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Streak reaches 7 games
Sharks hang on to beat Oilers in shootout
1/31/13 - By Mike Lee -

Sometimes it's better to be opportunistic than good. A week after drubbing the Edmonton Oilers, the Sharks picked their chances and stole a shootout victory from the young upstarts at HP Pavilion on Thursday night. Michal Handzus and Dan Boyle scored in the shootout to help San Jose stay perfect, extending their win streak to seven games. Antti Niemi turned aside 26 shots, plus another pair in the one-on-one duels in the shootout to win his sixth game of the season.

Oilers goaltender Devin Dubnyk deserved better after his 36 save night, which was a far cry from the six goals he gave up to San Jose 8 days ago. Dubnyk faced 24 shots over the 2nd and 3rd periods, then another 7 in the overtime after Sam Gagner took a hooking penalty with 1:15 remaining in the extra session.

Edmonton showed no signs of having played an overtime game less than 24 hours earlier in Phoenix. They jumped on the Sharks in the opening period, undoubtedly motivated by the lopsided loss to San Jose in the second game of the season. The Oilers outshot San Jose 11-7, but they controlled much of the tempo early.

San Jose played advantageous hockey for 39 seconds in the 2nd period and grabbed a 2-0 lead as a result. Logan Couture picked Ryan Whitney's pocket in the neutral zone, then snapped home a 30 foot shot that beat Dubnyk to the low stick side.

Lightning struck twice moments after the next faceoff, when Joe Pavelski made a similar theft of Ladislav Smid at the Edmonton blueline, then skated around Jeff Petry before wristing an 18-foot shot past Dubnyk.

Mark Fistric pumped a shot on goal at 10:56 of the middle period that hit Gagner before redirecting past Niemi to cut the Sharks lead in half. Fistric did all the work to create the scoring chance, skating in the the slot and waiting for traffic to develop in front of Niemi before uncorking his shot.

Ryan Smyth looked poised to score with 8 minutes to play in the period when the Sharks got caught on a line change. Smyth found himself with the puck on a breakaway that Niemi snuffed out.

The Oilers youngsters put on a passing clinic early in the 3rd period to draw the game even at 2-2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins hit Jordan Eberle with a pass near the circle that drew Niemi and Boyle over to cover the right post. Rather than shoot, Eberle immediately sent a pass back across the grain to Taylor Hall on the off post for the easy tap in. The sequence was a piece of art on ice, and just like that, the game was tied.

The sellout crowd thought Ryane Clowe had helped the Sharks regain the lead 4 minutes later after taking a pass at the blueline and beating Dubnyk with a shot from the slot, but referee Dennis LaRue ruled that Clowe had interfered with Fistric before the puck arrived on Clowe's stick.

San Jose had their chances in the overtime, including late after Gagner was sent off for the hook. Patrick Marleau had a chance from the front of the net with 50 seconds left, but Dubnyk's solid play kept the game tied.

In the shootout, Handzus led things off for the second straight game and once again delivered with a move to the forehand that ended with a top shelf goal. Gagner sent his shot wide of the net, before Pavelski put a puck into Dubnyk's pads. Nugent-Hopkins put another shot wide of the net on the Oilers second chance, then Boyle ended things with a wrist shot found twine.


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1 2 3 OT SO T
EDM 0 1 1 0 0 2
SJ 0 2 0 0 1 3
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, SJ, Couture 5 (unassisted), 7:32. 2, SJ, Pavelski 4 (unassisted), 8:11. 3, EDM, Gagner 3 (Fistric, Yakupov), 10:55.
3rd period - 4, EDM, Hall 2 (Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins), 0:51.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - SJ: Handzus (goal), Pavelski (miss), Boyle (goal). EDM: Gagner (miss), Nugent-Hopkins (miss), Eberle ().
1st period - Bench, SJ (too many men), 3:03; Yakupov, EDM (cross checking), 17:19.
2nd period - Petry, EDM, (holding), 12:54; Gomez, SJ (high sticking), 16:04.
3rd period - Clowe, SJ (interference), 4:24; Bench, EDM (too many men), 6:00; Petry, EDM (cross checking), 11:37.
Overtime - Gagner, EDM (hooking), 3:45.
Shots Saves
EDM - Dubnyk 38 36
SJ - Niemi 28 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
EDM 11 9 6 2 28
SJ 7 11 13 0 38
Power Play Conversion
EDM 0 of 3
SJ 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Antti Niemi
Devin Dubnyk
Michael Handzus
Referees: Devorski, LaRue. Linesmen: Cameron, Murray.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees


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