Wild
Sharks
3 - 4 Final - 2OT
  for this game

Roenick outshines Gaborik as Sharks clinch playoff berth

Mar 20, 2008 - 7:31 AM
SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- After starting the scoring, Jeremy Roenick also ended it, sealing a playoff spot for the San Jose Sharks in the process.

Roenick scored a milestone goal in the first period and netted the decisive tally in the shootout as the Sharks secured a berth in the postseason Wednesday with a 4-3 triumph over the Minnesota Wild.

Curtis Brown returned after a 26-game absence to record a goal and an assist and Joe Pavelski also scored for San Jose (44-21-9), which extended its streak of registering at least one point to 14 games (13-0-1) and remained five behind Detroit (48-20-6) in the race for the Presidents' Trophy.

"If we can (catch the Red Wings), we will, but we're not going to kill ourselves to do it," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "They've got a pretty soft schedule. They're playing only teams that are out of the playoffs right now, so seeing them lose three games and we have to win all our games, that's pretty tough to do. We're just focusing on winning our division. That's our primary goal. ... We're not going to be too greedy."

"We're in a big race right now, but fatigue is a factor and we have to make sure we guard against any emotional letdowns," Roenick added.

All-Star Marian Gaborik tallied twice and Stephane Veilleux added a goal for the Wild (39-26-9), who earned a point to increase their lead in the Northwest Division to three over idle Vancouver (37-26-10), Calgary (37-26-10) and Colorado (39-29-6).

"When you look at the game overall, I don't think it was one of the best games," said Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire, whose club has lost three straight road games and has gone 15 consecutive contests without scoring more than three goals. "It was fine to get a point there. It was kind of a funny game."

After Pavelski and Minnesota defenseman Brent Burns converted in the first round of the shootout, neither team was able to cash in on their next attempt. But Roenick unleashed a wrist shot that skipped off the glove of goaltender Niklas Backstrom and into the net in the third round, giving San Jose the edge.

Representing the Wild's last chance, Mikko Koivu raced in and attempted to squeeze the puck past Evgeni Nabokov. But the All-Star netminder kept his left pad against the goalpost, keeping the puck out of the net and pushing the Sharks into the playoffs.

"Too bad shootouts lately don't work out for us," said Gaborik, whose team has lost its last four games that have gone to the bonus format. "But the point is big to get out of here."

San Jose also completed a sweep of the four-game season series with Minnesota with the victory.

"We battled hard," Roenick said. "We knew they were going to come out flying. We weren't as good as we have been the last couple of weeks, but we find ways to get points. It's easy to let your guard down here with a couple of games left. Everybody is gearing up for the playoffs."

After Nabokov denied Gaborik on a partial breakaway early in the first period, the Sharks opened the scoring late in the session on a brilliant passing play.

On a 3-on-1 rush, Brown - who returned from a hand injury - carried down the middle and completed several passes with Patrick Marleau before the team captain sent the puck across the top of the crease to Roenick, who tapped it past a sprawled Backstrom with 2:06 remaining for a 1-0 lead.

Marleau began the odd-man rush by stealing the puck from Minnesota defenseman Martin Skoula, who inadvertently stepped on Marleau's stick and fell.

The goal was the 507th of Roenick's career, tying him with Hall of Famer Jean Beliveau for 36th place on the all-time list.

"That's pretty awesome," Roenick said. "When you start talking about names like that, that's when a little reality sets in with accomplishments. He's a Hall of Famer, one of the greatest of all time, and to be on the same level with him in terms of goal-scoring ability, it's a true treat.

"I've played with a lot of great people who've allowed me to get there. Now it's time to catch some other guys."

Nabokov gave the Wild a gift early in the second when he tried to clear the puck while behind his own net. But rookie James Sheppard intercepted the pass and the puck wound up in the right circle. Defenseman Kurtis Foster sent a pass to Veilleux, who beat Nabokov from the slot just 49 seconds into the period to forge a 1-1 tie.

The Sharks then started another rush as enforcer Jody Shelley made a long pass from his own zone to Roenick, who dished to Brown. Skating down the slot, Brown cut into the right circle and shoveled a backhander past Backstrom at 3:28 to put San Jose in front.

"Shelley got it up on the side wall and I just came underneath him for good support," Brown said. "He just ripped a path right over to JR. JR made a neat little move around one of their guys, and I just shot up the middle. He ripped the pass right on my tape and I basically just had kind of a half step to get a shot away. I got it on my backhand, made a good shot and was able to beat the goaltender.

"Having been off for quite a while, your hope is that you can come back in and help at some point. I think that's the time of they year that we're dealing with here. It doesn't really matter who gets the credit, but the points are huge. Heading into the playoffs, you want everybody at the top of their game."

The game was delayed for a considerable amount of time with 14:42 remaining in the second after Sharks rookie Torrey Mitchell tripped Foster as the defenseman was attempting to make a touch for icing. Foster slammed into the end boards awkwardly and was writhing in pain.

"I was just trying to get to the puck first and saw him at the last second," Mitchell said. "We collided, and obviously it was unintentional. I would never want to hurt anyone, and I just hope he's OK."

Several players stood around Foster while team trainers and paramedics took him off the ice on a stretcher. He suffered a displaced fracture of his left femur and was taken to a local hospital, where he will undergo surgery.

"I thought he was playing great, playing his best hockey," Lemaire said. "It's a big loss."

San Jose All-Star center Joe Thornton was called for cross-checking at 5:28 of the third period, and the penalty proved costly. Just 21 seconds into the power play, Gaborik received a pass from Burns and one-timed the puck over Nabokov's left shoulder from the right faceoff circle for his 37th goal of the season and a 2-2 tie.

