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Nabokov Sets Mark With 25th Straight Start

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
Tonight marked the 25th consecutive start for San Jose Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, with the stretch dating back to March 24, 2007 at Carolina and it sets a new franchise record. This record was previously held by Chris Terreri with 24 consecutive starts back in the 1995-96 season. Nabokov topped the night off by earning the victory and doing it with a shutout. He is the only NHL netminder to start every one of his team’s games.


“The schedule was set up to play him a lot,” said Wilson. “I feel confident playing him. He is fresh out there. The couple of games he was not sharp, it wasn’t because he was fatigued.”

Click here for pictures (PICS ) and video (HIGHLIGHTS , THORNTON , SETOGUCHI , NABOKOV , RON WILSON ) from Monday night's game. Click here for an audio recap of Monday night's game (RECAP ).

Nabokov was unaware of the mark.

“To be honest, I had no idea,” said Nabokov. “The two points are what are important. When I’m 50, it will be nice to remember.”

“Nabby made the big saves all night,” said Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson.

Nabokov said especially on this night, the rest of his teammates deserved a lot of credit.

“I can’t say enough about our team effort,” said Nabokov. “There were no two-on-ones and I don’t think any three-on-twos. The defense was strong in the corners and when it was still 1-0, we played patiently.”

The Sharks were clicking on every count, but definitely in the top category in their eyes.

“We never want to be worked,” said Nabokov.

BIG HIT

In the first period, Phoenix’s big defenseman Ed Jovanovski was flattened on a terrific hit by Steve Bernier.

“Bernier’s big hit got us all going,” said Nabokov.

Then, with less than five minutes remaining in the contest, after losing out on a battle in the corners, Nick Boynton grabbed Bernier from behind and started swinging, receiving an instigator penalty. NHL rule 47.22 mandates that the offending player be automatically suspended for the next game and the coach fined $10,000.

San Jose plays next Wednesday in Dallas, but Phoenix’s next game is Thursday against the Sharks, meaning Boynton will actually be punished against the team that he committed the offense against.

“When you hit them, they think about it,” said Bernier. “Right now I’m not scoring, so I’m trying to do something for the team. That hit (on Jovanovski) was a (clean) hit. They were thinking of hitting me.”

Boynton seemed to have Bernier marked prior to instigating the scrap, in which Bernier could hardly defend himself as he was attacked from behind.

“He slashed me a couple of times and took me by surprise when he grabbed me from behind,” said Bernier. “I’m lucky there are no marks on my face.”

HIGHLIGHT GOALS
Devin Setoguchi scored twice on the night, but his second tally was one to watch again. On the play, with Thornton checking from behind and Setoguchi from the front, the rookie picked the puck and turned to fire on net. He was lunging forward and both feet had actually left the ice upon roofing the goal.

“He cradled the puck and threw it up strong,” said Thornton. “It was a tough shot he made look very easy.”

STRONG SHIFT

Five goals were scored by San Jose, but it was a shift that didn’t score that brought pure emotion from the crowd. On the play, the Sharks completely dominated the offensive zone for around a full minute, firing off several shots.

“Patty worked hard on that shift,” said Thornton. “He was strong tonight. We had a lot of chances and you could feel the energy in the building. It was a good turning point in the game.”

The shift epitomized the Sharks efforts in sweeping the Coyotes in back-to-back games.

“It was good to do this back-to-back, especially at home,” said Thornton. “When this team has confidence, the sky is the limit.”

“We’re a great club when we have it together every night,” said Setoguchi. “If we get this every night, this will be a tough house to play in.”

RETURN OF FAVOR
Torrey Mitchell scored his first NHL goal thanks to an assist from Mike Grier, so Mitchell was happy to set up Grier for a shorthander that proved to be the game-winner.

“We were talking about trying to get if going if we got an opportunity on the penalty kill,” said Mitchell. “It’s pretty easy to play with a smart guy like that. He gives me advice and keeps it simple. I haven’t played with him too much, but I feel like I know where he’ll be.”

Mitchell now has a three-game point streak going.

His fellow rookie Setoguchi’s two goals now give him five goals in seven NHL games.

MICHALEK MISSING
Early in the first period, Milan Michalek was knocked from the contest when a hit from behind caused an elbow strain. His return for Wednesday is still up for debate.

“I don’t know the extent (of his injury),” said Wilson.

30 GAMES IN 30 NIGHTS
Floridian Steve Williamson is currently on a 30 games in 30 nights trip to every NHL city. His HP Pavilion trip marked game and day 18.

“When the NHL schedule came out, I wondered if it was possible to do 30 days in 30 nights,” said Williamson.

The Sharks have already been a big part of the trip.

“It started in Detroit against San Jose,” said Williamson.

However, the thought process began years ago in San Jose.

“The idea started when I was working in Japan in 2001,” said Williamson. “I’m a Tampa Bay fan and they started out west. I flew to San Jose and then went down to Los Angeles.”

Williamson has enjoyed his Silicon Valley visits.

“This is a great place to watch a game,” said Williamson.

PENALTY SHOT
Sharks forward Joe Pavelski was awarded a penalty shot at 8:22 in the first period, the first of his career. It was unsuccessful against Phoenix goaltender Mikael Tellqvist.

STREAKING

Joe Thornton’s second goal of the night at 16:33 in the third period continued a five game point streak (3-2=5) and was his team-leading eighth goal of the season.

PHOENIX, HEAD COACH, WAYNE GRETZKY:
“First of all the talent level is a little higher on their side. Thornton and Marleau were pretty good tonight. Nabokov was pretty strong. From an individual point of view, when we don’t play the best as a team, it’s hard. When the game got physical their big players rose to the occasion and that was the difference in the hockey game.”

“I thought after two periods we were down 2-0 and I thought at that point in the game we didn’t deserve to be down two goals. Both of the goals they scored were good goals. We made a mistake on the first goal, we pinched when we shouldn’t have pinched and they scored a shorthanded goal. We got caught out there a little too long against Thornton and its 2-0.”

THIRD STAR – JEREMY ROENICK, F, SAN JOSE SHARKS
For recording his 500th NHL goal, and points in all of the three Sharks games, Jeremy Roenick as named the NHL’s third star of the week. He now has 10 points in 16 games.

NEXT GAME

The Sharks will play Dallas at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday with the game on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.


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