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Sharks Edge Hawks, 3-2, In Shootout

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks

Roenick Scores Shootout Determining Goal Against Former Team

SAN JOSE, Calif. --
Chicago came to HP Pavilion for the second time in as many weeks and the netminding matchup was a battle of Russian Olympians with Evgeni Nabokov and Nikolai Khabibulin.

Jody Shelley started his first game in a Sharks jersey and a scrum ensued 17 seconds into the game. Shelley was the reason for the battle, but it was Douglas Murray who hammered away at Adam Burish. Burish took exception to Shelley’s clean play and went looking for a statement, but Murray was the player who delivered the message.

Burish took an extra two minutes for roughing, but the early lead could not be obtained.



Team Teal’s penalty killers were put to the test in the opening period, facing three Chicago power plays. The shorthanded units’ talents were evident as they allowed just two shots combined on the three Chicago man-advantages and the game remained scoreless.

On just their fourth shot of the period, Chicago scored a goal Nabokov could do nothing about. A point shot by Cameron Barker hit the crease area just as Patrick Sharp was skating through and he redirected it in mid-air and the puck rang inside the post.

The goal gave Chicago the 1-0 first intermission lead.

San Jose would tie the game early in the second when Chicago presented the Sharks with more than a minute and a half of five-on-three time. Twice it appeared the Blackhawks would clear the puck, only to have the hard working Jonathan Cheechoo keep things in the offensive zone. Cheechoo would be rewarded on the same shift when Joe Thornton found him on the far post and the Moose Factory product roofed it for the tying tally.

Halfway through the contest, San Jose was outshooting Chicago 22-7, but the game remained tied 1-1.

After killing off a Chicago power play, Matt Carle hit Thornton skating through the neutral zone and “Big Joe” skated in alone on Khabibulin. However, the Hawks goaltender stuck his right pad out in the nick of time and the game remained tied. When San Jose couldn’t convert on a late second period power play, the stanza ended all even.

Three minutes and 30 seconds into the third, the Sharks took third first lead of the game. Cheechoo was parked in front of Khabibulin when Thornton got the puck to Marc-Edouard Vlasic. The young defenseman let loose a shot and found the back of the net for the first time this season.

The lead did not last even a minute when Duncan Keith took a pass at the blueline and fired on net. The puck sailed by three bodies shielding Nabokov and the game was once again tied.

With five minutes left in regulation, the Sharks shot domination continued at a 33-17 clip, but the go-ahead goal remained elusive.

Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov stops a shootout attempt by Chicago Blackhawks center Robert Lang on Feb. 2, 2008. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Overtime was eminent as neither team could score in the final minutes of play. The Sharks and Blackhawks each sent out four skaters for the next five minutes, but neither team could find the back of the net and the game was sent to shootouts.

Shooting first for San Jose was rookie Tomas Plihal. The center took a wrist shot on Khabibulin, but it went wide of the net. Chicago responded with a goal from their first shooter Patrick Kane. The Sharks were in a 1-0 hole.

Next up for the Sharks was Cheechoo, but his snap shot was blocked and Chicago was in a position to win if their next shooter, Martin Havlat could convert on Nabokov. The right winger went to the backhand on Nabokov, but the 32-year-old goaltender made an acrobatic kick save to keep the Sharks in the game.

Then the pressure shifted to Joe Pavelski, San Jose’s third shooter, who needed to score in order to continue the shootout. Pavelski found the back of the net with a wrist shot and the Sharks were back in it.

Sharp, who had scored Chicago’s first goal of the game, skated out to potentially win the game for Chicago. However, Nabokov followed his wrist shot and turned it away to preserve the tie.
Steve Bernier stepped up to take the fourth shot for San Jose, but was denied by Khabibulin.

Then, with the game on his shoulders again, Nabokov stopped Robert Lang and the shootout continued.

Finally, Jeremy Roenick came out for San Jose in the fifth round of shooters. He beat Khabibulin with a wrist shot to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead and Nabokov responded by shutting down Barker’s attempt. The crowd erupted as Nabokov sealed the Sharks 3-2 victory over the visiting Blackhawks.

MURRAY OUT
Murray left the game with a hip pointer and was deemed doubtful for the remainder of the contest.

LINES
Michalek-Thornton-Cheechoo
Plihal-Marleau-Bernier
Rissmiller-Mitchell-Grier
Shelley-Pavelski-Roenick

Ozolinsh-Rivet
Murray-Ehrhoff
Carle-Vlasic

Nabokov-Greiss

NEXT GAME
The Sharks will continue their six-game home stand when they play hosts to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday, February 6 at 7:30 PM (Pacific). The game will be broadcast on FSN Bay Area in High Definition, 98.5 KFOX FM, Sharks Radio Network Affiliates and SJSHARKS.com.
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