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Schafer Shuts Down Ducks, Sharks Win 1-0 In OT

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks
It took another overtime stanza for the Sharks to pull out their fifth consecutive victory with a 1-0 win against division rival Anaheim.  Nolan Schaefer played brilliant, recording his first career shutout, while Marcel Goc deflected in the game winner.
 
In a match-up between two goalies that were both on four-game win streaks, rookie Schaefer manned the net for the Sharks while veteran Jean-Sebastian Giguere opposed him.
 
The action started quick, when only 30 seconds into the game, Jonathan Cheechoo put two shots on goal, both turned away by Giguere. Ryane Clowe was sent to the box three minutes into the contest for delay of game and the Sharks were forced to play with a man down.
 
The best chance during the two minute penalty went to the Sharks when Patrick Marleau and Kyle McLaren led a two-on-one charge, but McLaren’s shot hit off Giguere’s leg pad.
 
Rob Davison nearly put the Sharks on the board when a puck was turned over in the neutral zone, and the defenseman fired a slapshot on goal, but couldn’t get it past the Anaheim netminder.
 
The Sharks earned 27 seconds of five-on-three play late in the first, and in the first five seconds of the two-man advantage, Brad Stuart rifled a shot that rang off the goal post. Both power plays expired without the Sharks being able to capitalize.
 
The Sharks killed off a Mark Smith penalty as the clock wound down in the first and both teams skated to the locker room scoreless despite the Sharks out shooting the Ducks 15-5.
 
San Jose opened up the period on the offensive, as a blocked pass in the neutral zone led to a great two-on-one scoring chance led by Marco Sturm and Alyn McCauley, but McCauley’s wrister was snatched by Giguere’s quick glove.
 
The Sharks weren’t giving much chances when crashing the net through the first half of the game, as Giguere was extremely stingy, swallowing all rebounds.
 
The action was back and forth throughout the remainder of the second period, but both goaltenders wouldn’t budge, as both teams remained scoreless after two.
 
The Ducks almost got on the board two minutes into the third when Ryan Getzlaf fed Petr Sykora right in front of the net, but Schaefer made a remarkable sliding pad save to his left to turn away the chance.
 
Schaefer and Giguere remained on top of their game, each carrying a shutout 14 minutes into the third period, as both netminders turned away numerous shots.
 
With one minute remaining in the contest, Ruslan Salei was sent to the penalty box for elbowing Cheechoo, sending San Jose on the power play in an attempt to make some more late game magic. But if the Sharks were to do any damage with the man advantage, it would have to be in the overtime period as neither teams could squeak one in the closing minute.
 
In overtime, it took under a minute for the Sharks to do it again. McLaren fired a slapshot on goal that deflected off Marcel Goc, finally getting by Giguere and giving the Sharks their fifth consecutive victory. San Jose crawled within one point of the division leading Los Angeles Kings.
 
GAME NOTES
- Anaheim forward Todd Fedoruk left the game midway through the third with a back injury.
- Tonight marks the first shutout of the season for the Sharks as well as the first in Schaefer’s career.  For the record, he is the Barons franchise leader with five career shutouts in the AHL.
- Stuart has an assist on each of the last two overtime game-winning goals.
- Tonight’s win was the fifth in a row where the Sharks recorded a goal after the 59th minute of the game to win.
- This was the first time this season that the Sharks won after being tied heading into the third period (1-2-1).
- San Jose out-shot Anaheim 32-21
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