SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Evgeni Nabokov and Vesa Toskala teamed up in goal to
beat the Los Angeles Kings.
Nabokov made 25 shots in relief of the injured Toskala to help the Sharks
beat the Kings 3-1 on Saturday.
``I was a little worried when I took over,'' said Nabokov, who entered the
game battling a virus. ``But I started to feel more and more confident as the
game went on.''
The win increased the Sharks' lead over Dallas to five points in the Pacific
Division. The Stars lost 3-0 to Detroit on Saturday.
Nabokov started the second period after Toskala left the game with a lower
body injury. Toskala faced eight shots in the first period, which ended with
San Jose up 2-1.
``I took this shot and then I felt something,'' Toskala said.
``Some football teams use two quarterbacks,'' San Jose coach Ron Wilson
said. ``I was concerned when we put Nabokov in because he's been struggling so
much. But maybe the day off helped him.''
Over his last five games, Nabokov had been gone 2-3 and allowed 20 goals.
``He made some unbelievable saves out there,'' Wilson said. ``Those last
three minutes were the best defense this team has play all season.''
With nearly three minutes left in the game, the Kings pulled goalie
Christobal Huet for a sixth-attacker.
But shot after shot failed against Nabokov and the Sharks.
``We failed in finish our opportunities,'' Kings coach Andy Murray said.
``We had ample opportunities to put pucks behind Nabokov in the last two
periods but couldn't do get that done.''
San Jose took the lead for good midway through the opening period when Nils
Ekman scored his 18th goal of the season off a cross-crease pass from Kyle
``We seem to be finding the puck much faster today,'' Ekman said. ``I was
trying to thread through the defense when they pulled back too soon and as I
came in late I was open.''
Alyn McCauley put the Sharks up 3-1 in the second when he tipped in a pass
from Ekman for his 18th of the season.
The Sharks took an early lead on a power-play goal from Niko Dimitrakos a
little more than five minutes into the game. Dimitrakos used a screen from
Patrick Marleau to get a shot from the top of the blue line through the legs of
Huet for his eighth goal of the season.
The Kings tied the game four minutes later when Joe Corvo scored his eighth
Huet had 24 saves.