Series (Game 4 of 4)

San Jose leads 3-1

Game 1: Friday, October 25th
Blue Jackets4
Game 2: Friday, December 6th
Blue Jackets2Final
Game 3: Wednesday, February 12th
Blue Jackets1
Game 4: Friday, February 21st
Blue Jackets0Final

Blue Jackets 0

(22-30-2, 52 pts)

Sharks 6

(22-28-5, 55 pts)

10:30 PM ET, February 21, 2003

SAP Center, San Jose, California

1 2 3 T
CBJ 0 0 00
SJ 1 4 16

M. Sturm (Sharks - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

V. Damphousse (Sharks - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

E. Nabokov (Sharks - G): Saves: 29, Save Pct.: 1.000

Tempers flare as San Jose rips Columbus

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Thanks to an explosive offense and Evgeni Nabokov's impressive performance, the San Jose Sharks played one of their best games this season.

Marco Sturm scored two goals in a three-minute span of the second period and Nabokov stopped 29 shots for his third shutout of the season as the Sharks defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-0 Friday night.

The game got ugly at the end. Tempers flared at 8:20 of the third period, resulting in a combined 64 penalty minutes. Jody Shelley got 29 of the Blue Jackets' 43 minutes after being hit with a misconduct and a game misconduct. Shelley hit Brad Stuart from behind at least twice.

''He's an embarrassment to the league,'' Stuart said. ''He's not worthy of putting on an NHL uniform.''

Columbus goaltender Jean-Francois Labbe said he believes Shelley was just frustrated.

''It was embarrassing to lose like this,'' Labbe said.

The Sharks dominated the game. Nabokov improved to 6-1 against the Blue Jackets and notched his 17th career shutout.

Teemu Selanne, Vincent Damphousse, Jonathan Cheechoo and Adam Graves also scored for the Sharks, who ended a three-game losing streak and sent Columbus to its fourth consecutive defeat.

''Everything clicked,'' San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. ''The special teams made a huge difference and the goaltending was great. You can't ask for anything more. Guys showed up and played hard. They rose to the challenge.''

The Blue Jackets have never won in six games in San Jose and dropped to 3-9 overall against the Sharks.

''I just don't think we had the effort after the first period,'' Labbe said. ''Nabokov made some big saves when he had to, and they generated a lot of shots on the power play.''

The Sharks, who matched their second-best offensive output of the season, benefited from a two-man advantage midway through the second period that started their four-goal barrage. Columbus defender Rostislav Klesla was whistled for holding at 8:27, and Tyler Wright took an unsportsmanlike conduct call at the same time.

Damphousse scored a little more than a minute later to make it 2-0. Stuart shot the puck toward the net but it deflected off Luke Richardson's stick in front of the net. Patrick Marleau tapped the puck toward Damphousse, who beat Labbe to the glove side.

Selanne's goal, a putback after Damphousse's shot bounced off Labbe's pads, came less than a minute later to make it 3-0. It was Selanne's third goal in his last 24 games.

''We started off on a good note and kept rolling,'' Damphousse said. ''We played our best game in a long time. Every aspect was excellent tonight.''

Sturm redirected a Dan McGillis shot with 3:05 left in the second period, then scored again on a power play with 25 seconds left in the period from 10 feet out after taking a pass from Marleau.

Cheechoo scored in the first period. Stuart, from the left face-off circle, rifled a pass to Cheechoo, who was driving to the net. Cheechoo slapped it past Labbe for his first goal in eight games.

Game notes

The Blue Jackets, third in the league in first-period goals, were held to just five shots in the opening period. ... Nabokov had allowed three or more goals in each of his last five games. ... Columbus left wing Geoff Sanderson has one goal in his last 18 games. ... Sharks left wing Scott Thornton took a stick to the head in the first period and did not return. ... The Blue Jackets were 0-for-6 on power plays.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press