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Nabokov stops 28 shots in 20th victory as Sharks silence Stars 3-1

NHL.com @NHL

DALLAS - Evgeni Nabokov stopped 28 shots to win his 20th game of the season, Ryane Clowe had a goal and an assist and the San Jose Sharks beat the Dallas Stars 3-1 Monday night.

Nabokov (20-3-3) became the second NHL goalie to post 20 wins, joining Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff. He fell just short of his third shutout of the season. Matt Niskanen's goal with 5:03 left brought the Stars to 2-1.

The Stars went on the power play when Dan Boyle was called for a penalty with 3:52 left, but couldn't get a shot on net with the man advantage.

Jonathan Cheechoo scored at 15:10 of the first and Milan Michalek added a tally early in the third.

Clowe added an empty net goal to give the Sharks a 3-1 lead with 1:02 left.

Marty Turco stopped 16 shots for the Stars, who are 4-1-1 in their last six games. The Stars' goalie also stopped Patrick Marleau's penalty shot with 3:43 left.

NHL-leading San Jose has won six of its last seven at Dallas in the regular season. The Sharks, who have dropped only four games in regulation this season, were coming off a shootout loss to St. Louis, the Western Conference's last-place team, on Saturday.

Cheechoo's sixth goal of the season gave San Jose a 1-0 lead at 15:10 of the first. Cheechoo deflected Boyle's hard shot past Turco.

The Sharks extended their lead when Michalek, who slipped while taking a pass in the slot, scored from his knees at 3:55 of the third.

The Stars had a scoring opportunity when they had a two-man advantage for 56 seconds early in the second after penalties on Brad Lukowich and Marc-Edouard Vlasic - the last coming at 6:40.

But Nabokov and the Sharks fended off the Stars in that 5-on-3 chance. Nabokov made a kick save on Mike Modano's shot from the right circle seconds into the power play to preserve the shutout.

Dallas, who had scored 24 goals in its past five games, was 0-for-6 on the power play.

Notes: Claude Lemieux signed a contract with the Sharks on Monday after spending the past month with their top minor league affiliate. The four-time Stanley Cup winner's new contract is a two-way deal, allowing him to play in Worcester, San Jose's top minor league affiliate. ... Sharks RW Devin Setoguchi missed the game to be with his family following the death of his grandmother. Setoguchi, the team's third-leading scorer, is expected to rejoin the team in time for San Jose's game Wednesday against Minnesota. ... Dallas LW Fabian Brunnstrom was scratched because of a lower body injury.

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