Sharks Set Franchise Record with 52nd Victory

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Joe Pavelski and Jonathan Cheechoo scored the tying and go-ahead goals during power plays, and the San Jose Sharks set a franchise record with their 52nd victory, beating the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Sunday night.

Jeremy Roenick had his first goal in four months, and backup goalie Brian Boucher stopped 19 shots for the Sharks, who lead Boston by three points in the race for the NHL's best record (115-112).

San Jose has never won the Presidents' Trophy, despite recording no fewer than 104 points in four of the last five seasons. The Sharks' final three games are against the bottom three teams in the Western Conference - Colorado, Phoenix and Los Angeles.

Petteri Nokelainen scored a short-handed for Anaheim and Corey Perry connected on the power play. Jonas Hiller made 23 saves, after winning 5-2 Saturday night at the Shark Tank and handing San Jose only its fourth regulation loss at home all season.

The Ducks, who had won nine of their previous 10 games, still need four points in their final two against Dallas (2-2-1) and Phoenix (4-1-0) to clinch their fourth straight playoff berth outright. Hiller has started four of five against Phoenix, going 4-0 with a shutout. Jean-Sebastien Giguere has started four of five against Dallas, going 1-2-1.

San Jose received a 5-on-3 power play for a full minute in the third period after Chris Pronger earned a delay-of-game penalty for clearing the puck over the glass halfway through Drew Miller's holding penalty. The Sharks didn't get a shot on net during the two-man advantage, but Cheechoo got his fourth winner with 23 seconds left on Pronger's penalty - and 6:41 left in the game.

Sharks left wing Jody Shelley, whose 1,215 penalty minutes since the start of the 2001-02 season are the second-highest total behind Ottawa's Chris Neil, was goaded into a slashing penalty by Anaheim enforcer George Parros at 11:13 of the second period a few seconds after Parros checked Shelley into his own bench.

The Ducks capitalized on the ensuing power play just 18 seconds later, as defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic had trouble clearing a bouncing puck deep in the Sharks' zone and Perry whipped his team-high 31st goal past Boucher for a 2-1 lead.

Pavelski tied it at 15:16 of the second with his 24th goal, extending the San Jose's franchise record to 11 straight games with a power play goal. Rob Niedermayer was serving a charging penalty at the time.

The Sharks, who came in with the best power-play percentage on the road and third-best in the league overall, surrendered their 11th short-handed goal of the season at 5:38 of the first period while Anaheim rookie Andrew Ebbett was serving a holding-the-stick penalty.

Vlasic blocked a clearing pass by Scott Niedermayer while standing on the Anaheim blue line, but Nokelainen got control of the puck and took off on a breakaway. He went for the five hole, and Boucher slid backward into the net with Nokelainen's first career short-handed goal.

Roenick tied it at 2:45 of the second, beating Hiller between the pads with a one-timer from 25 feet in the slot after Joe Thornton set him up from the left corner.

Roenick, who has played on only 12 of San Jose's last 51 games
because of shoulder problems, scored his first goal since Dec. 6.
It was the 513th of his career, overtaking Gilbert Perreault for 36th place overall.

Notes:

Sharks captain and leading goal scorer Patrick Marleau missed his fourth straight game because of an undisclosed lower body injury.

Boucher faced Anaheim for the first time since was March 28, 2008, when he made 23 saves in a 3-1 victory that snapped a 10-game home winning streak by the Ducks. Evgeni Nabokov was in net for the first five meetings this season and had two shutouts.

Ryan Getzlaf's assist on Perry's goal made him the third player in Ducks history to record 90 or more points in a season. Teemu Selanne did it four times, and Paul Kariya twice.

D Kent Huskins, obtained by San Jose from the Ducks along with Travis Moen on March 4, still hasn't played for the Sharks because of the same
foot injury that sidelined him for 27 games prior to the trade and eventually required surgery.

Anaheim is 8-9-0 in the second game of back-to-back sets.


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