Sharks
Wild
3 - 2 Final
  for this game

Cheechoo lifts Sharks past Wild

Jan 1, 2008 - 3:14 AM
By Brian Hall PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) - The San Jose Sharks countered the Minnesota Wild's best punch and unleashed the knockout blow.

Ten seconds after Minnesota tied the game, Jonathan Cheechoo scored the eventual game-winning goal to lift the Sharks to a 3-2 victory over the Wild on Monday.

After Mark Parrish leveled the game with 4:38 remaining, San Jose won the subsequent faceoff and Douglas Murray wristed a pass into the offensive zone. Minnesota defenseman Martin Skoula was unable to cleanly play the puck and Cheechoo made him pay by beating goaltender Niklas Backstrom for his fifth goal of the season.

"You don't draw those plays up," Cheechoo said. "It was just something where it was a dump in and the guy tried to jump for it and it bounced off his glove and the other 'D' was caught going the other way and basically gave me a breakaway."

"We were all disappointed," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said. "To me, in a game like this, you have to look at the positive. They're a good team, a top team in the NHL. We came back from a 2-0 deficit. It was good. The guys never let down."

Evgeni Nabokov made 19 saves to net his league-leading 22nd victory for San Jose, which won for the 10th consecutive time on the road.

Steve Bernier and Kyle McLaren each scored goals and Joe Thornton added two assists for the Sharks, who stretched their league-best road record to 16-3-2. They are only 6-9-3 at home this season.

"I really don't know what it is," Thornton said. "We feel comfortable on the road. I can't put one finger on it. We've tried to play the same on the road as we do at home, and we just get wins on the road."

Meanwhile, San Jose has allowed just 89 goals in its 39 games played this season. Detroit, which lost 2-0 to St. Louis on Monday, has allowed 88 goals in 40 games.

"On this trip, our goaltending and our defense has been strong," McLaren said. "We are trying to keep people in front of us as best we can, prevent odd-man rushes all over the ice, whether it's a 2-on-1 or 3-on-2. A few breakdowns there at the end of the third kind of cost us, but Cheech bailed us out on the back end."

Bernier put San Jose up 1-0 at 17:38 of the first period on a questionable goal.

Milan Michalek controlled the puck behind the Minnesota net and tried to jam it past Backstrom from the left side. The netminder made the initial stop, and Thornton then made another poke that was stopped before Bernier came crashing into the crease, knocking down Backstrom and pushing the puck and the goaltender into the net.

Minnesota questioned the goal, but no review was done by the officials. It was Bernier's 10th of the season.

"It went in the net," San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. "The referee was right back there. It was free the whole time and we eventually got it in. It's part of when we play Minnesota, we do want to throw pucks just into the goal crease and try to use our size to our advantage."

McLaren scored his first of the season after he deposited a rebound over Backstrom's glove with 99 seconds remaining in the second period to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead.

The Wild's goal came from equally an unlikely source three minutes into the third period.

The checking line of Dominic Moore, Stephane Veilleux and Branko Radivojevic were responsible for the lone tally when Moore scored his first of the season.

Veilleux took a shot from the right faceoff circle that bounced off a defender's leg, and Moore was there to get the loose puck and put it high past Nabokov.

"They play a really tight game," Lemaire said. "You have to battle for every inch that you want to get. Scoring chances, they don't come easy. If you don't work, you don't get any. Tonight, on both sides, there was not a lot of scoring, or good opportunities to score."

Backstrom made 22 saves in net for Minnesota.

"We were working hard, playing well, and getting a few opportunities," Parrish said. "If we kept it up and kept going, hopefully we could get a couple more and capitalize on them, and that's what happened. And we tied it up.

"We kind of let our guard down for just a second, and that's all they needed."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 1 1 1 3
    MINNESOTA 0 0 2 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - STEVE BERNIER 10 (JOE THORNTON, MILAN MICHALEK) 17:38
    2ND PRD: SAN - KYLE MCLAREN 1 (MILAN MICHALEK, JOE THORNTON) 18:21
    3RD PRD: MIN - DOMINIC MOORE 1 (STEPHANE VEILLEUX, KIM JOHNSSON) 3:37
    MIN - MARK PARRISH 9

    Dec 31 9:17 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 3
    MINNESOTA 2
    3RD PRD: SAN - JONATHAN CHEECHOO 5 (DOUG MURRAY, TORREY MITCHELL)
    15:32

    Sharks vs. WildDec 31 9:13 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 63 roots (Close Finish)

    Sharks vs. WildDec 31 9:13 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 2
    MINNESOTA 2
    3RD PRD: MIN - MARK PARRISH 9 (MARIAN GABORIK, ERIC BELANGER) 15:22

    Sharks vs. WildDec 31 9:12 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Sharks vs. WildDec 31 9:12 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 2
    MINNESOTA 1
    3RD PRD: MIN - DOMINIC MOORE 1 (STEPHANE VEILLEUX, KIM JOHNSSON) 3:37

    Sharks vs. WildDec 31 8:50 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 1 1 2
    MINNESOTA 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - STEVE BERNIER 10 (JOE THORNTON, MILAN MICHALEK) 17:38
    2ND PRD: SAN - KYLE MCLAREN 1 (MILAN MICHALEK, JOE THORNTON) 18:21
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN 9 1

    Dec 31 8:25 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 2
    MINNESOTA 0
    2ND PRD: SAN - KYLE MCLAREN 1 (STEVE BERNIER, JOE THORNTON) 18:21

    Sharks vs. WildDec 31 8:23 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 1 1
    MINNESOTA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - STEVE BERNIER 10 (JOE THORNTON, MILAN MICHALEK) 17:38
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN 8 8
    MIN 7 7
    GOALIES: SAN - EVGENI NABOKO

    Dec 31 7:41 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 1
    MINNESOTA 0
    1ST PRD: SAN - STEVE BERNIER 10 (JOE THORNTON, MILAN MICHALEK) 17:38

    Sharks vs. WildDec 31 7:36 PM
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    Sharks vs. WildDec 21 8:03 PM