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Sharks cap wild shootout win
Irwin scores a pair of goals to extend Sharks winning streak
10/14/14 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks kicked off a five-game road trip on Tuesday night with a wild and crazy game in Washington D.C. that had more ups and downs than Bill Clinton's pants. Like a campaign cycle, the Sharks jumped out to a big lead, saw their challenger tighten up the race, before finally winning in a shootout. The host Capitals stormed back from an early 3-0 deficit to force overtime after a spirited 3rd period, only to fall 6-5 in the skills competition.

San Jose built on their early season success by continuing to put pucks past opposing goaltenders while keeping their own end of the ice clean. Antti Niemi and Alex Stalock traded shutouts in the Sharks first two games of the season, and looked to extend their shutout streak beyond the six periods that have propelled the team to the top of the Pacific Division standings.

Sharks head coach Todd McLellan decided to move rookie defenseman Mirco Mueller to the press box and give Matt Irwin his first start of the season. That move turned out to be both fruitful and debilitating. Irwin scored the first two goals of the game, hit first coming on his first shift of the season.

Irwin potted his first goal by ripping a shot from the blueline after Joe Thornton pulled a face off win back to his defenseman. A Michael Latta elbowing penalty a minute later setup Irwin's second goal. Matt Nieto threw a puck on net that bounced around Tommy Wingels feet before Irwin pinched from the left point and lifted a backhand shot into a wide open net after Braden Holtby slid out of his net to fend off Wingels.

Scoring machine John Scott scored his 3rd career goal in 237 career NHL games after a puck deflected off Adam Burish's skate right to the lumbering forward. Scott cruised into the Capitals zone before lifting a shot past Holtby. Scott then returned to his primary role by punching a Capitals player who took a shot at Burish after the play ended.

That would end Holtby's night, who surrendered his crease to Justin Peters.

Marcus Johansson finally ended the Sharks shutout streak at 142 minutes and 51 seconds by putting a power play goal past Niemiearly in the 2nd period.

Joe Pavelski pushed San Jose's lead back to three goals with his 1st tally of the season at 5:27 of the period. Pavelski skated on a 2-on-1 break with Tomas Hertl, putting on the breaks in the slot for a shot that hit Peters, then bounced off Eric Fehr's leg and into the Capitals goal. Pavelski led San Jose with 41 goals last season.

Washington responded a minute later with a pair of quick goals. Mike Green lifted a wrist shot from the high slot that evaded a partially screened Niemi. Alex Ovechkin took the same line and snapped a shot from 5-feet closer to then net than Green's shot, but enjoyed the same success. The tally was Ovechkin's 3rd of the season.

Tommy Wingels added his 3rd goal of the season 1:37 into the 3rd period to give the Sharks some important breathing room. Wingels took a lead pass from Chris Tierney at the Capitals blueline then raced in on net, putting a shot on Peters from the doorstep. Peters made the stop of the first shot, but Wingels stuffed home the rebound for a 5-1 lead.

Wingels' goal proved to be extremely important because the Capitals stormed back to tie the game with a pair of 3rd period goals. Ovechkin snapped a shot from the left dot on a Capitals power play, after Brent Burns was sent off for tripping Brooks Laich behind the Sharks net.

Troy Brouwer tied the game with 4:35 left in regulation after Irwin tripped at his own blueline, allowing the Capitals forward to march in on Niemi and snap home the equalizer.

A Niklas Backstrom high sticking penalty gave the Sharks 74 seconds of man advantage in regulation, but San Jose failed to convert. The power play carried over briefly into overtime, but San Jose's special teams unit sputtered late.

Pavelski was the only skater to score in the shootout to give the Sharks the win. Washington just missed on a Evgeny Kuznetsov chance that rang off the left pipe after he deeked Niemi with a move to his left.

Game Notes

* Scott Hannan played in his 1000th NHL game.

* Logan Couture played in his 300th NHL game.


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1 2 3 OT SO T
SJ 3 1 1 0 1 6
WAS 0 3 2 0 0 5
1st period - 1, SJ, Irwin 1 (Thornton), 1:23. 2, Irwin, SJ, 2 (Wingels, Nieto), 4:36, (pp). 3, SJ, Scott 1 (Burish, Burns), 9:34.
2nd period - 4, WAS, Johansson 1 (Ovechkin, Carlson), 2:51, (pp). 5, SJ, Pavelski 1 (Thornton, Braun), 5:27. 6, WAS, Green 2 (O'Brien, Kuznetsov), 6:35. 7, WAS, Ovechkin 3 (Backstrom, Fehr), 7:09.
3rd period - 8, SJ, Wingels 3 (Tierney, McGinn), 1:37. 9, WAS, Ovechkin 4 (Backstrom, Carlson), 14:09, (pp). 10, WAS, Brouwer 1 (Green, Burakovsky), 15:25.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - WAS: Backstrom (miss), Kuznetsov (miss), Fehr (miss). SJ: Marleau (miss), Pavelski (goal).
1st period - Latta, WAS (elbowing), 2:38; Burns, SJ (high sticking), 14:03.
2nd period - Hertl, SJ (interference), 2:42; Backstrom, WAS (hooking), 7:32; Thornton, SJ (hooking), 14:24.
3rd period - Burns, SJ (tripping), 13:46; Backstrom, WAS (high sticking), 18:46.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 34 29
WAS - Holtby 7 4
WAS - Peters 16 14
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 8 7 8 0 23
WAS 8 15 10 1 34
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 3
WAS 2 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Alex Ovechkin
Mike Green
Matt Irwin
Referees: Charron, Joanette. Linesmen: Brisebois, Sericolo.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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