Sharks rally to force OT, but Blues win in shootout

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Jason Bacashihua came within one shot of his first NHL shutout. He'll have to settle for his second win.

Petr Cajanek scored the winning goal in the first extra round of the shootout to give the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Friday night.

"I just tried to be calm," Cajanek said. "I was lucky to score. I saw him standing there and took a chance."

Blues center Doug Weight and Sharks winger Jonathan Cheechoo scored in the regulation round of the tiebreaker, setting up Cajanek's winning try. Nils Ekman was then unable to force a fifth round for the Sharks.

Ekman did tie it earlier by scoring with just over a minute remaining in regulation. Mark Smith won the puck behind the net and sent a pass to Ekman, who beat Bacashihua, appearing in his fifth game since being recalled from AHL Peoria on Dec. 12.

"I didn't look at the clock until after they scored," Bacashihua said with a smile. "I saw there was 1:04 on the clock and all I could do is shake my head. It was a bang-bang play and they did a good job."

Ryan Johnson scored a shorthanded goal midway through the third period to give the Blues a 1-0 lead.

The Blues won on the road for the second time in three games after winning twice in their first 12.

Bacashihua stopped the first 21 shots he faced after giving up three goals in 13 shots during a 6-3 loss to Anaheim on Wednesday.

"We played a perfect team game," Cajanek said. "[Bacashihua] was unbelievable. He played great."

Bryce Salvador set up the first goal when he stole the puck off Joe Thornton's stick and cleared it down the right side. Jamal Mayers picked up a pass and centered the puck for Johnson, who beat Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov with a wrist shot from the top of the crease.

"We came out and played our game," Bacashihua said. "We kept chipping away and finally got it."

The Blues missed a great chance to win in overtime when Mike Sillinger took a 40-foot shot that Nabokov blocked but couldn't find when it bounced free inside the crease. Nabokov recovered in time to sit on the puck as Eric Weinrich tried to poke it in.

Nabokov, playing on consecutive nights, stopped 22 shots before Johnson's second goal of the season.

"He won the game for them, so he had a good game," Ekman said of Bacashihua. "But I don't think we challenged him as much as we could have or should have."

After allowing a combined 46 shots and nine goals in the first period of their previous four games, the Blues clamped down and gave up 10 shots in the first period against San Jose.

The teams combined for 13 goals in their first meeting in St. Louis on Oct. 8.

St. Louis has won 20 of 25 games in San Jose.

The Sharks went 0-for-5 on power plays and have converted just four of their last 34 man-advantage situations.

"We just didn't have the energy to get anything going," coach Ron Wilson said. "It was a struggle all night. We weren't generating any shots, especially in the third period."

The Blues have killed off 86 percent (43-of-50) of their penalties in the last eight games.

Game notes
Nabokov was named to the Russian Olympic hockey team and will make his first international appearance since joining the NHL. ... Blues right winger Dallas Drake returned to the lineup after missing seven games with a back injury. ... Sillinger also returned after missing one game with the flu. ... Sharks defenseman Kyle McLaren missed his fifth straight game with a knee injury.