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Sharks rebound in Ottawa
Boucher and a 4 minute power play pace win
2/26/09 - By Mike Lee

The dog days of the lengthy NHL season have hit their most grueling stretch, and that was clearly evident in Ottawa , as the Sharks played for the second consecutive night. San Jose followed up their disappointing performance in Detroit with another lackluster effort in Canada’s capital, but unlike their whipping in Michigan, the Sharks took advantage of a 4-minute power play to take a 2-1 decision at Scotiabank Place.

Evgeni Nabokov was given the night off, and Brian Boucher stepped in to stop 23 of 24 shots. The solid performance in net was just what the doctor ordered. San Jose did continue their discouraging trend of surrendering the first goal of the game, but Boucher’s solid play over the final 46 minutes helped the Sharks record their 93rd point of the season.

Mike Fisher staked the Senators to a 1-0 lead at 13:46 of the opening period on an Ottawa power play. Tomas Plihal put the Senators on the man-advantage after tripping Nick Foligno. Fisher deflected a Chris Campoli shot past Boucher, but that’s the only blemish the Sharks goaltender would allow.

Ottawa would go on a penalty streak, committing 4 straight infractions in the middle period. Jarkko Ruutu and Brian Lee took hooking penalties 2:21 apart, but the Sharks lethargic power play was unable to generate any pressure on Senators goaltender Alex Auld.

Lee was whistled for a holding penalty at 9:39 of the period, then added to his misfortune by mouthing off to the officials. That earned him another two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct and the Sharks took advantage.

Milan Michalek tied the game with 13 seconds remaining on Lee’s first penalty on a redirect in front of the Ottawa net. Joe Pavelski created the chance by carrying the puck into the Senators zone, trying to wrist a shot on goal. The shot ended up behind the net, but Pavelski beat defenseman Filip Kuba to the puck and sent a feed to Michalek.

The Sharks put on a passing clinic on the next goal. Dan Boyle faked a shot from the left point, and instead sent a pass over to Joe Thornton near the right circle. Rather than gather Boyle’s pass, Thornton snapped a pass to the high slot, where Jeremy Roenick blasted it into a wide open net. Patrick Marleau was credited with the goal, as it appeared to deflect off his skate as he tried getting out of the way of the shot. Auld was outside the right post, still in position to stop Thornton , had the Sharks centerman elected to shoot the puck. Instead, the Sharks grabbed the 2-1 lead.

The goal was Marleau’s 34th of the season, which tied a career high.

Roenick just missed scoring with 9 minutes to play in the 3rd period. With the Sharks buzzing Auld, the centerman had a scoring chance in close, but the Senators goaltender slid across the crease to make the save.

Boucher gave the Sharks the big goaltending they needed late in the game. The Sharks netminder stoned Jason Spezza twice with under 3 minutes to play, preserving the thin 1-goal lead.

Senators head coach Cory Clouston pulled Auld with just over a minute to play for the extra attacker. Marleau had a chance to cap the game with an empty-net chance from inside the Ottawa blueline, but the Shark captain’s shot sailed wide of the left post.

The Sharks clamped down to preserve Boucher’s 10th win of the season. It was also Boucher’s 1st career victory over the Senators.

Game Notes:

Claude Lemieux was scratched from the lineup.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 2 0 2
OTT 1 0 0 1
1st period - 1, OTT, Fisher 9 (Campoli, Heatley), 13:46, (pp).
2nd period - 2, SJ, Michalek 17 (Pavelski, Vlasic), 11:26, (pp). 3, SJ, Marleau 34 (Roenick, Thornton), 12:44, (pp).
3rd period - None.
Penalties
1st period - Plihal, SJ (tripping), 12:12; Michalek, SJ (boarding), 19:02.
2nd period - Ruutu, OTT (hooking), 4:00; Lee, OTT (hooking), 6:21; Lee, OTT (holding), 9:39; Lee, OTT (unsportsmanlike conduct), 9:39; Blake, SJ (interference), 13:42.
3rd period - Ehrhoff, SJ (hooking), 13:31.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Boucher 24 23
OTT - Auld 24 22
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 10 8 6 24
OTT 11 4 9 24
Power Play Conversion
SJ 2 of 4
DET 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Brian Boucher
Jeremy Roenick
Mike Fisher
Attendence
17,791
Officials
Referees: Kimmerly, Devorski. Linesmen: Nowak, Sericolo.

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