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Caps no match for Sharks
Sharks score on 3 of 5 shots in 1st then roll
11/22/08 - By Mike Lee

The defending Hart, Art Ross, Maurice Richard and Lester B. Pearson Trophy winner, Alex Ovechkin, made his lone trip to San Jose on Saturday night and picked up a few pointers on how to dominate a hockey game. Six different Sharks scored, including three in the 1st period, to pummel the visiting Washington Capitals 7-2 at HP Pavilion. The Sharks spread the wealth in an all-out assault on Capitals goaltender Brent Johnson, who gave up all 7 goals in the rout. Defenseman Rob Blake led the Sharks with 4 assists, tying a franchise record for most assists in a game.

San Jose's blueliners also set a franchise record by chipping in a goal and 8 assists to help pace the Sharks to their league best 17th win of the season. Dan Boyle added 3 assists to yet another fruitful night from the defensive corps.

When asked to address the shared scoring, Sharks head coach Todd McLellen didn't mince words.

"I believe it is essential for any team to win a championship, I've been there first hand and it's a must," McLellen said. "It is something to continue to strive for as the year goes on."

Oddly enough, the Sharks didn't record their first shot on net until they were 9:13 into the contest. That shot found the back of the net however, and the Sharks were off to the races. Patrick Marleau sent a one-time chance past Johnson from the bottom of the right circle, after Boyle pinched in and setup the goal with a sweet backhand pass from in deep.

Ryane Clowe would score the 1st of his 2 goals at 12:34, courtesy of Capitals defenseman Shaone Morrisonn on a whacky play. After Blake sent a shot in from the point, the puck began to pin-ball in front of the crease where Clowe got a stick on it. As the puck bounced into the crease, Morrissonn tried to clear it, but ended up tapping it into his own goal.

The period would end with the Sharks up 3-0 after Devin Setoguchi pumped his 12th goal of the season past Johnson on a one-timer from the right circle. The goal came just after a David Steckel high-sticking penalty expired.

"I don't know if the wheels fell off after the first goal, I thought despite being down 3-0, we played pretty well in the first period," said Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau. "They had 3 goals on 5 shots, and I think those shots were extremely well placed."

Washington would get on the board at 7:56 of the 2nd period on a Tom Poti goal, after former Sharks Matt Bradley slid a rebound off the end boards across the goal mouth. Poti crashed in on Sharks goaltender Brian Boucher and punched home his 3rd of the season.

A Michael Nylander holding infraction at 11:05 would put the Sharks on one of 6 power plays on the evening. Joe Thornton would make Washington pay for Nylander's error with an unreal deflection from the high slot. Marc-Edouard Vlasic spotted Thornton loitering between the circles, and fired a pass toward him from the left point. Thornton deflected the puck with the back-hand side of his stick, sending it to the upper right corner for the 4-1 Sharks lead.

Thornton would watch the next Sharks goal from the penalty box, where he was sent after a strange unsportsmanlike conduct call. Pursuing a loose puck toward the net, Thornton sprayed Johnson with snow, rather than plow into him as he headed toward the net. Referee Mike Leggo felt the shower was unnecessary and sent the Sharks centerman off for 2 minutes.

With the Capitals on the power play, Marleau intercepted a pass at his own blueline and raced up ice. Ovechkin was forced to hook the Sharks captain in order to prevent the easy score. Vlasic would convert on the ensuing 4-on-4 with a blast from the left point.

Tomas Fleischmann would cut the Sharks lead to 5-2 on a power-play goal at 2:19 of the 3rd period. Ovechkin set up the goal with a 60-foot pass that traveled diagonally through the slot to Fleischmann down low. The Capitals left win deflected the pass upstairs for his 8th of the season.

Washington would get into penalty trouble later in the period, giving an already deadly offense a 5-on-3 advantage at the 5:21 mark. Clowe would deposit a rebound after Blake fired a shot off Johnson 20 seconds later.

"I thought we made 3 or 4 mistakes, and they are the kind of team that when you make mistakes, they will capitalize on it right away," Boudreau added. "We have been getting away with 2 or 3 mistakes a game, but tonight it really hurt us."

The scoring binge became passé for the sellout crowd, which broke out the wave with 7 minutes to play.

Mike Grier would add another score for good measure with 53 ticks remaining to cap the massacre. Racing up the right wing, Grier sent a centering pass to Jeremy Roenick on the off wing. Roenick tried to one-time the chance, but it deflected over to Grier who made his return to the ice for the first time in 4 games count with his 3rd goal of the season.

"The Sharks are really good right now, they are very opportunistic," said Boudreau. "Look how many goals they have scored since the Calgary game…All three lines can score, and the fourth line got a couple of goals tonight."

Game Notes

Enforcers Donald Brashear and Jody Shelley tangled in a spirited fight in 1st period. Both players landed shots squarely, but neither could drop their opponent. Shelley would earn time on Thornton's line, skating opposite Setoguchi late in the game. Brashear would earn a 10-minute misconduct from trying to engage Shelley after a whistle late in the 2nd period. The Sharks unveiled their new BlackArmor jerseys, which included a video showcasing the new jersey before the game.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
WSH 0 1 1 2
SJ 3 2 2 7
1st period - 1, SJ, Marleau 10 (Boyle, Setoguchi), 9:13. 2, SJ, Clowe 10 (Blake, Michalek), 12:34. 3, SJ, Setoguchi 12 (Thornton, Marleau), 15:45.
2nd period - 4, WSH, Poti 3 (Bradley, Sloan), 7:56. 5, SJ, Thornton 5 (Vlasic, Boyle), 12:19, (pp). 6, SJ, Vlassic 2 (Blake, Cheechoo), 19:27.
3rd period - 7, WSH, Fleischmann 8 (Ovechkin, Backstrom), 2:19, (pp). 8, SJ, Clowe 11 (Blake, Boyle), 5:44, (pp). 9, SJ, Grier 3 (Roenick, Blake), 19:07.
Penalties
1st period - Brashear, WSH (fighting major), 3:24; Shelley, SJ (fighting major), 3:24; Murray, SJ (high sticking), 4:05; Steckel, WSH (high sticking), 13:40.
2nd period - Sloan, WSH (high sticking), 4:56; Nylander, WSH (holding), 11:05; Brashear, WSH (10 minute misconduct), 15:22; Thornton, SJ (unsportsmanlike conduct), 18:01; Ovechkin, WSH (hooking), 19:07.
3rd period - Setoguchi, SJ (hooking), 1:35; Poti, WSH (holding), 4:35; Erskine, WSH (slashing), 5:21; Backstrom, WSH (roughing), 11:48; Blake, SJ (slashing), 11:48; Ehrhoff, SJ (hooking), 13:10.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
WSH - Johnson 28 21
SJ - Boucher 21 19
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
WSH 8 8 5 21
SJ 5 10 13 28
Power Play Conversion
WSH 1 of 4
SJ 2 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Rob Blake
Ryane Clowe
Dan Boyle
Attendence
17,496
Officials
Referees: Leggo, O'Halloran. Linesmen: Cameron, Heyer.

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