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Davison and Greiss Shine in Shootout Victory, 4-3

by Alex Aragon / San Jose Sharks


VANCOUVER, British Columbia Defenseman Rob Davison capped off a thrilling come from behind victory for the San Jose Sharks (4-0-2) on Wednesday night, beating Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo in the fifth round of the shootout at GM Place in Vancouver for the 4-3 (SO) victory.

Click here for pictures from Wednesday night’s game (PICS ).

Davison was the only member of either team to score in the shootout. Sharks goaltender Thomas Greiss, in addition to his 20 saves in regulation and overtime, turned aside all five Vancouver shooters he faced.

“Ronny (Head Coach Ron Wilson) told me about five seconds before that I was shooting,” said Davison. “So I didn’t have time to get nervous or think too much about it, which was good.”

Admittedly, Davison was surprised that he was selected to shoot as early as he was. But that didn’t stop the rugged defender from watching the earlier shooters and scouting what Luongo’s tendencies were in the shootout.

“I was talking to Rizz (Patrick Rissmiller), because I thought he was going to be the next to shoot,” said Davison. “I told him I thought he should move in on the forehand, deke and hold onto the puck then try and slip it past him which is what I ended up doing.

“Because I’m a defenseman, (Luongo) might have expected me to shoot. I noticed a lot of guys were shooting so I thought I might have a chance if I deked.”

Sharks prospect Devin Setoguchi beats Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo for one of his two goals on the night. September 26, 2007.
The game was extended with 53.5 seconds left in regulation when Ryane Clowe scored San Jose’s third power play goal on the night to tie the game at 3-3 and send it into overtime.

Greiss, who went save-for-save with Luongo, said afterward that shootout was a focal point in practice earlier in the week.

“We worked on it a lot in practice with the coaches,” said Greiss. “I was just trying to focus on what I was doing and what I was facing and didn’t worry about what was going on at the other end. What a relief it was (seeing Davison score). It was a big win.”

The Sharks got the best of the Canucks in the opening frame, playing solid defense in their own zone and chipping in a goal on the offensive side of the puck.

After failing to convert on a five-on-three power play at the midpoint of the first, San Jose earned another power play when Vancouver's Brad Isbister was whistled for goaltender interference late in the period. Sharks defenseman Kyle McLaren took exception to Isbister's infraction and the two dropped the gloves in front of the Sharks cage.

On the ensuing Sharks power play, prospect Devin Setoguchi continued his stellar play, netting his fourth goal of the preseason from Joe Pavelski and Lukas Kaspar at 15:38 of the first.

Back-to-back goals by Vancouver's Taylor Pyatt and Kevin Bieksa gave the Canucks their first lead of the game, 2-1, nine minutes into the second stanza. But a red-hot Setoguchi tied the game on a highlight reel goal, his fifth of the exhibition season and second of the night. Setoguchi cradled a pass from McLaren and with full control of the puck, spun around and buried it at 16:56 of the second period.

Alexander Elder gave the Canucks a 3-2 lead, but Clowe's heroics late in the third sent the game to overtime.

RIVALRY CONTNUES TO HEAT UP
Clowe and Vancouver forward Jeff Cowan got reacquainted on Wednesday night as the bad blood from last Saturday’s meeting spilled over. The two exchanged some choice words, but managed to keep the gloves on the whole night.

In the game on Saturday night, the two got together and earned fighting majors and game misconducts after Clowe mixed it up with Cowan and Vancouver prospect Nathan McIver after McIver’s questionable hits on Captain Patrick Marleau. Both Marleau and McIver were not in the lineup on Wednesday.

Dating back to their final regular season meeting in 2006-07, the Canucks and the Sharks have combined for 217 penalty minutes in their last three meetings. The two teams will meet twice more, both times in Vancouver, in San Jose's first six regular season games.

NEXT GAME
The Sharks close out their exhibition season on Saturday night at HP Pavilion at San Jose, playing host to the Calgary Flames. Game time is set for 7:30 PM (Pacific) and the game will be broadcast on KFOX 98.5 FM, Sharks Radio Network Affiliates and SJSHARKS.com. Tickets are still available at ticketmaster.com.
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