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Penalties cap stinker in D.C.
Ovechkin scores a pair 28 seconds apart
10/15/09 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks streak of 11 straight wins over the Washington Capitals was due to end some time. Alexander Ovechkin made sure it happened on Thursday night, by scoring a pair of goals to help pace the Capitals at the Verizon Center. Ovechkin lit up the Sharks with 13 shots on goal in the game, and led a Capitals team that ran wild in the Sharks zone all night.

Kicking off the extended Eastern Conference road trip, San Jose couldn’t kick the intensity into gear. Unable to match Washington’s intensity, the writing was on the wall early. The Sharks took five 1st period penalties, which backed them into a corner.

Killing off penalties for halk the opening period, San Jose ’s top line was AWOL for the second straight game.

Both teams came out flying, trading chance after chance though the first 3 minutes. Both teams combined for 7 shots in that short period, but it was Washington that controlled the tempo. A Kent Huskins holding penalty 4 minutes into the game gave the Capitals a chance for an early power play. Jed Ortmeyer followed that up with a tripping penalty, which extended things.

Evgeni Nabokov held the fort until Scott Nichol drew a hooking penalty a minute later. Nabokov couldn’t withstand the ensuing 5-on-3. Niklas Backstrom setup Alexander Semin with a saucer pass through the slot, allowing the Capitals forward to rip a one timer into the open net.

Nabokov would face 17 shots in the period, weathering the storm.

Benn Ferriero knotted things up at 14:07 on wrist-shot from the slot after trailing on a rush. Nichol carried the puck to the left wing boards, before putting on the breaks and sliding a pass to Ferriero who came barreling down the center of the ice. The Rookie’s shot lifted over Capitals goaltender Jose Theodore’s right shoulder, for his 2nd goal of the year.

Rather than build on their momentum shift, the Sharks were befuddled by minor penalties to Derek Joslin and Nabokov in the last 5 minutes of the period. Those penalties whipped the Washington faithful into a frenzy, but solid goaltending by Nabokov kept the game locked at 1-1 heading into the first intermission.

Theodore was injured at some point in the opening 20 minutes and did not return to start the 2nd period. Semyon Varlamov replaced Theodore and was tested early. A Milan Jurcina kneeing penalty gave the Sharks the first of three power plays on the evening, but Varlamov easily handled the Sharks lone scoring chance.

With the Sharks cycling their top forward line and defensive pairing off the ice after failing to convert on the power play, Sharks head coach Todd McLellan had Huskins and Marc-Edouard Vlasic on the backline.

Washington exploited that pairing when Mike Knuble drew Huskins over to the wrong side of the ice, allowing Ovechkin to slip unattended over to the right post. Knuble split Huskins and Vlasic with a pass that Ovechkin easily deposited.

Ovechkin would convert a mere 28 seconds later when Knuble carried the puck up the ice on a 3-on-2 and cranked a shot that bounced off Nabokov’s pads. Ovechkin beat Ortmeyer to the rebound and easily punched in his 7th goal of the season.

A Shaone Morrison holding penalty at 7:05 would provide the Sharks with another opportunity to get back in the game, but San Jose ’s power play seemed uninspired.

Former Sharks forward Matt Bradley rubbed a little salt into the wound by scoring his 2nd of the season 5:11 into the final period. After the Sharks turned the puck over in their own zone, Jurcine put a shot on net that trickled away from Nabokov. Bradley was parked on the right post for the easy put back.

One final uninspired power play was squandered by the Sharks, allowing Varlamov to play out the final 5 minutes without facing much opposition.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 0 0 1
WAS 1 2 1 4
1st period - 1, WAS, Semin 6 (Backstrom, Green), 7:21, (pp). 2, SJ, Ferriero 2 (Nichol, Huskins), 14:07.
2nd period - 3, WAS, Ovechkin 6 (Knuble, Morrison), 2:55. 4, WAS, Ovechkin 7 (Knuble, Morrison), 3:23.
3rd period - 5, WAS, Bradley 2 (Jurcina), 5:11.
1st period - Huskins, SJ (holding), 3:51; Ortmeyer, SJ (tripping), 5:33; Nichol, SJ (hooking), 6:43; Joslin, SJ (high sticking), 15:28; Nabokov, SJ (holding), 17:49.
2nd period - Jurcina, WAS (kneeing), 0:32; Morrison, WAS (holding), 7;05.
3rd period - Morrison, WAS (delay of game – puck over glass), 13:38.
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 36 32
WAS - Theodore 13 12
WAS - Varlamov 15 15
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 13 8 7 27
WAS 17 7 12 36
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 3
WAS 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Alexander Ovechkin
Mike Knuble
Alexander Semin
Referees: Martell, StPierre. Linesmen: Nelson, Seitz.

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