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Sharks Take 3-2 Series Lead

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks

SAN JOSE, Calif. --
Jonathan Cheechoo scored back-to-back goals in the third period to propel the Sharks to a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night at HP Pavilion. San Jose now leads the Western Conference Quarterfinals, 3-2, as the series heads back to Calgary for Game 6 on Sunday.

Both Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau extended their point streaks to five-straight games by scoring goals in the second period. The Sharks Captain and Pavelski each have six points during the playoffs from two goals and four assists apiece.

Ryane Clowe scored his team-leading eighth point of the playoffs with an assist on Cheechoo's first goal.

To start the game, Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson sent the same lineup out that won Game 4 of the series, including dressing seven blueliners and 11 forwards.

Evgeni Nabokov and Miikka Kiprusoff were manning the pipes for each club.

San Jose killed off a Calgary power play in the game’s opening minute after Christian Ehrhoff was sent to the box. The Flames had a second power play awarded early in the stanza, but an attacking Joe Pavelski forced Adrian Aucoin to hook him and it gave Team Teal a brief 30 second advantage. The power plays came up empty for both clubs and the game was scoreless 12 minutes in.

When Calgary had the game’s first odd-man break, it was Nabokov who rose to the occasion. The initial shot found its way behind Nabokov, but as it moved toward the goal line, San Jose’s Vezina candidate reached behind him and pulled it to safety.

The intensity that could be expected from a Game 5 was definitely there as every loose puck was fought for, but it did not result in a goal and the first period ended scoreless.

There was some minor pushing and shoving at the intermission, but no penalties were called.

Calgary finally got on the board four minutes into the first with some friendly calls from the referees. In a very physical game, Calgary was handed more than a minute of five-on-three time. As they were up two men, Jarome Iginla fired one from inside the faceoff circle and it found its way through traffic to open the scoring.

The Sharks were able to fend off the remainder of the second power play to keep things close.

Halfway through the game, San Jose and been given just one power play while the Flames had been given four.

It may not have been the length of Calgary’s extended five-on-three, but San Jose did get 24 seconds of five-on-three time with 8:45 left in the second. The Flames held San Jose off for the first 24 seconds, but just as Wayne Primeau stepped on the ice, Team Teal struck gold.

When Ehrhoff slid one on net from along the goal line, the puck laid loose in front. Joe Pavelski was the man on the right spot and quickly jammed the puck home, tying the game at one.

San Jose Sharks right wing Jonathan Cheechoo (14) is congratulated by center Patrick Marleau (12) after Cheechoo scored against the Calgary Flames in the third period in Game 5 of an NHL hockey Western Conference playoff series, Thursday, April 17, 2008, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
The Sharks weren’t content to go into the third tied and with 1:53 left in the second, jumped out in front. San Jose entered the zone with Thornton dangling the puck. He then found the Sharks Captain and Marleau released the puck a split second into having possession. The wicked wrister was on an express ticket to the far corner, giving Kiprusoff absolutely no shot of making the stop.

Team Teal was 20 minutes from taking a 3-2 series lead, but they would face a desperate Flames team in the third.

San Jose obviously didn’t want to cling to a one-goal lead the entire third and came up with a little cushion early.

The first goal came courtesy of Jonathan Cheechoo. This time Pavelski served as a set-up man and gave Cheechoo a rebound in the slot and Cheechoo gave San Jose their first two-goal lead of the game.

Cheechoo was not done. When he and Marleau carried the play on a two-on-one, the Captain’s pass let Cheechoo have half a net to shoot at and he made it two in a row for a 4-1 lead.

A tough-luck holding the stick call on Craig Rivet put Calgary on the power play with just over 11 minutes to play in regulation and the Flames wasted no time in cutting the Sharks lead to two. Ten seconds after Rivet was sent off, Flames forward Daymond Langkow made it 4-2.

Alex Tanguay made a tape-to-tape feed to Langkow who was camped out in front of Nabokov and the crafty forward one-timed the puck past Nabokov.

David moss added a late tally with 1:17 left in regulation with Kiprusoff pulled for an extra attacker, but it did not affect the outcome as San Jose prevailed 4-3.

Game 6 will be in Calgary at 5 p.m. PST and will be carried on CSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and

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