Support TheFeeder, visit our sponsors
Support this community by becoming a Sponsor
  HOSER of the WEEK
  Contact Us
  Meet the Staff
  Join the Team
  Our Sponsors

Nabokov gem evens series up
Penalty parade sinks Flames
4/10/08 - by Mike Lee

The hockey gods have to be wondering why that Warren Strelow guy is smiling so much. Strelow, the former Sharks goaltending coach who passed away last year, had two of his disciples dual each other in Game 2 of the Sharks Western Conference Quarter Final showdown with the Calgary Flames on Thursday night at HP Pavilion. That dual turned into a goaltending clinic as Evgeni Nabokov and Miikka Kiprusoff combined for 62 saves, but Nabokov would deny the Flames from scoring en route to his sixth career playoff shutout in the 2-0 victory.

The win allowed the Sharks to even the series at 1-1, but more importantly it allows them to head into hostile territory on Sunday without having to dig themselves out of a 2-0 hole. Nabokov put them in that position with several high light reel saves, including a circus stop on an Owen Nolan shot in the 3rd period.

Kiprusoff was equally impressive, turning aside 41 shots aside, many of which came via a seemingly endless power play in the 2nd period. The Sharks set a franchise playoff record with 27 shots on goal in that period, but Kiprusoff kept the Flames within striking distance.

Both goaltenders were tested early and often. Cory Sarich missed on a golden opportunity when Nabokov robbed him with a glove save at the 6 minute mark of the opening period, by lunging to his left to snag the waist high one-timer.

"We knew it was going to be tough. We could sense that it was going to be an even tougher game than the first game," said Nabokov. That's exactly what it was. 1st period they came out hard and the 2nd period we totally controlled the game because they took a lot of penalties. In the 3rd period we started taking penalties."

Joe Pavelski missed on a point blank chance at the 15 minute mark. Calgary turned over the puck deep in their own zone and the Sharks forward found himself staring down Kiprusoff with a wide open lane from 20 feet out.

Nabokov stopped all 10 shots in that opening period, but the biggest save came at the conclusion of the opening 20 minutes. Alex Tanguay and Jerome Iginla teamed up on a 2-on-1 break and put a shot on Nabokov right as the period was expiring. If not for some solid positioning by Nabokov, the Flames would have held a lead at the 1st intermission.

In a clear sign that the Sharks would lean on the physical aspects of the game, San Jose out hit the Flames 16-11 through the first 20 minutes of play.

Pavelski would break the ice with his first career playoff goal at 4:56 of the 2nd period. Marc-Edouard Vlasic bounced the puck off the end-boards, which then kicked out to the bottom of the left circle. Pavelski scooped up the rebound and pivoted 180 degrees before firing a shot that slipped between Kiprusoff's pads.

"You don't want to play catch up in a series," added Pavelski. Whether you're down a game or you're down a goal. They went up two goals the other night and we tried to climb back. We got up two goals and did the same thing to them.

The Sharks smelled blood after Kiprusoff was whistled for holding Joe Thornton's stick. A spirited sequence resulted in a wild scrum in front of the Calgary net, but Kiprusoff stood tall. What should have been great motivation for Calgary, was wasted by a parade of players to the penalty box, including Kristian Huselius, Stephane Yelle and Jim Vandermeer who drew penalties within the same minute.

Misfiring on the subsequent 5-on-3 prompted Sharks head coach Ron Wilson to call a timeout with 35 seconds remaining in Yelle's minor. The Flames would kill off the 2-man advantage, but Torrey Mitchell would convert with just under 2 minutes left in the period. Milan Michalek's persistence ended with the puck skittering across the rease from right to left, where Mitchell chipped a shot into a wide open net.

"We know every series is going to be physical," said Pavelski. "They have some big D out there that are going to hit a little bit. We're as big as anyone and we can play that game too. If a team wants to play that, we've got some guys with grit. We're ready for whatever they're going to throw at us."

Craig Rivet and Mitchell gave Calgary a pair of power plays to start the 3rd period, but the Sharks penalty kill was up to the task, stifling the Flames at the blueline. Pavelski missed on a short-handed breakaway chance before Mitchell's penalty would expire. Mat Carle would follow with a hooking penalty 3 minutes later, and this time Mike Grier had a breakaway chance, but the puck kicked out far and Kiprusoff skated 40-feet out and cleared it to safety.

With their own power play faltering, the Flames started to press offensively. That's when Nabokov made the save of the night. With 5 minutes left to play in regulation, Nolan took a pass in the slot and had a wide open net to shoot at, but the Sharks goaltender dove to his left and snatched the would be goal out of thin air.

"You're always thinking that when you're getting a run of power plays like that, the pendulum is going to swing the other way, which it kind of did for a brief period in the 3rd period for a brief bit," said Wilson. "Our penalties did a great job denying them entry into the zone. We probably had as many scoring chances on the PK as they did on the power play."

Marleau would get a chance to put the Sharks up by 3 goals on a breakaway chance with 4:39 to play, but a slash by Adrian Aucoin would disrupt the scoring chance. As soon as Aucoin exited the box, Sarich would take a cross checking penalty with 2:31 to play to put the Sharks back on the power play, snuffing out any chance for the Flames to mount a comeback.

Game Notes:

Devin Setoguchi was a scratch for the 2nd consecutive game, even though Wilson hinted that the Sharks rookie would probably see some ice time after the Sharks 3-2 loss in Game 1. Matt Carle made his first appearance in the series, replacing Alexei Semanov on the blueline.


What did you think of this article? Post your comments on the Feeder Forums

What did you think of this game? Post your comments on the Feeder Forums
1 2 3 T
CGY 0 0 0 0
SJ 0 2 0 2
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, SJ, Pavelski 1 (Vlasic, Marleau), 4:56. 2, SJ, Mitchell 1 (Michalek, Rivet), 18:09.
3rd period - None.
1st period - Conroy, CGY, (hooking), 6:20; Marleau, SJ (slashing), 6:55, (pp).
2nd period - Moss, CGY (roughing), 3:03; Brown, SJ (roughing), 3:03. Kiprusogg, CGY (holding the stick), 6:07. Iginla, CGY (holding), 8:37; Hale, CGY (cross checking), 11:23; Huselius, CGY (hooking), 14:17; Yelle, CGY (cross checking), 15:09; Vandermeer, CGY (slashing), 15:33; Rivet, SJ (interference), 20:00.
3rd period - Mitchell, SJ (interference), 4:22; Carle, SJ (hooking), 7:55; Lombardi, CGY (hooking), 9:41; Aucoin, CGY (slashing), 15:21; Nystrom, CGY (roughing), 16:49; Cheechoo, SJ (roughing), 16:49; Sarich, CGY (cross checking), 17:29.
Shots Saves
CGY - Kiprusoff 43 41
SJ - Nabokov 21 21
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
CGY 10 3 8 21
SJ 8 27 8 43
Power Play Conversion
CGY 0 of 4
SJ 1 of 10
3 Stars of the Game
Evgeni Nabokov
Mikka Kiprusoff
Joe Pavelski
Referees: Joannette, Peel. Linesmen: Rody, Sharrers.

Privacy Statement   |   Contact Us   |   Advertise
Copyright 2008 All rights reserved.
This website is an unofficial and independently operated source of news
and information not affiliated with any team, or league.