP
Late comeback nets 7th straight win
3/5/08 - by Mike Lee

The Sharks followed up one of their liveliest games of the year, with one of their gutsiest on Wednesday night at HP Pavilion. San Jose overcame two 3rd period deficits against the visiting Ottawa Senators, then won 3-2 in overtime on Patrick Marleau's 2nd goal of the game. The win was the Sharks 7th in a row, while Ottawa lost for the 5th time in their last six games.

After scoring 6 goals against the Montreal Canadiens just 48 hours earlier, the Sharks had a difficult time simply putting the puck on net against a Senators team that spent much of the evening buckled down defensively. San Jose didn't record a shot on Ottawa goaltender Martin Gerber until the 8 minute mark of the 1st period.

Ottawa used its team speed to neutralize the Sharks for most of the period and seemed on the verge of breaking through offensively with crisp passing that had San Jose's defenders chasing the puck rather than playing sound positional hockey.

The methodical defensive style paid dividends for the Senators midway through the 2nd period when Chris Kelly picked defenseman Douglas Murray's pocket in the Sharks zone. Kelly quickly moved the puck to Dany Heatley who found Jason Spezza breaking on the right post. Spezza easily tapped in the pass past Evgeni Nabokov for the 1-0 lead.

San Jose kept trying to chip away at Gerber, but quality scoring chances were hard to come by. Devin Setoguchi just missed on a one-time chance from the low slot that floated over the top of the Senators goal.

The Sharks finally found an opening when Mike Fisher was sent off for hooking at 18:59 of the 2nd period. The period would expire with the Senators still holding a 1-0 lead, but Fisher's penalty had 59 seconds carry over into the 3rd.

Fisher came within a second of stepping back on the ice with his team's lead intact, but Marleau pumped a shot off a Brian Campbell feed past Gerber 58 seconds into the period. Campbell carried the puck along the left wing boards while circling back to the blueline and found Marleau cheating in near the inside of the left circle.

With the momentum leaning in San Jose's favor, the Sharks went on the offensive and came within a hair of taking the lead at the midway point, when Marleau found Joe Pavelski cutting in on the right post. Gerber made a diving save to keep the puck out of his own net, then stoned Devin Setoguchi on a follow up chance.

Still tied 1-1, San Jose would get called for three penalties in the final period, including a questionable interference call on Campbell at 12:21 of the period. Ottawa would retake the lead on Spezza's 2nd of the evening. He started the sequence by winning a key draw in the Sharks zone, then finished it with a deflection off a Cory Stillman shot from the right point.

Things would look even more bleak for the Sharks, when Christian Ehrhoff would get called for tripping with 6 minutes to play. San Jose killed off the ensuing Ottawa power play, then stunned their guests with the tying goal with 2:44 to play.

Milan Michalek intercepted the puck at center ice, then raced into the Senators zone. The Sharks winger decided to dish to the puck to Joe Thornton on his left, who setup the tying goal with a text book pass through the slot to Jonathan Cheechoo on the off wing. Cheechoo got his stick blade down in front of the net, deflecting it over Gerber's left shoulder and just like that the game was tied.

Marleau would end it 3 minutes into the overtime period on a feed from Joe Pavelski, who had skated behind the Senators net with the puck. Pavelski found Marleau coasting away from the net, just outside the left post. Marleau one-timed the feed off of Gerber and into the net. San Jose got a little help from Ottawa defenseman Mike Commodore, who broke his stick on the play and was positioned in the spot that may have prevented Marleau's goal from getting to Gerber if he had a piece of lumber in his hands.

The sellout crowd erupted when the puck crossed the goal line, giving the Sharks only their 3rd come-from-behind victory in 23 chances this season when trailing in the 3rd period. The win also moved the Sharks past the Anaheim Ducks into 2nd place in the division, and with 3 points of the division leading Dallas Stars. Anaheim and Dallas both lost on Wednesday night.

Game Notes:

Jeremy Roenick missed his second consecutive game, because of the flu. Defensemen Matt Carle, Sandis Ozolinsh and Alexei Semanov were healthy scratches.


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1 2 3 OT T
OTT 0 1 1 0 2
SJ 0 0 2 1 3
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, OTT, Spezza 26 (Heatley, Kelly), 11:23.
3rd period - 2, SJ, Marleau 12 (Campbell, Rivet), 0:58, (pp). 3, OTT, Spezza 27 (Stillman, Meszaros), 12:50, (pp). 4, SJ, Cheechoo 21 (Thornton, Michalek), 17:16.
Overtime - 5, SJ, Marleau 13 (Murray, Pavelski), 3:05.
1st period - Mitchell, SJ (tripping), 1:12.
2nd period - Schubert, OTT (slashing), 8:34; Volchenkov, OTT (tripping), 11:57; Fisher, OTT (hooking), 18:59.
3rd period - Mithcell, SJ (hooking), 4:32; Campbell, SJ (interference), 12:21; Ehrhoff, SJ (tripping), 14:08.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
OTT - Gerber 30 27
SJ - Nabokov 19 17
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
OTT 8 5 5 1 19
SJ 7 11 11 1 30
Power Play Conversion
OTT 1 of 4
SJ 1 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Jonathan Cheechoo
Jason Spezza
Referees: Leggo, Sutherland. Linesmen: Sharrers, Wheler.

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