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Homecoming lacks offense
Clowe helps beat Kings in shootout
10/28/09 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks returned home to play on HP Pavilion ice for the first time in two weeks, and had to overcome a lack of offense to knock off the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 in the shootout. The Sharks had a hard time finding their way to the net on Thursday night, none more than Ryane Clowe who has yet to find the goal this season. It was Clowe however that bailed the sharks out in the shootout. Clowe converted in the 6th round of the shootout to cash in on a big night by netminder Evgeni Nabokov.

"I'm just happy to see it hit the back of the net," Clowe said after the win. "Something like that will help you build more confidence. To be honest, I put a lot of pressure on myself, but I don't feel like I've lost my confidence."

Home cooking right after long road trips has not traditionally been good to the Sharks, and the opening 20 minutes of the contest didn’t appear as if things were about to change. Los Angeles took the offensive in the opening period.

The Kings outshot the Sharks 13-5 in the period, but Nabokov stood up the Kings and the league’s leading scorer in Anze Kopitar, who was held scoreless in the game.

"It was a very even game," Kings head coach Terry Murray said. "We played very well in the first period. I thought we had an edge in the first. They came back with a strong second and did the same to us as we did in the first. The third I thought both teams had some opportunities."

San Jose picked things up in the 2nd period, evening out the shot count, but it was Los Angeles that would draw first blood. Alexander Frolov broke the ice with his 4th goal fo the season 8 minutes into the period. Frolov took a feed from Drew Doughty as he skated to the left of the goal from the end boards. With Marc-Edouard Vlasic draped all over him, Frolov pulled the puck to his left, deflecting it off Vlasic’s stick and catching the inside of the right post for the 1-0 lead.

The goal seemed to jump start the Sharks offense.

Patrick Marleau continued his hot hand by taking a feed at center ice and ripping past defenseman Matt Greene on the left side, before ripping a 35-foot shot that snapped past Kings netminder Jonathan Quick.

The goal was Marleau’s 10th of the season and extended hi point streak to six games.

"You want to get two points every chance you get," Murray added. "This is a premier team in the league. This is probably the best team in the league. When you do come in and you play well, you're going away with some encouragement. You're talking about the positive stuff that you did addressing the team. But there was an opportunity there to win it tonight."

Jed Ortmeyer just missed on a chance with 12 minutes remaining in regulation as the sharks turned the heat up on Quick. Scott Nichol tried putting a wrap around chance past Quick, but the netminder defelcted the puck out into the slot, where Ortmeyer found himself facing an empty net. The Sharks grabbed the loose puck, but lost the handle as he wound up for the shot.

Nabokov averted disaster with 1:30 left in the period when a bouncing puck hopped through the crease as three players converged on the Sharks net.

Neither team would crack in the period, or in extra time. Both teams would trade chances in overtime, but neither would generate any serious scoring chances.

In the shootout Marleau clanked a shot off the left post Michal Handzus beat Nabokov with a wrist shot just inside the left post. Dan Boyle tried to go backhand, but Quick got a pad on it. Jack Johnson could have ended it, but Nabokov poked checked the puck to deny the Kings forward.

Dany Heatley snapped a shot just inside the right post to tie thing sup. Anze Kopitar sent his attempt wide left to move to the 4th round. Benn Ferriero was indecisive with his chance, missing into Quick’s pads. Wayne Simmonds also would miss.

Joe Thornton tried to go 5-hole, but he would be denied. Dustin Brown would also fail. Ryane Clowe finally put the Sharks on top with a nice backhand move that ended with a shot that roofed over Quick’s glove.

"I've done pretty well in shootouts," Clowe said. "I've had quite a few opportunities since Todd's arrived here. I thought after Joe, I might have an opportunity when Nabby made the save. I was ready and I kind of like that move, so I knew what I was goign to do and it worked."

Nabokov made one last save, stuffing Jarrod Stoll to seal the win.

"They are a very good team, very tough team to play against," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. "They do a lot of things well. We had to find our game quickly and Nabby gave us a chance to work our way into the game. And then at the end of the night he shut the door. The credit goes to him and the credit goes to our players for reviving themselves after the poor start."


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1 2 3 OT SO T
LA 0 1 0 0 0 1
SJ 0 1 0 0 1 2
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, LA, Frolov 4 (Doughty, Brown), 8:00. 2, SJ, Marleau 10 (Murray, Boyle), 14:32.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - SJ: Marleau (miss), Boyle (miss), Heatley (goal), Ferriero (miss), Thornton (miss), Clowe (goal). LA: Handzus (goal), Johnson (miss), Kopitar (miss), Simmonds (miss), Brown (miss), Stoll (miss).
1st period - Ortmeyer, SJ (holding), 1:19; Handzus , LA (tripping), 12:42; Heatley, SJ (tripping), 16:59; Doughty, LA (interference), 17:36.
2nd period - None
3rd period - None
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
LA - Quick 30 29
SJ - Nabokov 29 28
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
LA 13 6 7 3 29
SJ 5 14 9 2 30
Power Play Conversion
LA 0 of 2
SJ 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Evgeni Nabokov
Patrick Marleau
Alexander Frolov
Referees: Devorski, Watson. Linesmen: Rody, Wheler.

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