Sharks
Stars
3 - 1 Final
  for this game

Nabokov lifts Sharks past Stars

Dec 30, 2008 - 5:46 AM
By John Tranchina PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DALLAS (Ticker) -- This time, Evgeni Nabokov was the story.

Nabokov was spectacular in goal, making 28 saves, to lead the San Jose Sharks to a hard-fought 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Monday night.

Seven months after Dallas goaltender Marty Turco outdueled Nabokov in a classic four-overtime epic to eliminate the Sharks in the Western Conference semifinals, Nabokov outshined Turco to propel the Sharks to their third win in their last four games.

"The guys played well," said Nabokov, typically deflecting praise. "The penalty kill was big. We were blocking shots. It's always a team effort, especially on the road. We were able to survive."

"That's one of the best games I've seen him play all year, especially in the third period," said defenseman Dan Boyle, who had an assist.

Jonathan Cheechoo and Milan Michalek managed to beat Turco for goals, while Ryane Clowe added a late empty netter and an assist for the NHL's overall point leaders.

"The effort was significantly better than what it was in St. Louis," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said, referring to the Sharks' 3-2 shootout loss Saturday.

"It was a playoff-type atmosphere. (Nabokov) was magnificent. We had three penalty kills in the third period where he had to make some tremendous saves. He was the first star in my opinion."

Defenseman Matt Niskanen pulled the Stars to within 2-1 with 5:03 left in the third period, but Dallas, which outshot San Jose, 29-19, could not net the equalizer against Nabokov.

"I thought we did some good things tonight," Niskanen said. "They're a good team, but we did a lot of positives tonight. They're the best team in the league, but the way we checked tonight, we were right there with them. This one hurts."

"We controlled play and had some good opportunities, and that is positive," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "We did some good things, scoring chances were heavily in our favor, but you have to do what you have to do to win. They got opportunistic goals and we didn't. Nabokov was excellent and made some great saves."

Turco turned aside 16 shots in the loss.

"It was one of those games that we have to realize we played well," Turco said. "We're not going to win every game, even when you do things well. We stayed in it the whole game and that was a great sign for our team. It's just really unfortunate we couldn't collect any points."

Even though San Jose entered the contest with one of the league's best 35-game starts and Dallas began the night 13th in the West, the Stars were the hotter team. Dallas had gone 4-0-1 in its previous five while the Sharks had dropped three of their last five - although they played past regulation in two of them.

Dallas had the early territorial advantage, outshooting the Sharks, 8-3, over the first 15 minutes of the opening period, but the Stars had little to show for it when the Sharks opened the scoring with 4:50 left.

Cheechoo notched his sixth goal of the season, deflecting Boyle's blast over Turco's shoulder and just under the crossbar.

The Stars failed to convert on a 55-second, 5-on-3 power play in the second period, and then fell behind by two 3:55 into the third on Michalek's eighth goal of the season.

On a play sure to make all the highlight shows, Michalek unleashed a scorching wrist shot from the slot while down on one knee, beating Turco over the shoulder.

The Stars halved the deficit on Niskanen's third goal of the season with three seconds remaining in regulation, on a play that was initially disallowed by the referee.

Niskanen floated a high wrist shot from the right sideboards that initially appeared to glance in off Eriksson's glove before it went in over the screened Nabokov's shoulder. The referee waived it off immediately, but following a video review that showed it actually deflected off 6-foot-6 defenseman Alexei Semenov, it was deemed a good goal.

"Sometimes that happens where the goalie plays so well and then an oddball goal like that happens," McLellan said. "There's not another guy on the ice who could touch that puck. It happens that he's 6-foot-6 to knock it in."

"It happens. It's unlucky," Nabokov shrugged. "But we killed a penalty after that and that was huge. You don't think about it, you just react."

San Jose captain Patrick Marleau was awarded a penalty shot with 3:43 remaining after Dallas defenseman Stephane Robidas hooked him on a breakaway, but Turco made a glove save on Marleau's wrist shot from the slot to keep the game tied at 2-1.

Clowe then iced it with the empty netter with 62 seconds left.

"When we have success, our power play is working and we couldn't capitalize on a 5-on-3 and some other chances down the stretch," Robidas said of the Dallas power play that finished 0-for-6.

"We competed pretty well against a good team, and we are playing much better as a team. Nabokov is one of the best goalies in the league and we couldn't get pucks past him."






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    Sharks 3, Stars 1  FinalDec 30 1:31 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 1 0 2 3
    DALLAS 0 0 1 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - JONATHAN CHEECHOO 6 (DAN BOYLE, JOE THORNTON) 15:10
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: SAN - MILAN MICHALEK 8 (JOE PAVELSKI, RYANE CLOWE) 3:55
    DAL - MATT NISKANEN 3 (UNASSISTED) 14:57
    SAN - (EN) RYANE CLOWE 15 (JOE PAVELSKI

    Dec 29 11:30 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 3
    DALLAS 1
    3RD PRD: SAN - (EN) RYANE CLOWE 15 (JOE PAVELSKI) 18:58

    Sharks 3, Stars 1  3rd - 1:02Dec 29 11:28 PM
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    Sharks 3, Stars 1  3rd - 1:02Dec 29 11:28 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 15 roots (Close Finish)

    Sharks 2, Stars 1  3rd - 1:45Dec 29 11:25 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 2
    DALLAS 1
    3RD PRD: DAL - MATT NISKANEN 3 (UNASSISTED) 14:57

    Sharks 2, Stars 1  3rd - 5:03Dec 29 11:18 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 2
    DALLAS 0
    3RD PRD: SAN - MILAN MICHALEK 8 (JOE PAVELSKI, RYANE CLOWE) 3:55

    Sharks 2, Stars 0  3rd - 16:05Dec 29 10:57 PM
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    Sharks 1, Stars 0  End of 2ndDec 29 10:40 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 1 0 1
    DALLAS 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - JONATHAN CHEECHOO 6 (DAN BOYLE, JOE THORNTON) 15:10
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN 6 6 12
    DAL 8 11 19
    GOALIES: SAN - E

    Dec 29 10:32 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 1 1
    DALLAS 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - DAN BOYLE 12 (JOE THORNTON, BRAD LUKOWICH) 15:10
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN 6 6
    DAL 8 8
    GOALIES: SAN - EVGENI NABOKOV
    DAL

    Dec 29 9:40 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 1
    DALLAS 0
    1ST PRD: SAN - DAN BOYLE 12 (JOE THORNTON, BRAD LUKOWICH) 15:10

    Sharks 1, Stars 0  1st - 4:50Dec 29 9:34 PM
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