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San Jose Sharks survive wild third period for 3-2 win over New York Rangers

NHL.com @NHL

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Evgeni Nabokov made 17 of his 32 saves in the frantic third period, and the San Jose Sharks recovered from rare back-to-back defeats with a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

Dan Boyle, Ryane Clowe and captain Patrick Marleau scored for the Sharks, who were back home after a 1-1-1 road trip that ended with the overall NHL leaders' worst loss of the season, a 6-0 thrashing in Detroit on Thursday.

The Atlantic Division-leading Rangers dominated the third period and repeatedly came agonizingly close to the tying goal, but Nabokov coolly kept the Sharks unbeaten in regulation in 19 games at the Tank (17-0-2) this season.

Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves for the Rangers, who won in the first two stops of their California road trip. New York hadn't lost in its last six meetings with the Sharks, and the Rangers outplayed San Jose for most of this trip to the Tank, but got nothing to show for it.

Joe Thornton had two assists as the Sharks came back strong from just their second consecutive losses of the season, scoring two power-play goals in the first 4:52 and adding Marleau's goal early in the second.

But the surging Rangers thoroughly controlled the third period, outshooting the NHL's shots leaders 17-7 while playing nearly the entire period in San Jose's end. Nabokov, who gave up all six goals to the Red Wings, and his weary defence made just enough plays to keep the Sharks safe.

Nikolai Zherdev scored a short-handed goal for New York, which had won three straight overall. Ryan Callahan also scored his third goal in two career games against San Jose.

Playing without injured forward Milan Michalek for the second straight game, the Sharks got rolling when Boyle capitalized on the waning seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage, wiring a shot to the far corner of Lundqvist's net. Clowe scored another power-play goal 25 seconds later with some nifty stick work in front of the net.

But Clowe then gave up a goal when he failed to hold on to the puck near the boards, allowing Zherdev to escape on a 2-on-1 for his 12th score of the season.

Marleau padded the Sharks' lead with an alert score from the slot on a pass from Thornton in the second period after linemate Devin Setoguchi forced a turnover. Callahan kept New York close by chipping home his ninth goal a few minutes later.

The Rangers controlled play starting early in the third period, repeatedly cycling the puck in San Jose's end for incredibly lengthy stretches.

Notes: Before the game, San Jose reassigned LW Lukas Kaspar to its top affiliate in Worcester (AHL). ... Sharks C Tomas Plihal went to the locker room with a lower-body injury early in the second period, but returned to action shortly afterward. ... Rangers LW Markus Naslund is scoreless in three straight games, one shy of matching his longest stretch this season.

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