St. Louis at San Jose

Clowe's third goal is shootout winner in wild Sharks' win over Blues wire reports

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Although Ryane Clowe already had saved the San Jose Sharks twice with tying goals, the tap on his shoulder from coach Todd McLellan still came as a surprise in the fourth round of the shootout.

Clowe couldn't miss against the Blues, and San Jose still can't be beaten at the Shark Tank.

Clowe followed up his two clutch third-period scores with the winning shootout goal, and the NHL-leading Sharks improved to 8-0 at home with a wild 5-4 victory over St. Louis on Thursday night.

San Jose's gritty left wing finished with a bloody cut over his right eye, thanks to a face-plant into the glass, and a remarkable scoring performance. He twice answered go-ahead goals by the Blues in the final period, sending it to overtime on an exceptional give-and-go score with defenseman Brad Lukowich during 4-on-4 play with 1:39 left.

And after Dan Boyle scored in the third round to tie the shootout, McLellan went to his hot hand.

"That was surprising," Clowe said. "A lot of times I like to deke to my backhand, but he's a big goalie with long legs, so I thought I would have to move him, open him up."

Clowe did just that, putting the puck past 6-foot-7 Ben Bishop to end San Jose's sixth consecutive win.

Evgeni Nabokov made 25 saves and stopped three consecutive Blues to end the shootout, but the goalie left the ice gingerly after stretching to stop Patrik Berglund on the final shootout attempt. Rob Blake scored his first goal of the season for San Jose, and Joe Thornton also scored before Clowe took over with his exceptional third-period effort, giving him eight goals in the Sharks' last eight games.

The Sharks were the NHL's third-least penalized team entering the game, but they were surprisingly undisciplined at times. San Jose's occasional lapses in defensive intensity also hurt, with St. Louis getting two quick early scores and two more rapid goals in the third.

"We've proved to ourselves if we try to cheat or take shortcuts, it will not work out for us one bit," McLellan said. "The puck was bouncing around a lot out there. It was more like a basketball than a puck. Skilled players want it smooth and fluid. We seemed to be knocking it down a lot. It was a difficult night that way."

Lee Stempniak had a goal and two assists for the Blues, who lost for the sixth time in seven games despite never trailing in regulation. Keith Tkachuk got his ninth goal of the season early on, but Clowe countered goals by Andy McDonald and David Backes, who adroitly batted a puck out of the air for just his second goal of the season.

"They are such a fast team that you have to be on your toes the whole game," Backes said. "Against the Thornton unit, they are such tough guys, and they can turn it up so quick. They were shooting pucks from everywhere. When we get that lead against a good team, we really need to clamp down and get those two points."

Bishop made 38 saves as the Blues came agonizingly close to winning without leading scorer Paul Kariya, sidelined by a lower-body injury. The NHL's sixth-leading scorer left St. Louis' 5-2 loss at Anaheim on Wednesday night during the second period after apparently getting hit by a puck.

Thanks to some curious scheduling, St. Louis must return to Southern California after two days in the Bay Area to meet the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night in the third stop of their five-game road trip.

After McDonald and Clowe scored early in the third, Backes batted home an airborne puck off Nabokov's pads for his second goal of the season with 9:22 left. But Clowe scored on a fine setup by Lukowich, receiving a pass down low and putting the puck in an unguarded net while Devin Setoguchi set up a screen in front of Bishop.

"I had gone to make a save, and they really hemmed me," Bishop said. "I couldn't even turn to get back in. It might have been interference. There were two guys right there. I couldn't even spin out of it."


  • Backes broke a pane of glass in the second period, swinging his stick in frustration to earn a 10-minute misconduct. He apologized afterward.
  • LW David Koci, claimed by the Blues on waivers from Tampa Bay last month, made his St. Louis debut after sitting out the club's last six games.
  • Kariya led the Blues with 15 points in their first 11 games.
  • G Manny Legace, who has an injured hip, might be ready to return to the Blues' lineup in Los Angeles.
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After tying the game twice in the third period, Ryane Clowe adds what is the winner in the shootout. (AP)
After tying the game twice in the third period, Ryane Clowe adds what is the winner in the shootout. (AP)
St. Louis (5-6-1)20200 (1)4
San Jose  (12-2-0) «11201 (2)5
Three Stars
R. Clowe

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
R. Blake

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
L. Stempniak

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2

Related Video

Scoring Summary
05:14Power Play - Keith Tkachuk (9), Snap Shot. Assist: Stempniak, Pietrangelo
06:30Lee Stempniak (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Berglund, Perron
09:24Joe Thornton (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Marleau, Setoguchi
07:07Power Play - Rob Blake (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Ehrhoff
07:56Andy McDonald (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Boyes, Jackman
09:03Ryane Clowe (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Roenick, Blake
10:38David Backes (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Stempniak, Berglund
18:21Ryane Clowe (8), Slap Shot. Assist: Lukowich, Setoguchi
 Andy McDonald (2), GOAL
 Dan Boyle (1), GOAL
 Ryane Clowe (1), GOAL
Penalty Summary
03:17Semenov, 2 min, Roughing
04:20Blake, 2 min, Hooking
11:01Jackman, 2 min, Interference
17:12McDonald, 2 min, Tripping
01:11Brewer, 2 min, Hooking
05:17Jackman, 2 min, Hooking
11:21Cheechoo, 2 min, Hooking
13:14Backes, 10 min, Misconduct
13:45Murray, 2 min, Holding
14:33Boyes, 2 min, Hooking
53.0Michalek, 2 min, Closing Hand on Puck
14:41Hinote, 2 min, Hooking
14:45Cheechoo, 2 min, Hooking
14:55Jackman, 2 min, Interference
16:45Ehrhoff, 2 min, Holding
17:17Polak, 2 min, Tripping
Shots On Goal
St. Louis1031326
San Jose14121541
Ben Bishop 64:5639442
Evgeni Nabokov 64:5825441
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
St. Louis1-for-6
San Jose1-for-8
Game Information
Attendance - 17496
Referees - Paul Devorski, Brad Watson
Linesmen - Mike Cvik, Tony Sericolo
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