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Power Play Clutch During Winning Streak

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks

During their four-game winning streak, the Sharks just keep finding new ways to win. 

 

"It is thrilling and nerve-wracking, but it gives fans a reason to stay in their seats" said Alyn McCauley. 

 

This time it was a shorthanded goal in overtime.  The key component for each contest was that hard work created each opportunity.  Tonight it was a strong play by Alyn McCauley and he was rewarded with his first goal of the season.

 

Josh Langfeld, who earlier in the night had posted his first assist as a Sharks player, gets the call of the night.

 

"It's funny," said McCauley about the game-winner.  "Before overtime began, Josh (Langfeld) said I was going to get the game-winner.  Then the penalty happened and he said I was going to have to get it shorthanded."

 

McCauley was glad to help his team win, but everyone was glad he got the monkey off his back.

 

"I was happy we won, but happier that McCauley scored," said Wilson.

 

With Nashville on a four-on-three advantage, McCauley fought a one-on-one battle with David Legwand for a loose puck.  As Legwand fell to the ice, McCauley came up with possession and saw Brad Stuart creeping up ice.

 

"At the time, I thought it was better if he kept it, but he made such a good pass, even I couldn't miss it," joked McCauley.

 

There may have been a higher calling working for McCauley's goal though - it may have been his shoes.

 

Prior to the Los Angeles contest, a mock pair of clown-sized shoes was given to Wayne Primeau.  He wore them and scored that night.  The shoes were then passed to McCauley.  It took an extra game, but he suddenly found the back of the net.

 

"The reason I got them was I needed a goal," said McCauley.

 

McCauley now has the pressure of deciding who to pass the shoes to.

 

WISE DECISION

Although down a man, Stuart had his reasons for moving up on the game-winning goal, despite the Sharks being down a man.

 

"I saw their guy down and Alyn digging for it," said Stuart. "I figured even if their guy got it, he probably wouldn't be able to make a play from the ice."

 

While carrying the puck, Stuart faked the shot and then tucked the puck backhand to McCauley who banged it home.

 

"It was a great play by Stuey," said Wilson.

 

"I was just about to shoot when I saw the defender go down," said Stuart.  "Then I put it on my backhand.  If he stayed on his feet, I was going to shoot it."

 

HARD WORKING MAN

He scored his second regular season goal to tie the game in the first, but it was his overall play that had Wilson raving about Marcel Goc.

 

"He was probably our best player tonight, and he was given a lot of ice time" said Wilson.  "They (Goc's line) spent most of the night in Nashville's end.  They played quite simple and didn't try to do something silly.  That line did a good job."

 

"I think we played all right," said Goc.  "We kept things simple and Clowe and Langfeld were great in the corners."

 

It was a shot by Langfeld that Goc tipped past Mason.

 

"I just wanted to put in on net," said Langfeld.  "It was kind of a broken play and I was in the right spot at the right time."

 

POWER PLAY SUCCESS

When the power play was struggling early in the season, Wilson was adamant that if his team kept working hard, they would be rewarded.  The Sharks bench boss was more concerned with effort and timely goals than power play percentages.  And timely goals have been key as of late.

 

It was a power play goal with 40 seconds left sent the game to overtime in Dallas.  In Los Angeles, a power play goal won the contest with four seconds remaining.  Against Calgary, the power play provided San Jose's first goal of the game with less than five minute remaining.  Then with Nashville in town, a power play goal in the third sent the game to overtime.

 

San Jose was zero for five on the man advantage Wednesday night until Patrick Marleau one-timed the puck past Mason.

 

"We finally got things set up," said Marleau.  "It wasn't just one shot and them clearing the puck.  We stayed in there a while."

 

Stationed near the net, Marco Sturm forced the defense to collapse around him and centered Marleau in the slot.

 

"It was a prefect feed," said Marleau. 

 

San Jose finished with 36 shots to Nashville's 23, but Mason was at the top of his game.

 

"The way things were going, we knew if we kept going to the net, one would go in," said Marleau.

 

"We had a number of chances, but the puck wasn't going in," said Wilson.  "Mason played extremely well.  You can never underestimate the opposing goalie."

 

SHORTHANDED

Just prior to the game, Wilson had to scratch Wayne Primeau due to back spasms.  As a result, the Sharks dressed seven defensemen and when Mark Smith was given a 10-minute misconduct penalty, they found themselves with just 10 skaters for a bit.

 

"Tonight we were shorthanded," said Wilson.  "We found out right before that Primeau couldn't play and then Smitty was out.  Our plan was to crank it up tonight, but we had a shorter bench than them."

 

4 FOR 4

As if it needs to be mentioned, Nolan Schaefer is now a perfect four for four in his NHL career.

 

WEEKEND GAMES

The Sharks will travel to Anaheim for a 7:30 p.m. tilt with Anaheim.  The game will not be televised, but can be heard on 98.5 KFOX, sjsharks.com and in many places on Comcast digital channel 975.

 

Then Saturday night, the Sharks return to HP Pavilion where they are undefeated on the season.  San Jose hosts Minnesota at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are still available at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and www.ticketmaster.com.  The game will be televised on FSN Bay Area (in High Definition) and can be heard on 98.5 KFOX, sjsharks.com and in many places on Comcast digital channel 975.

 

HP FAN PHOTOS

Fans looking to check out the HP Fan Photographer photos can go to http://sharks.nhl.com/team/app?service=page&page=NHLPage&bcid=int_HPPhotos.

 

 

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