CALGARY, Alberta – San Jose (5-3-1, 11 points) played one of their most technically sound games of the young season, handing a streaking Calgary (4-3-2, 10 points) team their first regulation loss in their last six games.
Milan Michalek scored twice, including a brilliant shorthanded marker, and Evgeni Nabokov fell just 2:33 short of his second consecutive shutout making 18 saves in the winning effort.
Click here for pictures (PICS) and video (WATCH) from Monday night's game.
Both teams played solid defensively in the early stages of the first as neither team was able to sustain an offensive attack. The Sharks had a pair of scoring chances halfway through the opening frame when Michalek and Steve Bernier nearly gave the Sharks the early advantage, but the game remained scoreless.
Calgary appeared to take a 1-0 lead with 4:00 remaining in the first period when Eric Godard redirected a puck past Nabokov, but after an official’s review, the goal was disallowed as replays showed that Godard had ushered the puck into the Sharks net with his arm.
Matthew Lombardi’s holding the stick penalty at 18:25 of the first set up Ryane Clowe’s power play goal, giving the Sharks a one-goal advantage on a tic-tac-toe play from Jeremy Roenick and Joe Thornton. Clowe’s goal, his third of the season, was his first in six games.
On the ensuing faceoff, Semenov and Godard dropped the gloves, each earning five minutes for fighting at 19:29 of the first. The opening frame closed with the Sharks on top 1-0.
Milan Michalek celebrates his shorthanded goal against the Calgary Flames during second period on Monday, Oct. 22, 2007. San Jose won the game 4-1. (AP Photo)
Michalek extended the Sharks lead 7:16 into the second, scoring the eventual game-winning goal on an excellent individual effort. While Torrey Mitchell was in the box for hooking, Michalek intercepted a pass by Calgary forward Alex Tanguay, then gained a step on defenseman Dion Phaneuf. Michalek’s initial shot was turned aside by goaltender Miika Kiprusoff, but Michalek gathered the rebound and stuffed it in for the 2-0 lead.
Bernier’s hard work in front of the Calgary net was rewarded when he redirected a blast from Craig Rivet in for a 3-0 Sharks lead. The power play goal chased Kiprusoff from the Flames crease as rookie backup Curtis McElhinney made his NHL debut in a relief of the former Sharks netminder.
The Sharks carried the 3-0 advantage into the locker room after two periods of play.
Michalek added his second tally of the game 5:33 into the third on another textbook setup by Roenick. Michalek took a tape-to-tape feed from Roenick to McElhinney’s left and picked the top left corner of the net with a precision snap shot giving San Jose the 4-0 advantage.
Following Michalek’s second goal, Douglas Murray increased his penalty minute total by five when he accepted the challenge from Godard who had an active night physically. Murray was given a fighting major while Godard was hit with an instigator minor, fighting major and an automatic 10-minute misconduct.
Nabokov’s bid for a second consecutive shutout was stopped 2:33 short when Daymond Langkow got the Flames on the board on a one-timer from Kristian Huselius. San Jose killed the remaining two-and-a-half minutes for the victory, improving their road record to 4-1-1 on the season.
NOLAN HONORED FOR 1,000TH CAREER GAME
Prior to the opening faceoff, former Sharks Captain Owen Nolan was honored in a brief on-ice ceremony for playing in his 1,000th career NHL game.
Nolan, who is a wine enthusiast in part from his time in the Bay Area, was presented with a hand-crafted bottle of wine. The bottle was presented by Sharks Advisor to Hockey Operations Mike Ricci, a close friend of Owen’s, on behalf of the organization.
It is an engraved 3L bottle of 2003 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley. The bottle is engraved in color with the Sharks logo and the following:
“Congratulations to Owen Nolan on your 1,000th NHL Game
With Best Wishes from the San Jose Sharks Organization”
Owen Nolan is honored for playing his 1,000th career NHL game.
San Jose Sharks
Team Captain: 1998-2003
Franchise Records Set:
Power Play Goals: 75
Game-Winning Goals: 25
The bottle was prepared by Bert George of Joseph George Wines in San Jose. Joseph George Wines has worked with the NHL in the past, creating custom bottles for special ceremonies and occasions.
SMOLINSKI CELEBRATES 1,000TH, TOO
Like Owen Nolan, Montreal Canadiens forward Bryan Smolinski also celebrated his 1,000th career NHL game on Monday night against the Boston Bruins. Smolinski’s current teammate Alex Kovalev will play in his 1,000th game on Friday. The Canadiens defeated the Bruins, 6-1.
Defenseman Kyle McLaren (chest contusion) was a last-minute scratch for Ron Wilson's club, creating a spot for Alexei Semenov to start his first game as a member of the Sharks. San Jose's forward lineup remained the same, though the lines were juggled slightly.
The Sharks return to the ice on Friday when they travel to Joe Louis Arena to take on the Detroit Red Wings. The game is set for 7:30 PM (Pacific) and will be broadcast on FSN Bay Area, KFOX 98.5 FM, Sharks Radio Network Affiliates and SJSHARKS.com.
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Holding the stick
Misconduct (10 min)