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Nabokov's 5th shutout opens trip
Scoring limited to Setoguchi's goal
2/23/09 - By Mike Lee

The backend of the Sharks 2nd February road trip kicked off on a high note Monday night in Dallas even though San Jose didn’t exactly put on an offensive clinic at the American Airlines Center . Evgeni Nabokov was forced to make 29 saves to earn his 45th career shutout in a 1-0 Sharks victory. The shutout was Nabokov’s 5th of the season, but more importantly it led to his 32nd win of the season.

Nabokov was forced to be perfect, because his teammates weren’t providing much offensive support. The Sharks were lethargic through the first two periods, and were outshot for the first time in 22 games. San Jose put only 5 shots on goal in the opening period.

What few shots the Sharks put on net, were equally dispatched by Stars netminder Marty Turco, who made a career high 30th consecutive start. The goaltender helped the Stars control the puck by taking away dump ins with his deft stick handling.

The only mistakes the two netminders made through the first 2 periods, was an errant clearing attempt by Nabokov that resulted in a turnover and a shot on net. Turco took a tripping penalty late in the opening period, to give the Sharks one of three power play opportunities.

A Milan Michalek high sticking penalty 40 seconds into the 2nd period setup a prime scoring opportunity for the Stars, but a double stack pad save by Nabokov kept a Fabian Brunnstrom shot from finding the back of the net.

Centerman Brian Sutherby tried jamming a shot past Nabokov 5 minutes into the 3rd period, but the Sharks netminder smothered the chance in tight.

San Jose countered with a series of shots in tight 2 minutes later, but the Sharks couldn’t sustain any pressure on Turco.

The stalemate would finally be broken 8 minutes into the period. Marc-Edouard Vlasic shuts down the 2-on-1 break by smothering the Stars lead skater, then Ryane Clowe sent a feed to Devin Setoguchi at center ice. Setoguchi weaved through traffic before uncorking a shot from the right dot. Turco was sliding to his left to cover the right post, exposing the left side of the net. Setoguchi’s shot tucked just inside the left post for the only score of the game.

Brad Lukowich would take an ill-timed interference penalty 21 seconds later, and the Stars came within an inch from scoring when Stephane Robidas clanked a shot off the right post. San Jose would kill off the penalty, but not without giving the Stars 3 shots that could have been costly.

The penalty may have inspired the Sharks to keep the puck out of their own end. San Jose started to press the play with 10 minutes remaining, killing precious time off the clock.

That pressure also turned into a quality scoring chance. With all the attention focused on the puck in the left corner, defenseman Dan Boyle pinched on the weak side before getting a feed from Clowe through the slot for backdoor chance. Turco read the pass and gloved the shot to keep the Sharks lead to a lone goal.

Stars head coach Dave Tippett pulled Turco with 1:20 left in regulation for the extra attacker. That advantage would go by the wayside as the Sharks were able to clear the puck three times in the last minute.

Dallas had one last chance to tie things up, but Sharks defenseman Rob Blake laid down to make a huge block in front of the Sharks net right at the end of regulation to preserve the win.

Game Notes:

Defenseman Brad Lukowich returned to action after missing 19 games with a sports hernia.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 1 1
DAL 0 0 0 0
1st period - None.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 1, SJ, Setoguchi 25 (Clowe, Ehrhoff), 7:55.
Penalties
1st period - Lundqvist, DAL (holding the stick), 6:25; Bench, SJ (too many men), 8:55; Turco, DAL (tripping), 17:22.
2nd period - Michalek, SJ (high sticking), 0:40; Fistric, DAL (high sticking), 5:36; Plihal, SJ (goaltender interference), 8:00.
3rd period - Lukowich, SJ (interference), 8:16.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 29 29
DAL - Turco 24 23
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 5 8 11 24
DAL 11 8 10 29
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 3
DAL 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Evgeni Nabokov
Ryane Clowe
Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Attendence
17,496
Officials
Referees: Kimmerly, Meier. Linesmen: Henderson, Lazarowich.

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