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Sharks lean on Nabokov for road win
Netminder stops 38 shots in 3-1 victory
11/14/09 - By Mike Lee -

Penalties and a motivated opponent were a recipe for disaster as the Sharks kicked off a three game road trip, but hot goaltending from Evgeni Nabokov and some timely scoring helped San Jose skate to a 3-1 win in St Louis on Saturday. After getting called out by their owner Dave Checketts earlier in the day, the Blues were in an ornery mood, and they took it out on the Sharks. The Sharks also made things easier for the Blues by offering up six power plays on the night.

St Louis would put 39 shots on Nabokov, but the netminder turned in a solid performance, stopping all but one of those shots.

After a half a period of chippy play, Cam Janssen engaged Brad Staubitz in a fight tat ended in a draw, but the referees allowed both teams to take shots at each other after several whistles.

A Patrick Marleau hooking penalty at 16:23 setup a close call for San Jose , when Paul Kariya put a shot off the post from in tight. The Sharks would clear the puck then setup their own chance when Joe Thornton feathered a pass to Dany Heatley that ended with a shot that Blues netminder Chris Mason had to turn aside.

A bad pass by defenseman Derek Joslin ended up in the Sharks net with just over a minute left in the period. The rookie tried clearing his zone right up the middle of the ice, but Brad Winchester intercepted it at the Sharks blueline. Winchester would send the puck to Jay McClement down low, where the Blues forward would deflect a backhand chance off Nabokov for this 4th goal of the season.

A phantom hooking penalty to Keith Tkachuk gave the Sharks a power play at 7:58 of the 2nd period and the Sharks would strike. Dan Boyle sent a diagonal pass through the slot to Heatley, where the Sharks sniper gathered the pass with his back to the goal. Heatley made a quick pivot and lifted the puck over Mason’s left shoulder, roofing his league leading 7th power play goal of the season.

The goal would snap the Blues streak of 18 straight penalty kills without a goal allowed.

Jed Ortmeyer would give the Sharks the lead just 16 seconds later. On the ensuing faceoff, Manny Malhotra threw a shot on goal from the slot, bouncing the puck off Mason. Ortmeyer zeroed in on the deflection, swatting it out of the air for this 4th goal of the season.

Neither team played urgent hockey through the first ten minutes of the 3rd period, but the Blues came closest to scoring with a chance in front that Nabokov was forced to cover at 10:50.

A hooking penalty to Ortmeyer at 11:31 made things interesting, as the Blues put together a string of chances in tight, but Nabokov was solid.

Patrik Berglund swept a backhand chance toward the Sharks net with just over two minutes left in regulation that Nabokov was forced to turn aside.

With time running down, the Blues were guilty of a little extra eagerness. They would be called for too many men with 1:41 left in the contest. St Louis head coach Andy Murray still elected to pull Mason once the Blues gained the sharks zone, but Thornton took a feed from Boyle at center ice and whipped an empty-net power play goal to ice the game.

Game Notes:

Blues forward David Backes was injured early in the 2nd period and did not return. He appeared to be favoring his left leg.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 2 1 3
STL 1 0 0 1
1st period - 1, STL, McClement 4 ( Winchester ), 18:56.
2nd period - 2, Heatley 13 (Boyle, Clowe), 8:23, (pp). 2, Ortmeyer 4 (Malhotra), 8:39.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Thornton 5 (Boyle), 19:18, (pp), (en).
Penalties
1st period - Clowe, SJ (boarding), 2:32. McClement, STL (roughing), 5:07; Staubitz, SJ (fighting major), 8:16; Janssen, STL (fighting major), 8:16; Thornton, SJ (cross checking), 9:37; Marleau, SJ (hooking), 16:23; Crombeen, STL (roughing), 18:56.
2nd period - Winchester , STL (cross checking), 3:33; Boyle, SJ (cross checking), 4:32; Tkachuk, STL (hooking), 7:58.
3rd period - Fistric, DAL (roughing), 2:36; Nichol, SJ (diving), 2:36, Bench, SJ (too many men), 3:46; Modano, DAL (slashing), 17:34.
Overtime - Clowe, SJ (holding), 3:46; Ortmeyer, SJ (hooking), 11:31; Bench, STL (too many men), 18:19.
 
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 39 38
STL - Mason 16 14
STL - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 6 8 3 17
STL 15 13 11 39
Power Play Conversion
SJ 2 of 5
STL 0 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Evgeni Nabokov
Dan Boyle
Andy McDonald
Attendence
19,150
Officials
Referees: Lee, Pollock. Linesmen: Brisebois, Seitz.

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