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New month brings same results
SJ wins shootout in Denver
11/2/08 - By Mike Lee

The Sharks spent most of the month of October knocking off opponents. They opened November in a similar fashion, by knocking off the Colorado Avalanche in a wild 5-3 shootout at the Pepsi Center in Denver . Devin Setoguchi and Milan Michalek each scored two goals to pace the Sharks, who won for the 10th time in 12 games this season.

With all that success, San Jose still only maintained a 5 point lead in the Pacific Division standing entering Sunday night’s contest. With Anaheim and Dallas picking up the pace in the division race, it was important for the Sharks to keep their positive momentum going.

The 11th place Colorado would have been easy to look past, but the speedy Avalanche match up well against San Jose . That was evident in Colorado ’s persistence all night long. The Avalanche battled back from 2-goal deficits three times during the game, pestering the Sharks with a buzzing attack.

It was Michalek and Setoguchi that sealed Colorado fate.

Michalek opened the game’s scoring 7 minutes into the game with a blast from the left wing. Joe Pavelski setup Michalek with a 60-foot pass from Joe Pavelski at the Avalanche blueline. Michalek wound up and launched a long slapper that beat Avalanche goaltender Peter Budaj.

Setoguchi pushed the Sharks lead to a pair of goals 2 minutes later on a put back in tight. Continuing with the offensive-defense scheme, Christian Ehrhoff pinched in with the puck and tried stuffing it past Budaj. The puck kicked out to Joe Thornton, who then threw it on net, but Budaj got a piece of the puck. Setoguchi pounced on the rebound for his 6th goal of the season.

Jordan Leopold cut the Sharks lead in half with a blast from the right point that got past Evgeni Nabokov, after a gaggle of Avalanche players screened the Sharks netminder.

Joe Thornton helped San Jose reclaim the 2-goal advantage by assisting on Setoguchi’s second goal. Skating through traffic, Thornton found himself in tight along the left post with Budaj sliding over to cut off his angle to the net. The big centerman reacted instantly, sliding the puck across his body to the left, where Setoguchi simply tapped it home.

The Avalanche turned up the heat to open the 3rd period, throwing 18 shots at Nabokov. Milan Hejduk lifted a shot past Nabokov from the bottom of the left circle after Wojtek Wolski bounced a shot off Nabokov from the high slot.

Michalek notched his second of the game four minutes later after to put the Sharks back up by two. Michalek banged at a big rebound in front of the slot after Jonathan Cheechoo fired a shot that Budaj failed to control. With three defenders collapsing on the loose puck, Michalek got enough of his stick on it to squeeze it between Budaj’s pads.

Nabokov made a huge save with just under 8 minutes left in the game after Joe Sakic put a backhand attempt on net from three feet out. Laying on his side, the Sharks netminder got a piece of the shot with his glove, deflecting it wide of the net.

John-Michael Liles made it 4-3 at 13:41 with a shot that squeezed between Nabokov and the left post. San Jose fell victim to a little indecisiveness as the Avalanche pressed to push the play into the Sharks zone.

Rather than fall back on their heels, the Sharks fired back with more offensive pressure.

Ryane Clowe sealed the deal with a nifty put back after Mike Grier put a shot on goal. Patrick Marleau put the Sharks in position to score by out-skating the Colorado defense up ice, forcing the play into the Avalanche zone.

A Rob Blake cross-checking penalty with a minute left in regulation allowed Colorado head coach Tony Granato to pull Budaj for the two-man advantage. The Sharks buckled down and kept the Avalanche off the board to close out the contest.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 2 1 2 5
COL 1 0 2 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Michalek 2 (Pavelski, Lukowich), 7:02. 2, SJ, Setoguchi 6 (Thornton, Ehrhoff), 9:02. 3, COL, Leopold 3 (Stastny), 14:24.
2nd period - 4, SJ, Setoguchi 7 (Thornton, Marleau), 12:43.
3rd period - 5, COL, Hejduk 7 (Wolski, Salei), 1:30. 6, SJ, Michalek 3 (Cheechoo, Blake), 5:44. 7, COL, Liles 2 (Hejduk, Sakic), 13:41. 8, SJ, Clowe 5 (Grier, Marleau), 18:16.
Penalties
1st period - Roenick, SJ (holding), 10:22; Stastny, COL (interference), 10:22; Salei, COL (holding), 18:56.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - Vlasic, SJ (interference), 8:09; Blake, SJ (hooking), 19:00.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 36 33
COL - Budaj 29 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 10 12 7 29
COL 6 12 18 36
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 2
COL 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Milan Michalek
Devin Setoguchi
Evgeni Nabokov
Attendence
15,452
Officials
Referees: McCreary, Sutherland. Linesmen: Lazarowich, Rody.

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