NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at San Jose
(Thursday, February 5th)
Final Score: San Jose 5, Phoenix 0
San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Evgeni Nabokov posted 20 saves and recorded his second consecutive shutout to lead the San Jose Sharks to a 5-0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes at the Shark Tank.
Nabokov, who blanked the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night, turned aside five shots in the first period, eight in the second and seven in the final stanza for his seventh shutout of the season and the 24th of his career.
Marco Sturm and Alexander Korolyuk both posted a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who have won eight of their last 11 games. Alyn McCauley, Scott Hannan and Patrick Marleau also scored in the victory for San Jose, which has captured six of its last seven at home. Nils Ekman added three assists for the Sharks.
Brian Boucher started in goal for Phoenix, which is now winless in its last six contests (0-4-1-1). The netminder allowed five goals on 35 shots in the losing effort.
Both teams will now be off until after the All-Star Game, which will be played this weekend in Minnesota. The Sharks, who will send only Marleau to St. Paul for the mid-season classic, sit atop the Pacific Division with 68 points.
"We feel good, we've accomplished a lot," said Hannan of where the Sharks are at this point in the season. "A lot of people didn't think we would be here. We're happy, but we have a long road trip after the break...and it's going to be a lot of tough teams"
Phoenix, meanwhile, is in fourth place in the Pacific with an 18-19-14-3 mark. Coyotes' forward Shane Doan was selected as an All-Star this year.
"I think we got a lot of guys who need to take a long look in the mirror and see if we really want to battle for the rest of the year," said Coyotes forward Tyson Nash. "We're slipping every game we play and we're getting farther out of the playoff picture."
McCauley opened the scoring with a power-play goal at the 7:15 mark of the first period. After a feed from Korolyuk, McCauley fired a one-timer from the right circle that beat Boucher.
Later in the first, Wayne Primeau skated behind the net and dished to Hannan, who lit the lamp from near the goal mouth for his fourth tally and a 2-0 Sharks edge with 6:53 to play.
Another pair of goals in the middle stanza pushed the San Jose lead to four.
First, midway through the period, Korolyuk stayed with a shot by Tom Preissing from the slot, collected the rebound and pushed it past Boucher.
Soon after, at 12:01, Sturm's 15th marker of the season made it 4-0.
Without any offense, the Coyotes turned to fisticuffs in the final period and eventually suffered the consequences. During a 5-on-3, the Sharks continued to pour on the offense. Marleau skated along the goal line to the left of the net and centered the puck to Sturm. His shot was saved, but Marleau followed up the rebound and poked it home inside the left post at 1:53.
"I know my penalty was pure frustration - that's out of character for myself," added Nash, who was issued a slashing major along with a game misconduct in the third period. "I didn't mean to hurt the guy, but we're frustrated."
Phoenix forward Ladislav Nagy, who hit the post in the second period, had an opportunity to spoil Nabokov's shutout in the waning moments. He broke in on a 3-on-1, but waited too long and Nabokov slid over for a pad save.
San Jose has won 17 of its last 24 games (17-4-1-2).
Nabokov tied a club record for shutouts in a season, a mark he set in the 2001-02 season...Despite the setback, the Coyotes are still 6-2-5 in their last 13 road contests...San Jose improved to 3-1-2 in the last six meetings between these teams...Marleau has four goals and four assists in his last five games...San Jose, which held the Coyotes scoreless on four power-play chances, scored twice on nine opportunities with the extra skater.
02/06 02:04:00 ET