Series (Game 1 of 1)

San Jose leads 1-0

Game 1: Saturday, November 8th

Sharks 3

(3-5-1, 13 pts)

Capitals 2

(3-10-0, 7 pts)

7:00 PM ET, November 8, 2003

Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia

1 2 3 T
SJ 0 2 13
WSH 0 1 12

E. Nabokov (Sharks - G): Saves: 32, Save Pct.: .941

A. McCauley (Sharks - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

R. Lang (Capitals - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Sharks pull out rare win

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

Stephen Peat

Can't find the puck? Capitals' Stephen Peat and Sharks' Scott Parker go at it Saturday.

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 post.

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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press