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Sharks rest, streak ends
Nabokov also loses bid to tie record
4/3/08 - by Mike Lee

The streak is over. With several regulars out of the lineup, the Sharks dropped a 4-2 decision to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night, ending their franchise record 20-game point scoring streak. San Jose last lost in regulation on February 20th to the New Jersey Devils. Evgeni Nabokov also lost his bid to tie Martin Brodeur's NHL record for wins in a season, on a flat performance.

Rookie Tom Cavanagh may have had the biggest night of any Shark. The prospect was recalled from Worcester on Thursday, then made his NHL debut on a line with Joe Thornton and Jeremy Roenick as a starter.

Cavanagh's story got even better, when Thornton scored on the game's opening shift. Cavanagh earned the primary assist on the goal, which came on a shot from the right corner. Skating behind the goal line, Thornton threw the puck to the goal mouth where it deflected off goaltender Erik Ersberg's pad and into the Kings net.

The Sharks would go on cruise control for the next 40 minutes, allowing Los Angeles to capitalize.

After out-shooting the Sharks 13-9 in the opening period, the Kings put together a handful of quality scoring chances. Two of those chances ended up in the Sharks net by the games midpoint.

Brian Willsie tied the game at 1-1 at 2:14 of the 2nd period, after defenseman Kyle McLaren flubbed a clearing pass that ended up sitting in the slot. After Mike Cammalleri whiffed on a shot attempt, Willsie swooped in and pumped a shot that caught Nabokov's jersey, then trickled over the goal line.

Raitis Ivanans scored a goal that was almost identical to his tally against the Sharks at HP Pavilion on Tuesday. Alexander Frolov whipped around the Sharks net with Roenick in tow, before sliding a pass out to Ivanans from behind the left post. Ivanans cut past Torrey Mitchell and one-timed a shot past Nabokov for the 2-1 lead.

Frolov would take the Kings lone minor penalty of the evening at 2:27 of the 3rd period for hooking, and the Sharks would cash in.

Joe Pavelski would score his 19th goal of the season on a 40 foot pass from Patrick Marleau, who was positioned in Thornton's usual power play spot in the right corner. Thornton drew attention away from Pavelski by driving to the net from the right dot. The Kings defense guessed that Marleau would feed Thornton, but instead sent the long pass to Pavelski who drove down the slot and roofed a shot past Ersberg.

San Jose would outshoot the Kings 14-8 in the 3rd period, but Anze Kopitar would convert on a fourth of Los Angeles' shots.

Kopitar put the Kings on top for good at 14:22, when a Dustin Brown pass kicked off Curtis Brown's skate as he skated along side former Shark Scott Thornton. The puck deflected right to Kopitar in the slot, for the easy deposit.

The Sharks couldn't score the equalizer, even though San Jose head coach Ron Wilson pulled Nabokov with a minute to play.

Kopitar would add an empty net goal with 4 ticks left to ice the game, and icing San Jose's record run.

Game Notes:

The Sharks sat defensemen Christian Ehrhoff, Craig Rivet and Sandis Ozolinsh, along with Marcel Goc, Devin Setoguchi and Tomas Plihal. Jonathan Cheechoo was also scratched while he nurses an undisclosed injury, which is believed to be a concussion.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 0 0 2
LA 0 2 2 4
1st period - 1, SJ, Thornton 29 (Cavanagh, Roenick), 0:36.
2nd period - 2, LA, Willsie 3 (Cammalleri), 2:14. 3, LA, Ivanans 6 (Frolov, Armstrong), 10:29.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Pavelski 19 (Marleau, Thornton), 3:03, (pp). 5, LA, Kopitar 31 (Brown, Thornton),14:22. 6, LA, Kopitar 32 (Brown), 19:56, (en).
1st period - Marleau, SJ (tripping), 1:17; Brown, SJ (roughing), 8:38.
2nd period - Semanov, SJ (high sticking), 3:53.
3rd period - Frolov, LA (hooking), 2:27; O'Sullivan, LA (10 min misconduct), 15:39.
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 26 23
SJ - empty net 1 0
LA - Ersberg 34 32
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 9 11 14 34
LA 13 6 8 27
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 1
LA 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Anze Kopitar
Erik Ersberg
Brian Willsie
Referees: McCauley, Leggo. Linesmen: Cvik, Galloway.

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