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Washington wins in San Jose for the first time since 1993 with shootout victory

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(SAN JOSE) -- Well, so much for history being on the San Jose Sharks' side.

The Washington Capitals won in San Jose for the first time in more than 20 years, beating the Sharks, 3-2, in the overtime shootout. The Caps scored twice on three shots against Antti Niemi in the extra session, while San Jose could manage just one score in three attempts off Washington netminder Braden Holtby.

October 30, 1993 was the last time Washington beat the Sharks here, and when San Jose took a 2-1 lead in the third period on James Sheppard's unassisted score, it looked like the misery would extend another year for the Caps.

But the visitors tied it up with 7:30 to go and then won it in the shootout. The Sharks have played in 16 shootouts this year, winning ten of them -- the most in the National Hockey League this year.

Alas, San Jose did secure its 100th point of the season, however, to extend their slim lead in the Pacific Division to three points over the Anaheim Ducks (who now have two games in hand). Yet it was another lost chance for the Sharks at the SAP Center, where they had the best home-ice record in the NHL last week.

But with a 1-1-1 record on this three-game homestand, San Jose left some valuable points floating out there on the frozen surface.

The Caps just wanted it more, as they are fighting for the last spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Washington outshot the Sharks, 5-0, in the overtime period, and the visitors jumped ahead right away on their first shootout attempt.

Patrick Marleau scored the first goal for the Sharks in the opening period, before Sheppard gave the team the lead early in the third period. But it wasn't to be for San Jose tonight.

Overall, Niemi made 23 saves on the night, but the shootout wasn't kind to him.

The Sharks (46-18-8) now head out of town for two games in Calgary and Edmonton before returning home next Thursday to host Winnipeg.


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