Cheechoo lifts Sharks over Kings in shootout

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SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- Evgeni Nabokov returned to San

Jose's lineup and immediately made an impact, stopping 23 shots

in regulation and overtime and six of seven shootout attempts.

No big deal for the All-Star goalie.

"The guys really made it easier for me," Nabokov said after the

Sharks' 2-1 victory over Los Angeles on Saturday night. "I

didn't have to face a lot of shots. I felt good right off the

bat."

Jonathan Cheechoo scored in the seventh round, and Nabokov

stopped Teddy Purcell on the final attempt to give the Sharks

the victory.

Nabokov missed the previous seven games because of an upper-body

injury. The Sharks were 2-5 while Nabokov was sidelined.

"He was zeroed in," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "When he

was tested he was very sharp."

Milan Michalek scored in regulation, and Joe Pavelski added a

shootout goal to help the Sharks snap a two-game home losing

streak.

Wayne Simmonds scored for Los Angeles, and Jack Johnson had a

shootout goal.

"He played great," Sharks defender Dan Boyle said about Nabokov.

"He came through in the shootout and he's the reason we won the

two points."

The Sharks opened the scoring when Michalek redirected a pass

from Pavelski from the top of the crease at 5:28 of the first

period. Simmonds tied it 41 seconds into the second, slipping

the puck past Nabokov off a rebound.

Erik Ersberg made 38 saves for Los Angeles. The Kings dropped

their sixth straight on the road and fifth in a row to the

Sharks.

"We played very well," Kings coach Terry Murray said. "Coming

into San Jose at 3 in the morning from Vancouver and coming out

with that kind of performance, it was as good as they can play."

Ersberg stopped two point-blank shots in the final 12 seconds of

regulation. Patrick Marleau came from behind the net to try and

sneak the puck in, and Rob Blake tried to lift the puck over

Ersberg's glove.

"We hung in there," Ersberg said. "It was anybody's game. If we

play like this over the last 14, we can make things

interesting."

The Sharks opened the overtime with 1:43 left on a power play.

Ersberg stopped Blake's slap shot 1:07 into the extra period.

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