San Jose moved ahead with 2:02 left in the third. Skoula turned over the puck behind his own net and Milan Michalek pushed it to Pavelski, who spun around at the bottom of the left circle and unleashed a shot that deflected off defenseman Kim Johnsson and past Backstrom for a 3-2 edge.

But another penalty allowed the Wild to knot the contest in the final minute of the period.

With blue-liner Christian Ehrhoff in the box for hooking and Backstrom pulled for an extra attacker, Brian Rolston fed Gaborik for a one-timer from above the left circle that sailed past a screened Nabokov with 29 seconds remaining.

"I don't know how many times (San Jose) scored late against us this year to get a lead, but we got a power play there at the end, with six guys on the ice and huge points," Gaborik said.

The tally capped the eighth multi-goal performance of the season for Gaborik.

"The first one, I just tried to go high and it worked out," Gaborik said. "The second one, the same thing. (Rolston) dished it pretty nice and I think someone else was screening (Nabokov) and it went in, so it was a big point."

Nabokov finished with 21 saves for the Sharks, who have won seven straight meetings with the Wild.

Backstrom turned aside 30 shots but fell to 0-3-2 lifetime against San Jose.








  • NHL
    FINAL IN SHOOTOUT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 1 2 0 (1) 3
    SAN JOSE 1 1 1 0 (2) 4 FINAL IN SHOOTOUT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - JEREMY ROENICK 12 (PATRICK MARLEAU, CURTIS BROWN)
    17:54
    2ND PRD: MIN - STEPHANE VEILLEUX 11 (KURTIS FOSTER, BRANKO
    RADIVOJEVIC) 0:49
    SAN - CURTIS BROWN 2 (JEREMY R

    Wild 3, Sharks 4  Final - 2OTMar 20 1:24 AM


  • NHL
    END OF OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 1 2 0 3
    SAN JOSE 1 1 1 0 3 END OF OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - JEREMY ROENICK 12 (PATRICK MARLEAU, CURTIS BROWN)
    17:54
    2ND PRD: MIN - STEPHANE VEILLEUX 11 (KURTIS FOSTER, BRANKO
    RADIVOJEVIC) 0:49
    SAN - CURTIS BROWN 2 (JEREMY ROENICK,

    Mar 20 1:21 AM
  • 144
    roots
    Pizznerkins Added 5 roots

    Wild 3, Sharks 3  OT - 1:37Mar 20 1:16 AM
  • 139
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 67 roots (Overtime)

    Wild 3, Sharks 3  OT - 4:39Mar 20 1:11 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 1 2 3
    SAN JOSE 1 1 1 3 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - JEREMY ROENICK 12 (PATRICK MARLEAU, CURTIS BROWN)
    17:54
    2ND PRD: MIN - STEPHANE VEILLEUX 11 (KURTIS FOSTER, BRANKO
    RADIVOJEVIC) 0:49
    SAN - CURTIS BROWN 2 (JEREMY ROENICK, JODY SHELLEY) 3:28
    3RD

    Mar 20 1:09 AM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 3
    SAN JOSE 3
    3RD PRD: MIN - (PP) MARIAN GABORIK 38 (BRIAN ROLSTON, MIKKO KOIVU)
    19:31 (WITH EXTRA ATTACKER)

    Wild 3, Sharks 3  3rd - 0:29Mar 20 1:08 AM
  • 72
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 57 roots (Close Finish)

    Wild 3, Sharks 3  3rd - 0:29Mar 20 1:08 AM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 2
    SAN JOSE 3
    3RD PRD: SAN - JOE PAVELSKI 17 (MILAN MICHALEK) 17:58

    Wild 2, Sharks 3  3rd - 2:02Mar 20 1:02 AM
  • 15
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 57 roots (Close Finish)

    Wild 2, Sharks 3  3rd - 2:02Mar 20 1:02 AM
  • 72
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Wild 2, Sharks 2  3rd - 3:40Mar 20 12:58 AM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 2
    SAN JOSE 2
    3RD PRD: MIN - (PP) MARIAN GABORIK 37 (BRENT BURNS, BRIAN ROLSTON)
    5:49

    Wild 2, Sharks 2  3rd - 14:11Mar 20 12:40 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 1 1
    SAN JOSE 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - JEREMY ROENICK 12 (PATRICK MARLEAU, CURTIS BROWN)
    17:54
    2ND PRD: MIN - STEPHANE VEILLEUX 11 (KURTIS FOSTER, BRANKO
    RADIVOJEVIC) 0:49
    SAN - CURTIS BROWN 2 (JEREMY ROENICK, JODY SHELLEY) 3:28
    SHOTS

    Mar 20 12:12 AM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    SAN JOSE 2
    2ND PRD: SAN - CURTIS BROWN 2 (JEREMY ROENICK, JODY SHELLEY) 3:28

    Wild 1, Sharks 2  2nd - 16:32Mar 19 11:35 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    SAN JOSE 1
    2ND PRD: MIN - STEPHANE VEILLEUX 11 (KURTIS FOSTER, BRANKO
    RADIVOJEVIC) 0:49

    Wild 1, Sharks 1  2nd - 19:11Mar 19 11:33 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 0
    SAN JOSE 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - JEREMY ROENICK 12 (PATRICK MARLEAU, CURTIS BROWN)
    17:54
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN 7 7
    SAN 7 7
    GOALIES: MIN - NIKLAS BAC

    Mar 19 11:12 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 0
    SAN JOSE 1
    1ST PRD: SAN - JEREMY ROENICK 12 (PATRICK MARLEAU, CURTIS BROWN) 17:54

    Wild 0, Sharks 1  1st - 2:06Mar 19 11:10 PM