Final OT

Series (Game 2 of 2)

San Jose leads 2-0

Game 1: Tuesday, December 17th
Game 2: Thursday, March 6th

Canadiens 3

(24-28-8, 64 pts)

Sharks 4

(25-30-5, 61 pts)

10:30 PM ET, March 6, 2003

SAP Center, San Jose, California

1 2 3 OT T
MTL 1 1 1 03
SJ 0 1 2 14

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

M. Ribeiro (Canadiens - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

A. Graves (Sharks - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Strum scores twice for San Jose, including OT winner

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Marco Sturm wasn't about to let the trade of San Jose's career scoring leader affect the Sharks' offense.

Sturm scored two goals, including his career-high 22nd at 3:58 in overtime, as the Sharks defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 Thursday night in their first game without longtime captain and scoring leader Owen Nolan.

''I thought he might go down if I shot it, so I shot high,'' Sturm said of Canadiens' goalie Jose Theodore. ''There wasn't much room to make it, but I did.

''We had a lot of changes tonight and the last several days. We haven't all talked about what they mean. But it was nice to play this way tonight.''

The Sharks traded Nolan to Toronto on Wednesday for center Alyn McCauley, highly regarded forward prospect Brad Boyes and a first-round draft choice.

Without Nolan, San Jose rallied from a 2-1 deficit with two goals in the third period before Montreal's Francis Bouillon forced overtime by scoring his first goal of the season with 1:35 remaining.

Montreal is winless in eight games and has lost four in a row on the road. The Canadiens haven't won since Feb. 15 when they defeated Edmonton at home 3-2.

''It's really frustrating,'' coach Claude Julien said. ''Those are must-wins. We're certainly not finding ways to win. We're finding ways to lose. We're not finishing. Our lack of scoring has been really costly for us.''

The Sharks have killed 42 consecutive power plays since Feb. 12, a span of 11 games. Four of those were Thursday, covering eight minutes, including a five-on-three early in the first period.

''We showed good effort, especially on penalty killing, which was superb,'' San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. ''When you win like this it's certainly more fun than the way we've been playing.''

The Sharks had lost two consecutive.

Sturm scored his first goal with 2:41 left in regulation and Adam Graves also scored in the third to lead the Sharks back. Sturm scored 21 goals last season. Graves gave San Jose new life with his eighth goal of the season that tied it at 2-all with 10:12 left.

''It seemed all year that we were always down a goal and we folded,'' Sturm said. ''Maybe now we can kick it up.''

Chad Kilger gave Montreal a 2-1 lead when the puck softly rolled off goalie Miikka Kiprusoff's stick and into the net 7:03 into the second period. Mike Ribeiro had the assist. In the first period, Kilger had a goal disallowed because he made contact with the puck with his stick above the crossbar.

''I thought I was at the crossbar,'' Kilger said. ''Obviously it was over. I didn't even think of it. I thought it was a good goal.''

Kyle McLaren had two assists for San Jose, his first two-point game with the team since being acquired from Boston on Jan. 23.

Patrick Marleau scored his 23rd goal in the second period for the Sharks to make it 1-1. He scored on a pass from Teemu Selanne at the top of the crease 45 seconds into a power-play opportunity.

Donald Audette scored an even-strength goal on a pass from Jan Bulis with 6:34 left in the first period for a 1-0 Canadiens lead.

Playing in place of regular starter Evgeni Nabokov, Kiprusoff had 33 saves. He had lost in his past two appearances.

Game notes

The Sharks recalled center Ryan Kraft from Cleveland of the AHL. Defenseman Jesse Fibiger was recalled Wednesday, which gave the Sharks their regular 18 dressed skaters after dressing only 16 against Edmonton on Tuesday. Fibiger, who's from British Columbia, grew up disliking Montreal. ''Growing up like I did in Canada, you either hated them or you liked them,'' he said. ''I was one of those guys that hated them.'' ... This marked the first matchup between McLaren and the Canadiens' Richard Zednik since last season's first-round playoff matchup between the Bruins and Canadiens. McLaren, then with Boston, struck Zednik with his elbow and was suspended. Zednik was lost for the remainder of the postseason after suffering a broken nose and a concussion. ... San Jose center Mike Ricci missed his second consecutive game with a back injury. ... The Canadiens play the third game of their current six-game road trip Saturday at Los Angeles. ... McCauley is expected to join the team by the weekend. The Sharks said he is working on clearing his paperwork to play in the United States. ... Bouillon's goal was his first since March 29, 2000, vs. Boston, a stretch of 72 games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press