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Mar 14, 2014; Uniondale, NY, USA; San Jose Sharks left wing Matt Nieto (83) celebrates his goal with teammates during the first period against the New York Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

San Jose Sharks Defeat New York Islanders 4-3, Win Fifth Straight

For the first time in his career, Evgeni Nabokov faced off against the San Jose Sharks, his former team.

On Friday night, the Sharks didn’t exactly take it easy on him in goal. The Sharks peppered Nabokov for four goals on 31 shots, defeating the New York Islanders 4-3 on the road for their fifth straight victory.

The Sharks maintained a two-goal lead for most of the night, responding with a goal whenever the Islanders cut the lead to one. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead early, with goals scored just 79 seconds apart. Hard work by the second line resulted in a Matt Nieto wrister that found the back of the net, then a terrific passing play and a great feed by Martin Havlat allowed defenseman Jason Demers to fire it into a wide open net.

Anders Lee got the Islanders on the board 32 seconds into the third period, but Joe Thornton responded at the 9:32 mark with his 10th goal of the season on a rebound off a shot by Brent Burns. The two teams then continued to trade goals. Brock Nelson deflected home a slap shot by Matt Donovan for the Islanders, only to have Martin Havlat respond 73 seconds later with a quick one-timer in close.

Havlat’s goal turned out to be the game-winner, as Frans Nielson scored late when the Islanders emptied their net, but the Sharks managed to hold them off in the final 21 seconds to escape New York with a victory.

Not only have the Sharks won five in a row, but they also now have 95 points, which temporarily puts them in first place in the Pacific Division, in front of the Ducks. Anaheim is currently playing against the Avalanche.

Tale of the Tape

Sharks:

  • Shots on goal: 26
  • Power play: 0-for-1
  • Hits: 19
  • Giveaways: 9
  • Takeaways: 3
  • Faceoffs won: 24

Islanders:

  • Shots on goal: 31
  • Power play: 0-for-0
  • Hits: 32
  • Giveaways: 11
  • Takeaways: 11
  • Faceoffs won: 26

What’s on Tap

The Sharks have a day off on Saturday before playing the other New York team on Sunday: the Rangers.

Tags: San Jose Sharks

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