WASHINGTON -- The San Jose Sharks continued their recent run of success in the shootout Tuesday night, earning a 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals when Patrick Marleau was the only shooter to score in the one-on-one competition.
Goalie Antti Niemi stopped Eric Fehr, Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom at the other end of the ice.
The Sharks got their lone goal in regulation from Tyler Kennedy, who scored for the first time since Nov. 23 while Ovechkin tallied for the Capitals.
San Jose entered the game with a 16-1 record against Washington since the year 2000, with the lone loss coming in 2009. But neither the players nor McLellan were putting much stock in the past, however dominating it was.
"We haven't played this team for two years, we haven't played this team under a new head coach," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said, a reference to first-year Capitals coach Adam Oates. "Out go the records."
The Sharks started out slowly and were being outshot 7-1 at one point before getting any traction in the offensive zone.
Holding Washington without a shot for more than ten minutes, San Jose took a 1-0 lead at 13:30 when the Capitals had trouble clearing their zone and the puck went to Jason Demers at the right point. Rather than shoot, Demers found Kennedy unchecked in the slot and he redirected the puck past Capitals netminder Phillip Grubauer.
That lead held up until 12:41 of the second period when Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner found Ovechkin low in the left faceoff circle where he had slipped away from any Shark defender and the NHL's leading goal scorer didn't miss with a 40-foot one-timer for his NHL-leading 33rd goal of the season.
Officially, it was the first shot of the game for Ovechkin, who leads the NHL in that category as well with 238 coming into the game. Three other attempts by Ovechkin had been blocked and two others went wide.
The Sharks appeared to have taken a 2-1 lead after a scramble in the waning seconds of the second period when Brad Stuart got his stick on a loose puck in the crease, but a review showed it crossed the line one-tenth of a second after time ran out.
The teams continued to battle evenly into the third period with Niemi coming up with his biggest save of the night at 10:09 when Caps forward Eric Fehr brought the puck around from behind the net for an uncontested shot from just outside the crease.
Twenty seconds later, it was Grubauer coming up big as both Marleau and Tommy Wingels had scoring chances from up close.
Both teams had several good scoring chances in an up-and-down-the-ice overtime that began with Washington on the power play for 45 seconds after a late hooking call against Patrick Marleau, but nothing was settled and the shootout was on.
-- Sharks right wing Mike Brown earned a narrow decision with a takedown after his spirited fight with Caps left wing Aaron Volpatti in the first period.
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