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Nabokov Blanks Edmonton, 3-0

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
Edmonton, AL - The San Jose Sharks returned to action Tuesday night in Edmonton where they braved sub-zero temperatures to take on the Oilers at Rexall Place. The Sharks opened up their season with a 3-2 shootout loss in Edmonton back on October 4 and were looking to stake revenge on their Western Conference rival.
San Jose Sharks' Evgeni Nabokov makes a glove save on the Edmonton Oilers during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Edmonton, Alberta, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Ulan)

After a phenomenal performance in the second period of the NHL All-Star Game, Evgeni Nabokov returned to the net in his sixth-consecutive start for San Jose. On Sunday, the 32-year-old held the Eastern Conference scoreless during his tenure in goal; a feat that hadn't been accomplished by a goaltender since 2002 when the World All-Stars' Nikolai Khabibulin stopped all 20 shots in the third period of an 8-5 win over the North America All-Stars.

Across the ice from Nabokov was Edmonton netminder Mathieu Garon.

The Sharks came out firing, taking the first six shots of the game and outshooting Edmonton 10-5 in the first period. San Jose earned three power-play opportunities and Edmonton had two of their own, but Nabokov and Garon turned everything away.

Patrick Rissmiller had a golden opportunity shorthanded in the first when he beat his defender around the left side at 10:07. However, when he brought the puck towards the net, he was hooked by Dick Tarnstrom and couldn’t get his shot away.

On the resulting power-play Edmonton had a shorthanded chance of their own when they broke out on a two-on-one just one minute later. As Garon had done on the previous occasion, Nabokov was able to block the shot and maintain the scoreless tie.

Edmonton would draw a hooking penalty at 19:52 of the first and although the Sharks pushed hard in the final seconds to get a shot on goal, the stanza ended with the teams tied 0-0.

The first period had more action off the ice. During a break in the play, it was announced that the Sharks had completed a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets to acquire Jody Shelley in exchange for a sixth-round selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Click here for more information on the Jody Shelley acquisition.

San Jose Sharks' Joe Pavelski celebrates his goal against the Edmonton Oilers during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Edmonton, Alberta, on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Ulan)

After nearly half a game of scoreless play, Joe Pavelski got the Sharks on the board at 11:42 of the second period with his eleventh goal of the season.

Persistence led to the Sharks first goal of the game as Garon faced back-to-back shots by Devin Setoguchi and Craig Rivet before coughing up a rebound to Pavelski infront of the crease. With Garon on the side of the goal, Pavelski received the rebound and knocked the puck into the open net to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead.

Mike Grier, a former Oiler, added another goal for San Jose when the Sharks forechecked in the final minute of the period to generate an Edmonton turnover on their blueline. The puck ended up on the right side with Rissmiller, who fed Grier in the slot. Grier one-timed a slap shot over the shoulder of Garon to score his sixth goal of the season at 19:14.

After dominating the period with two even-strength goals and 21 shots, the Sharks entered the locker room with a 2-0 lead.

Nabokov battled to maintain his shutout early in the third period. When the Oilers earned a power play at 2:40 of the third, Nabokov made the save of the game by gloving a Dustin Penner deflection from the front of the crease. While being screened, the Sharks netminder was able to follow the original shot from the point and then catch the redirect as it went up towards his shoulder.

The power play would expire and the Sharks maintained their two-goal cushion.

With 1:45 seconds remaining in the game, the Oilers pulled Garon for the extra skater. The Sharks were able to break up the Oilers attack with 30 seconds remaining and Grier skated the puck out into the neutral zone. Grier unselfishly passed to Rissmiller across the ice and the left winger fired the shot into the open net to give the Sharks the 3-0 victory.

INJURED RESERVE
Sharks Defenseman Alexei Semenov was placed on the Injured Reserve on Tuesday with a viral infection.

LINES
Michalek – Thornton – Cheechoo
Plihal – Marleau – Bernier
Rissmiller – Mitchell – Grier
Setoguchi – Roenick – Pavelski

Ehrhoff – Murray
Carle – Rivet
Ozolinsh - Vlasic

Nabokov – Greiss

NEXT GAME
The Sharks will return to action tomorrow night when they travel to Calgary to take on the Flames at 6:30 PM (Pacific). The game will be broadcast on FSN Plus, 98.5 KFOX FM, Sharks Radio Affiliates, and SJSHARKS.com.


From the AP Wire

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -
Evgeni Nabokov earned his sixth shutout with only 13 saves and the San Jose Sharks won their third game in a row, defeating the Edmonton Oilers 3-0 on Tuesday night.

Joe Pavelski, Mike Grier and Patrick Rissmiller scored for San Jose, which had lost four straight before putting together their recent run and remain in first place in the Pacific Division.

San Jose broke a scoreless deadlock with 8:12 remaining in the second period as a hard point shot bounced off Edmonton defender Steve Staios to Devin Setoguchi. Oilers goalie Mathieu Garon was able to make the stop on Setoguchi's shot, but the rebound gave Pavelski a wide open net to score his 11th.

The Sharks made it 2-0 with just 46 second to go in the second as Grier took a feed from Rissmiller and blasted a bullet over Garon's shoulder. The Sharks outshot Edmonton 21-4 in the second period.

Rissmiller added a late empty netter to seal the victory for San Jose.

Notes: Oilers D Sheldon Souray is expected to be out at least the next week with an injured shoulder and likely faces surgery in the offseason .... The Sharks are 17-4-3 on the road. ... Former Oilers F Grier has just six goals for the Sharks this season, but four have been game winners.

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