<
>

Ehrhoff scores late third period goal, Sharks win

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- San Jose's power play has been a big part
of the team's early-season success. It came through when the Sharks
needed it the most Tuesday night.

Christian Ehrhoff scored with the man advantage with 35.8
seconds left to give San Jose a 2-1 victory over the Florida
Panthers.

"We take a lot of pride in our special teams," San Jose coach
Ron Wilson said. "I wasn't sure we would get a power-play goal,
but we were finishing hard. It's nice that we finally got a puck
through to the net.

Ehrhoff gave San Jose its ninth victory in 13 games when his
slap shot went off the ankle of Florida's Ville Peltonen near the
blue line and floated over the shoulder of Alexander Auld.

"I'll take it," said Ehrhoff, who has four goals this season.
"I'm pretty happy. We needed that one and we got it."

San Jose came into the game with the best power play in the NHL
at 28 percent but was 0-for-4 before Ehrhoff scored.

Joe Thornton also scored for the Sharks, who extended their
unbeaten streak against Florida to eight games (7-0-1). San Jose
hasn't lost against the Panthers since a 4-1 defeat at Florida on
Feb. 9, 2000.

San Jose got its last power play when Martin Gelinas was called
for hooking Thornton just inside the Florida zone.

"Big apologies to all the players here," Gelinas said. "We
work so hard for 89 minutes, I take a penalty and they score.
That's a tough way to lose."

Olli Jokinen scored and Auld stopped 26 shots for the Panthers,
who lost their second consecutive game at home after starting the
season 4-0.

"I thought we played a very good game against a very good
hockey club," Panthers coach Jacques Martin said. "To lose it
that way it's difficult, but we've got to bounce back."

Vesa Toskala made 24 saves for the Sharks. It was his first game
since his franchise-record 12-game winning streak was snapped in a
4-3 loss to Nashville on Thursday night.

San Jose trailed 1-0 going into the third but tied it 1:31 in.
Six seconds after the end of a Sharks power play, Thornton beat
Auld with a high wrist shot through a screen.

After being outshot 5-4 in the second period, San Jose had a
14-8 advantage in the third.

"We were kind of flat the first two periods, I don't know
why," Thornton said. "Then we were starting the power play with
the fresh ice in the third period and we were kind of excited."

Jokinen put Florida in front at 6:06 of the second on the
Panthers' first shot of the period. He one-timed Nathan Horton's
pass over the left shoulder of Toskala.

Game notes
Peltonen's assist on Jokinen's goal was his first NHL point
since the 2000-01 season when he played for Nashville. Peltonen
spent the past five seasons playing in Finland. ... Florida C Joe
Nieuwendyk missed his third consecutive game because of a back
injury. ... San Jose kept intact its streak of rotating between
Toskala and Evgeni Nabokov in goal every game. ... Jokinen has
recorded 12 of his 13 points at home. ... San Jose D Rob Davison
missed the game after being sent home Monday night to be with his
wife, who was due to deliver their first child. "I'd shoot him if
he thought this was more important," Wilson said. "He'll forget
about this (game) in two weeks; you never forget the birth of your
child."