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Marleau saves the day
Squeeker in Minny extends streak to 9
3/9/08 - by Mike Lee

The Sharks enjoyed their visit to Minnesota on Sunday afternoon that they decided to extend it by giving up the lead on a whacky goal with 19 seconds left in regulation. After a wild overtime period, Sharks captain Patrick Marleau sealed the overtime victory 3-2. The win was San Jose's 9th consecutive, setting a new franchise record.

Patrick Marleau made an incredible save in the overtime after Marion Gaborik chipped a shot over Nabokov. The puck was floating toward the Sharks net, but the San Jose captain swatted the puck out of the air, clearing it to safety.

Carrying an 8 ame winning streak into Minneapolis, the Sharks had much to prove.

San Jose has made a habit of scoring first on their franchise best winning streak, and they wasted no time staking claim to the lead. Milan Michalek scored his 21st goal of the season just 46 seconds into the game. Michalek took a centering pass from Brian Campbell at the Wild blueline then sent a 40 foot wrist shot past Niklas Backstrom from the high slot.

Evgeni Nabokov got a little help from his right post later in the period when a Wild shot clanked off the pipe, then sat precariously between his skates. The Sharks netminder was able to clear it from danger, but not before two Wild skaters converged on the crease.

Tomas Plihal made it 2-0 San Jose at 13:44 of the period on a penalty shot after Keith Carney hooked the Sharks rookie on a breakaway. Plihal faked a move to the backhand before lifting the puck over Backstrom's stick.

Curtis Foster cut the sharks lead in half with a blast from the right point. Foster's shot appeared to get tipped by Jody Shelley's stick, but Nabokov appeared to have it contained. The puck hit the Sharks goaltender in the left shoulder, then skip into the net.

Pavel Dimitra missed on a chance from 10 feet after Kyle McLaren sent a blind pass behind his own net that was intercepted by Carney 6 minutes into the 3rd period. Dimitra had to be perfect with the shot after Nabokov squared himself to the goal line, but puck hit the Sharks netminder in the chest.

The Sharks got another scare with 1:40 left in regulation when a dump in landed behind defenseman Brian Campbell, who had no idea where the puck was. Paul-Marc Bouchard got a shot off from 15 feet out, but the puck deflected into the netting.

Minnesota head coach Jacques Lemaire pulled Backstrom with a minute to play, then called a timeout after Torrey Mitchell iced the puck with 33.1 seconds left in regulation.

The Wild would get a gift from the heavens on the ensuing faceoff. Minnesota would win the faceoff and pull the draw back to the point. Brian Rolston would send the puck in on net, hitting Craig Rivet in front of the right post. The puck would should across the slot, hit Marc-Edouard Vlassic in the shin pad, then deflect into the Sharks net with 19 ticks left on the clock.

Both teams exchanged scoring chances in the overtime period, but Minnesota came closest to scoring. If not for Marleau's stick induced rejection, the Wild would have been celebrating a huge comeback win.

In the shootout Nabokov stoned Mikko Koivu with a pad save against the left post. Joe Pavelski then snapped home a wrist shot over Backstrom's glove hand. Gaborik missed on a shot that hit Nabokov in the left pad.

Jonathan Cheechoo missed on a back hand attempt after fooling Backstrom. Cheechoo had a wide open net, but the puck slipped off his stick, sliding wide of the left post. Bouchard tied it up with a spin-o-rama play that left Nabokov shaking his head.

Marelau ended things with a simple wrister that found the upper left corner of the net.

Game Notes:

The sharks moved into sole posession of 1st place in the Pacific Division, pending the outcome of the Dallas Stars game with Colorado on Sunday night.


Video Highlights
- Bouchard's spin-o-rama

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What did you think of this game? Post your comments on the Feeder Forums
1 2 3 OT SO T
SJ 2 0 0 0 1 3
MIN 0 1 1 0 0 2
1st period - 1, SJ, Michalek 21 (Campbell, Ehrhoff), 0:46. 2, SJ, Plihal 2 (penalty shot), 13:44.
2nd period - 3, MIN, Foster 7 (Carney, Bouchard), 4:11.
3rd period - 4, MIN, Rolston 26 (Koivu), 19:31.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - MIN: Koivu (miss), Gaborik (miss), Bouchard (goal). SJ: Pavelski (goal), Cheechoo(miss), Marleau (goal).
1st period - None.
2nd period - Michalek, SJ (holding), 7:24; Rolston, MIN (hooking), 8:10; Rissmiller, SJ (tripping), 14:42.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 23 21
MIN - Backstrom 26 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 11 9 5 1 26
MIN 7 11 4 1 23
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 1
MIN 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Milan Michalek
Evgeni Nabokov
Brian Rolston
Referees: Peel, St Pierre. Linesmen: Devorski, Nelson.

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