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Red Wings-Sharks Preview

Thursday, 10.19.2006 / 7:30 PM

Associated Press

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Red Wings-Sharks Preview
Detroit Red Wings vs. San Jose Sharks

Dominant goaltending at home has helped the San Jose Sharks match the best start in their history.

The Sharks will look for more stellar play in net and try to extend their home winning streak to four games when they host the Detroit Red Wings at HP Pavilion on Thursday.

San Jose (5-1-0) to 3-0 at home with a 2-0 victory over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. Evgeni Nabokov made 32 saves for his second home shutout of the season. He stopped 26 shots in a 2-0 win over the New York Islanders on Oct. 7.

"With our goaltending the way it is, you have somewhat of a comfortable feeling," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "That affects (everything). That actually makes your offense better. Nabby played a great game. He made the kind of saves that great goalies make."

Nabokov is 2-1 with a 2.02 goals-against average in three starts, with his loss coming last Thursday, a 6-4 defeat at Edmonton.

He has been rotating starts in goal with Vesa Toskala, who is 3-0 with a 2.97 GAA in three starts.

If the rotation continues, Toskala would start against the Red Wings, against whom he is 2-1 with a 1.51 GAA and one shutout in four career games - three of them starts.

San Jose also won five of its first six games in the 1994-95 season, but went winless in its following five contests.

Milan Michalek scored his team-leading fifth goal of the season Tuesday, also tying his career-high with a four-game point streak. He also had a goal and four assists during a four- game run from March 13-19.

The 21-year-old right wing had 17 goals and 35 points in 81 games as a rookie last season.

Three of his goals this season have come on the power play with assists from Joe Thornton.

Thornton has seven assists and is tied with Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo and Patrick Marleau for the team lead with seven points.

Thornton has five goals and 10 points in 11 career games against the Red Wings, including a four-point game in the Sharks' lone win over Detroit last season.

The Red Wings (3-2-1) look to avoid losing for the second consecutive night after allowing three power-play goals in a 4-1 defeat at Anaheim on Wednesday, the second game of a four-game road trip.

Tomas Kopecky scored his first career goal with 5:36 left in the game for Detroit's only offense.

The Red Wings went 0-for-8 on the power play to drop among the worst in the league at 3-for-36 with the man advantage.

"You've got to give them credit; they played real well. They're one of the best teams in the league," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said of the Ducks. "When we got into penalty trouble, we kind of lost our emotions and got frustrated. Next thing you know, that just led to more."

Dominik Hasek made 27 saves in the loss to drop to 2-2-1 with a 2.17 goals-against average.

The 41-year-old Hasek is 7-3-3 with a 2.22 GAA in 13 career games - 11 starts - against the Sharks, although he may be rested to make way for backup Chris Osgood.

Osgood made 22 saves in a 3-1 win at Los Angeles on Monday in his first start of the season.

The Red Wings won three of four meetings with the Sharks last season, including one shootout victory.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Jan 04 '07DET 4 at SJS 9J. Pavelski
Dec 02 '06SJS 3 at DET 2J. Pavelski
Oct 25 '06SJS 1 at DET 2R. Lang
Oct 19 '06DET 1 at SJS 5M. Bell
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GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%

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