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Rebounding on the Isle
Nabokov makes 31 saves in 4-1 win
10/17/09 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks east coast road trip is turning out to be the “turning over a new leaf” tour 2009. After losing to the Washington Capitals on Thursday night for the first time in 12 games, San Jose knocked off the New York Islanders for the first time on Long Island in 9 years. San Jose got off to a slow start, spotting the Islanders a single goal, before bagging 4 unanswered goals to take a 4-1 decision at Nassau Coliseum.

The Sharks turned in a solid opening three minutes of the game, then seemed to mail it in the remaining 17 minutes. The lack of urgency allowed the NHL’s worst offensive team a season ago, to uncork 19 shots on Evgeni Nabokov in the opening 20 minutes.

After their shellacking in Washington on Thursday night, the Sharks needed a solid opening in order to regain some momentum. That would have to wait a period, as the Sharks sluggishness would tilt the rink toward Nabokov.

A Jody Shelley interference penalty late in the period would allow the Islanders to convert a power play chance with 5:48 before the 1st intermission. Winger Kyle Okposo threw a shot on net from the right side that was deflected by Matt Moulson, beating Nabokov for the 1-0 lead.

Sharks head coach Todd McLellan probably had a few choice words for his players at the break after their lackluster performance.

San Jose would show more life to open the 2nd period, drawing a pair of interference penalties, including one to Brendan Witt at 6:53 of the period. Patrick Marleau would get the Sharks on the board on the ensuing power play with a nifty backhand shot from 15 feet. Joe Thornton slid a pass to the Sharks forward as he cut across the slot from left to right. Gathering the puck as he skated toward the right wing boards, Marleau lifted a shot that tucked just inside the right post for his 6th goal of the season.

Called up earlier in the day from Worcester, Sharks right winger Ryan Vesce bagged his 1st NHL goal at 16:24, after Thornton picked Radek Martinek’s pocket behind the Islanders net. Thornton checked Martinek off the puck, then slid a centering pass in to the slot, where Vesce gathered it up and whipped a shot past Martin Biron for the 2-1 lead.

The New York native had several family in attendance, but he joked about not knowing how many friends were able to land tickets because of his late call up.

Doug Weight missed on a golden opportunity with 1 minute left in Scott Nichol’s delay of game penalty late in the period. Weight took a long feed at the Sharks blueline and walked in uncontested on Nabokov, before uncorking a shot that hit the right post.

A Jack Hillen holding penalty at the 2nd period horn gave the Sharks a power play to open the final period and San Jose would waste little capitalizing. Thornton would score his 2nd goal of the season on an Islanders turnover on the power play 37 seconds into the period.

Devin Setoguchi put the game out of reach with his 5th tally of the season at 13:55, after taking a feed from Ryane Clowe near the left corner. Setoguchi walked toward the net uncontested and lifted a wrist shot over Biron’s right shoulder for the 4-1 lead.

The assist was Clowe’s first point of the season, breaking a 7-game scoring drought. He would add a 5-minute fighting major later in the period after dropping the gloves with Tim Jackman. Clowe would handle the Islanders winger rather easily, catching Jackman with a couple of good uppercuts.

Witt would draw a boarding minor during the Clowe-Jackman fight, which essentially killed any chance for New York to make a late run.

Game Notes:

Nabokov’s start marked his 500th NHL game.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 2 2 4
NYI 1 0 0 1
1st period - 1, NYI, Moulson 4 (Okposo, Tavares), 15:12, (pp).
2nd period - 2, SJ, Marleau 6 (Thornton, Demers), 7:50, (pp). 3, SJ, Vesce 1 ( Thornton ), 16:24.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Thornton 2 (unassisted), 0.37, (pp). 5, SJ, Setoguchi 5 (Clowe), 13:55.
1st period - Shelley, SJ (interference), 14:34; Clowe, SJ (roughing), 17:01; Tavares, NYI (cross checking), 17:01.
2nd period - Blake, SJ (interference), 0:50; Ortmeyer, SJ (diving), 4:27; Martinek, NYI (interference), 4:27; Witt, NYI (interference), 6:53; Nichol, SJ (delay of game – puck over glass), 17:53; Hillen, NYI (holding), 20:00.
3rd period - Clowe, SJ (fighting major), 16:03; Jackman, NYI (fighting major), 16:03; Witt, NYI (boarding), 16:03.
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 32 31
NYI - Biron 29 25
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 8 12 9 29
NYI 19 5 8 32
Power Play Conversion
SJ 2 of 3
WAS 1 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Evgeni Nabokov
Joe Thornton
Ryan Vesce
Referees: Furlatt, Jackson. Linesmen: Champoux, Amell.

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