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Sharks rebound in LA
9th straight road win for SJ
3/18/08 - by Mike Lee

The Sharks 11-game winning streak may have ended on Sunday, but the Brian Boucher kept his personal streak in San Jose going. The Sharks backup goaltender won for the 2nd time in as many starts for San Jose, 2-1 in Los Angeles on Tuesday night. Boucher stopped 29 shots, and came within 4:47 of keeping his shutout streak as a Sharks goaltender alive. Only a Lubomir Visnovsky goal late in the game kept Boucher's shutout streak from continuing.

Boucher was on the defensive for most of the night, but he came up big when necessary. The two teams traded 13 shots apiece in the opening period, including several that had a chance to find their way to the back of the net.

Kings goaltender Dan Cloutier played solidly as well, but a Joe Thornton power play goal at 17:09 of the opening period gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead heading into the 1st intermission. Thornton actually tried setting up Joe Pavelski for a score from his perch along the right post. Thornton saw Pavelski cutting through the slot and tried dishing a feed, but Pavelski's shot attempt found its way back on Thornton's stick. Cloutier went down trying to defend against Pavelski's scoring chance, providing a wide open net for Thornton.

Los Angeles went on the offensive in the 2nd period to try and score the equalizer, sending several puck Boucher's way. Mike Cammalleri tried stuffing home a puck in tight from the same spot that Thornton scored his goal, after Kyle McLaren gave the Kings a power play chance for boarding at 2:11 of the period.

Derek Armstrong had another Kings scoring chance go by the wayside 2 minutes later, when Boucher turned aside a blast from the point, then Armstrong's put-back attempt.

The Sharks got themselves into more trouble when they took consecutive goaltender interference penalties 4 minutes part. First Torrey Mitchell grazed Cloutier, but the Los Angeles goaltender's acting skills earned Mitchell a trip the penalty box. Devin Setoguchi would follow when Cloutier again embellished the amount of contact.

Ron Wilson dispatched the league's 2nd best penalty killing unit to fend off the Kings. Along with Boucher's timely goaltending, Los Angeles was unable to muster any scoring from their special teams unit.

Patrick Rissmiller gave the Sharks a 2-goal lead with 3:37 to play in the period on a nifty piece of stick work. Rissmiller scooped up the puck in his own zone, raced up the middle of the ice before dishing the puck to Mitchell at the Kings blueline, then took a return feed in the slot. Former Sharks defenseman Tom Preissing couldn't get back in time to stop Rissmiller's shot which bounced off Cloutier, then landed right back on Rissmiller's stick. The second shot found its way past Cloutier who sat in his own gal after getting beat by Rissmiller.

The Kings would outshoot San Jose 8-3 in the 3rd period, but wouldn't score until Visnovsky found the upper right corner of the Sharks goal on a screen by Pavelski, who tried clogging the lane. Armstrong stripped Kyle McLaren of the puck along the right wing boards, before circling back behind the Sharks net and feeding Visnovsky near the top of the left circle.

Los Angeles head coach Marc Crawfrod would pull Cloutier with a minute remaining to try and score the tying goal. Cammalleri almost pulled it off, taking a feed at the Sharks blueline then undressing Sharks defenseman Brian Cambell with a deek in the high slot. The Kings centerman would uncork a shot from 30 feet that Boucher barely deflected wide of the net with a glove save.

Game Notes:

The Sharks extended their lead in the Pacific Division by 5 points over the idle Anaheim Ducks. They moved 6 points ahead of the Dallas Stars who also had the night off. Those two teams play each other on Wednesday night in Dallas. Jeremy Roenick was a healthy scratch. Tomas Plihal made it back to the lineup in Roenick's absence.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 1 0 2
LA 0 0 1 1
1st period - 1, SJ, Thornton 20 (Paveski, Marleau), 17:09, (pp).
2nd period - 2, SJ, Rissmiller 8 (Mitchell), 16:23.
3rd period - 3, LA, Visnovsky 7 (Armstrong), 15:13.
1st period - Grier, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 13:37; Blake, LA (elbowing), 14:31; Ellis, LA (hooking), 16:28.
2nd period - McLaren, SJ (boarding), 2:11; Mitchell, SJ (goaltender interference), 7:55; Setoguchi, LA (goaltender interference), 11:44.
3rd period - None.
Shots Saves
SJ - Boucher 30 29
LA - Cloutier 23 21
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 13 7 3 23
LA 13 9 8 30
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 2
LA 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Brian Boucher
Joe Thornton
Dan Cloutier
Referees: Koharski, Shick. Linesmen: Lazarowich, Wheler.

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