Nabokov almost single-handedly beats Capitals

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Although Evgeni Nabokov saved the San Jose
Sharks, he didn't want too much credit.

Nabokov made 46 saves, frustrating the Washington Capitals and
leading San Jose to a 3-2 victory Tuesday night.

''I was lucky a little bit,'' Nabokov said. ''We're always
talking about you have to be lucky to win games like that. We were
lucky today.''

Nabokov came up big in the third period, making 18 saves as
Washington pressured the Sharks throughout and finished with a
48-29 edge in shots.

''It was one of those games where they played better, but our
goaltender saved us and won the game,'' said San Jose's Vincent

Teemu Selanne, Patrick Marleau and Owen Nolan scored for the
Sharks, who climbed out of last place in the Pacific Division.

Michael Nylander and Mike Grier scored for Washington, which had
gone 129 minutes, 20 seconds without a goal.

The Capitals had a season-high 48 shots, but Nabokov repeatedly
stopped them, often in extra-man situations. He made a big stop on
Jaromir Jagr with about 5 seconds left and the Capitals on the
power play. Jagr also had a shot moments earlier that rattled off
both posts.

Washington went only 1-for-9 on the power play, dropping to
4-for-30 in its last six games. The Sharks were 2-for-5 on the
power play.

''It was just a straight game of special teams,'' San Jose coach
Darryl Sutter said. ''It's the difference in the game, it's 2-1.''

Nabokov's saves played a big part in helping the Sharks stop
several Washington power-play chances.

''He was our best penalty killer tonight,'' said San Jose's Mike
Ricci. ''Nabokov was outstanding.''

Selanne gave San Jose a 1-0 lead by scoring at 7:15 of the
second period. He outraced Washington defenseman J.F. Fortin to the
puck, swept around the net and scored.

Marleau made it 2-0 on the power play just 2:02 later, easily
tapping in a loose puck near the goal line following Olaf Kolzig's

Washington cut the lead in half on its second five-on-three
opportunity of the game. Nylander scored from in front following
Robert Lang's pass at 2:35 of the second period, making it 2-1 and
ending Washington's scoreless streak.

Nolan gave the Sharks a 3-1 lead with a power-play goal at 9:14
of the third period.

Grier made it 3-2 with 7:20 left by tapping in a rebound.

Washington coach Bruce Cassidy was still puzzled over Lang's
disallowed goal in the first period -- the officials ruled he kicked
it -- but liked how his team is working through an offensive slump.

''We kept playing and we played hard,'' Cassidy said. ''We just
collectively as a group have to play through it.''

Game notes
Sergei Gonchar still has Washington's only goal from a
defenseman, but his 12 assists lead the team. ... The Capitals
couldn't score in the first period despite a season-best 18 shots.
... The Sharks have won six straight against the Capitals,
including the last four in Washington.