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Heatley's OT breakaway wins it
Sharks survive sluggish performance to beat St Louis
1/6/10 - By Mike Lee -

Dany Heatley came to San Jose for a chance to win. He also came to the Bay Area to score big goals. His breakaway goal with 54 seconds left in overtime on Wednesday night against the St Louis Blues was one of those big goals and it gave the Sharks a win in a game that they should have lost.

Having switched head coaches earlier this week, the Blues came into San Jose looking to turn their misfortune around. St Louis played well enough to win and came within 7 minutes of taking the two points in regulation, but Patrick Marleau scored late in regulation and Heatley bagged the overtime winner to take the 2-1 decision.

It was the Sharks first win in overtime this season.

After their 6-2 pounding at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings on Monday, San Jose should have been more than motivated to come out skating. They did that, but once again ran into a goaltender that was ready for them.

"We never want to lose two games in a row," said Dan Boyle. "It was one of those nights when you're in their end a lot and getting some chances, but we weren't putting the puck in. We showed some character I guess. The power play finally came through with a goal. That's what we needed."

Torrey Mitchell had a breakaway midway through the 1st period, but Blues netminder Chris Mason shut the door by squeezing the 5-hole closed to deny the Sharks speedster.

Mason denied all 12 shots he faced in the opening period, including several scoring chances that were of the quality variety. San Jose put a series of pucks on net during an early interference penalty to Patrick Berglund.

St Louis had a pair of power plays during the period, but the Sharks penalty killing unit did a good job of keeping the puck away from neminder Evgeni Nabokov.

David Perron was sent off for high sticking early in the 2nd period. San Jose lost a chance to skate with a two-man advantage when officials missed a blatant trip in the St Louis zone. They would also lose defenseman Dan Boyle for half the period on the same play when a Blues player cleared the puck off of Boyle’s mouth.

Douglas Murray would take his second minor penalty of the game 4 minutes later. The Blues would capitalize on the ensuing power play, when Andy McDonald put a puck past Rob Blake. The Sharks defenseman was parked in the net, because Nabokov had played a shot and came out of the net, outside the right post. McDonald interfered with Nabokov, pinning him to the ice, before taking a David Backed deflection and sending it to the back of the San Jose net.

Nabokov didn't mince words after the game about the play.

I need to take one more look, but from what I thought he (McDonald) pushed me," said Nabokov. "I don't know if anyone pushed him or not, but to me he threw his elbow and I felt pushed. Nothing more we can do. I was upset and everything, but I need to take one more look."

A tripping penalty to Joe Thornton almost cost the Sharks late in the period, when a Blues shot rang off the right post.

Down a goal with a period to play, the Sharks looked lethargic through the first 10 minutes of the period. McDonald was sent off for holding Dany Heatley at 11:35 of the 3rd period and the Sharks would finally solve Mason. Boyle setup a Patrick Marleau howitzer shot from the right side with a pass from the left point.

“We are getting more pucks to the net," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. " In between the second or third we felt it would take 10 to 15 more just to get one. Don’t give up any shot opportunities. Make sure the goal is working. I would like to see our shooting percentage go up a little bit higher. Hopefully it will take care of itself.”

St Louis almost retook the lead a minute later when McDonald intercepted a pass at the Sharks blueline and raced in on Nabokov. The Sharks netminder turned aside the scoring chance to preserve the 1-1 tie.

Skating 4-on-4 the Sharks put a shot on goal that skipped over Mason, but Barrett Jackman gloved the puck right on the goal line. San Jose should have been awarded a penalty shot for Jackman’s action, but referee Paul Devorski missed the call.

Heatley ended it with a breakaway goal after McDonald sent a shot in that was deflected in front of the Sharks net. The Sharks sniper chipped the puck up ice with two Blues defenders in hot pursuit. Heatley gathered the puck between the circles, then snapped a shot that slipped past Mason stick side.

"I got a little step on the guy, but I knew there wasn't much room," said Heatley. "I played with (Mason) last year in the World Championships, so he knows what I like to do, but it was more of a split second shot."

Game Notes:

Jody Shelley dropped the gloves for the first time since returning from the injured list. The Sharks enforcer fought Cam Janssen after leveling the Blues winger with a hit in front of the St Louis bench in the 2nd period. Heatley’s tally was his 7th game winning goal of the season.


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Scoring
1 2 3 OT T
STL 0 1 0 0 1
SJ 0 0 1 1 2
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, STL, McDonald 14 (Backes, Steen), 6:45, (pp).
3rd period - 2, SJ, Marleau 28 (Boyle, Clowe), 12:51.
Overtime - 3, SJ, Heatley 25 (unassisted), 4:06.
Penalties
1st period - Berglund, STL (interference), 5:19; Boyle, SJ (interference), 8:01; Murray, SJ (slashing), 14:10.
2nd period - Perron, STL (high sticking), 2:03; Murray, SJ (high sticking), 6:32; Johnson, STL (hooking), 9:15; Janssen, STL (fighting major), 13:39; Shelley, SJ (fighting major), 13:39; Thornton, SJ (tripping), 15:09; Pavelski, SJ (tripping), 17:47.
3rd period - McDonald, STL (holding), 11:35; Pollak, STL (interference), 14:50; Heatley, SJ (interference), 14:50.
Overtime - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
STL - Mason 44 42
SJ - Nabokov 29 28
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
STL 7 11 10 1 29
SJ 12 17 12 3 44
Power Play Conversion
STL 1 of 5
SJ 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Evgeni Nabokov
Chris Mason
Dany Heatley
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Devorski, O'Rourke. Linesmen: Barton, Rody.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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