NHL Game Summary - San Jose at Ottawa
(Thursday, January 12th)
Final Score: San Jose 2, Ottawa 0
Ottawa, ON (Sports Network) - Evgeni Nabokov stopped all 40 shots he faced to lead San Jose to its fifth consecutive victory, a 2-0 blanking of Ottawa at the Corel Centre.
Patrick Marleau and Nils Ekman each scored goals while Nabokov shut down the NHL's highest scoring team as the Sharks dealt the Senators just their fourth defeat in 21 home games this season.
"I think that our guys did a great job blocking them out," said Nabokov. "It was a good 60 minute effort from everybody and that's what we need. Hopefully in the second half of the season we are going to have this every game."
Dominik Hasek made 34 saves for Ottawa, which had a five-game win streak at the Corel Centre snapped and fell for the fourth time in six outings overall.
Marleau broke a scoreless tie when he intercepted a cross-ice pass from Daniel Alfredsson and outraced the Ottawa defense before lifting a puck over Hasek's left shoulder 8:17 into the second period.
"I didn't see (Marleau) until the puck left my stick," Alfredsson said. "It was one of those plays where you try and do too much, instead of getting the puck in deep and keeping the forecheck going. (The goal) hurt us, and after that we started pressing too much and got off our game."
Hasek kept it a one-goal game by stopping a breakaway attempt from Jonathan Cheechoo later in the frame, while Nabokov made 17 saves over the course of the period.
Nabokov's most spectacular stop of the night came early in the third, when he thwarted Chris Neil's chance from in close by reaching out and grabbing the puck just before it crossed the line.
Just seconds after the save, Joe Thornton and Ekman perfectly executed a give- and-go to provide the Sharks some insurance. Thornton ended the 2-on-1 by dropping a pass right on the doorstep for Ekman's easy tap-in with 2:45 elapsed in the final session.
Ottawa came up empty on two power-play chances late in the game and ended 0- for-6 with the man advantage.
Neither team could find the net over the opening 20 minutes. The Sharks failed to cash in on a 5-on-3 opportunity and peppered Hasek with 13 shots, but the veteran netminder was up to the task.
The game marked the final time Ottawa's home arena will be called the Corel Centre. It will be renamed Scotiabank Place on Friday...Nabokov's shutout was his first of the season and 27th of his career...Cheechoo also had an assist on Ekman's tally to extend his point streak to seven games...Marleau has a goal in three straight...The Sharks improved to 8-0 against the Eastern Conference this season and are 12-0 when they record the game's first two goals...Ottawa defenseman Zdeno Chara played in his 500th career contest...The Sens activated right wing Brandon Bochenski from injured reserve prior to the game. The rookie had been sidelined since December 17 with a separated right shoulder...San Jose is 12-4-1 since acquiring Thornton on November 30.
01/12 23:31:48 ET