Sharks pull out rare win


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The San Jose Sharks finished a successful road

Jonathan Cheechoo's goal snapped a second-period tie, and San
Jose edged the Washington Capitals 3-2 on Saturday night to end
their longest road swing of the season 2-1-3-1.

"We're able to go home satisfied. ... Eight points and 15 days
later -- I don't know many teams that could expect to get about a
point every night," defenseman Kyle McLaren said.

The Sharks, who broke a three-game winless streak, have beaten
Washington eight straight times. Alyn McAuley and Patrick Marleau
also scored for the Sharks, who had just one win in their previous
10 games (1-3-5-1).

Kip Miller and Peter Bondra tallied for the Capitals, who have
dropped two straight and three of four.

Bondra appeared to tie the game with 5.8 seconds left in
regulation, but the goal was disallowed after a four-minute video
replay review because he kicked the puck in.

Cheechoo, one of three Sharks packed around Bondra in the
crease, knew the goal wouldn't withstand the review.

"I knew I lifted (Bondra's) stick, so the only thing he had to
put it in with was his foot," Cheechoo said.

Bondra wasn't so sure the correct call was made.

"I swung my stick and swung pretty much my whole body, whatever
was left on that side, and the guy was pulling me away from the
play," Bondra said. "It was so close, it could go either way, so
I was hoping they would make the right decision."

The game marked the return to MCI Center of Sharks coach Ron
Wilson, who coached the Capitals to a 192-167-51 record over four
years before being dismissed following the 2001-02 season.

But Wilson had to sweat out the lengthy review.

"The only thing that had me worried was how long it took,"
Wilson said. "The longer it takes, the worse it can be."

Miller broke an 18-game goal drought, giving Washington a 1-0
lead 5:11 into the second period. He used a defender as a screen
and beat goaltender Evgeni Nabokov from the right circle for his
first of the season.

The lead lasted only 2:18 before McAuley took a backhand feed
from the left boards and lined up a low wrist shot from the top of
the circle.

San Jose exploited a turnover by Washington's Stephen Peat at
the blue line when Mark Smith stole the puck and fed Cheechoo, who
buried a top-shelf shot for a 2-1 lead 12:42 second.

"We turn the puck over and it seems to be someone different
every night," Capitals coach Bruce Cassidy said.

Marleau made it 3-1 midway through the third period, squeezing a
shot through goalie Olaf Kolzig's legs from the right side.

Bondra scored a power-play goal with 5:02 left in regulation,
converting a cross-crease feed from Jaromir Jagr from the right

Game notes
The Sharks beat Washington 2-0 at home on Dec. 12, 2002, in
Wilson's first game against his former team. ... LW Scott Thornton,
who had goals in the Sharks' previous two games, was scratched with
a sore groin. ... D Rick Berry played his first game for the
Capitals this season. Berry was recalled from Portland of the AHL
on Friday when LW Matt Pettinger (concussion) went on injured
reserve. ... Nabokov was briefly shaken up early in the third
period when Jason Doig's shot caught him below the belt, but he
stayed in the game. ... McAuley and Cheechoo share the team lead
with six goals apiece.