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Nabokov Hits 40 Wins Again

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
San Jose’s 4-2 win against Northwest Division leading Vancouver gave the club a three-game winning streak and has made fans almost forget about the recent road trip. However, all that good news was not the most pressing matter after the game.


Joe Thornton, San Jose’s all-time ironman, went awkwardly into the boards and had to be taken to the training room in the second period. He was listed as questionable, but did not return. Nothing is affirmative, but there was a good early sign postgame as Thornton was already sending signals to Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan that he wanted to play Sunday against Colorado. The training staff will have their say in the matter and more won’t be officially known until Sunday afternoon. The Sharks aren’t having a morning skate with the 5 p.m. start.

“We’ll be able to give a lot more (information) tomorrow,” said McLellan. “Jumbo wants to play all the time.”

Still, it was a nervous moment for the players as well as the fans when they saw Joe on the ice for a bit.

“You don’t like to see that,” said Marleau. “He is a big part of this team and you hope he’s o.k.”

“He’s a great player and you’re not used to seeing that,” said Ryane Clowe, who was there to ensure nothing cheap happened to his linemate. “(I) don’t think it was a dirty hit, but you kind of react. It was fortunate Joe got up.”

There was another scary looking injury in the third as Manny Malhotra had a puck deflect into his face and he skated off with blood on the ice. McLellan confirmed it was not a major injury.

“Manny is fine,” said McLellan. “It was a lot worse than it looked.”

TOP NETMINDER
Had it not been for the injuries, the main story would have been, and should have been, that the victory gave Evgeni Nabokov his 40th victory of the season and he joined Martin Brodeur as one of only two NHL netminders to record three straight 40 win seasons.

“I think it speaks volumes about his ability,” said McLellan. “You can talk about his durability or the team in front of him, but it speaks volumes to his talent.”

“That’s tough to reach 40 wins,” said Clowe. “He’s a big part of our team and it shows how he’s continually strong.”

On Saturday night Nabokov again displayed his talents as the Canucks were ready to make a statement against a fellow division leader.

“Nabby’s been making the key saves at the key time in the three games we’ve one,” said Marleau.

“I like how Nabby responded tonight,” said Clowe. “I’m sure he’d like to (get the first one back), but he made some pretty good saves in the third period that kept us in it.”

SHORTIE
With the game tied at one, and Vancouver on the power play, Marleau single handedly took control of the situation as he stripped the Canucks point man of the puck and took off to the races.

“He kind of had his back to me and I got my stick on the puck,” said Marleau, who then skated down the ice before depositing a backhander on Luongo.

QUICK TURNAROUND
The Sharks will face Colorado Sunday in a 5 p.m. game, just 22 hours from the start of their previous contest.

“They are a good young team and they find a way to get points,” said Ryane Clowe.

TEE IT UP
Joe Pavelski’s game winner came when he was carrying the puck with Manny Malhotra on a two-on-one situation. Pavelski let the shot rip, only to have Luongo stop the high puck. The save was made, but the puck seemed to sit in mid-air and Pavelski batted it in like it was on a tee.

DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE
The Sharks had just two 40+ goal scorers in their 19 year history prior to this season and those campaigns belonged to Owen Nolan and Jonathan Cheechoo. Dany Heatley posted his 39th Saturday night, and since Marleau has already reached the number, if Heatley finds the back of the net just one more time in the next eight games, it will mark the first time San Jose has had two 40 goal scorers in the same year.

SHARKS HEAD COACH TODD McLELLAN
“It was a good second period for us. We got a lot of pucks to the net and that was something that we didn’t do in the first and third (periods).”

“It was a good sign to see (Nabby) and the team crawl out of that one goal deficit together and not as individuals.”

“Colorado is in the same boat as us tomorrow. They, obviously need to get to town and we need to get some fuel in our tanks. ”

VANCOUVER HEAD COACH ALAIN VIGNEAULT
“Unfortunately, we were shorthanded. Ryan had a great scoring opportunity, then they came back on a three-on-two, and a shooter made a great shot. And, then, we got a little bit unlucky there on the other two goals. I don’t think [Edler] knew that Marleau was so close. And, then, on the third goal, Ehrhoff broke his stick, and, unfortunately, none of our forwards realized his stick was broken. So, he decided to come to the bench, and they caught us there on that change. But, except for that eight minute span, I thought we played a really solid game in a really tough environment.”

“We had a number of scoring chances and were pretty solid defensively. They only had three shots in the first period for 16 minutes, and we had a real strong push in the third. We didn’t tie it, but played overall a pretty good game.”

LINES
Clowe-Thornton-Mitchell
Marleau-Pavelski-Malhotra
Heatley-Couture-Heatley
Staubitz-Nichol-Ortmeyer

Murray-Boyle
Pavelski-Boyle
Huskins-Wallin

Nabokov-Greiss

NEXT GAME
The Sharks will host Colorado Sunday at 5 p.m. and tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The game will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.







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