Sharks Marc-Edouard Vlasic, left, congratulates goalie Evgeni Nabokov following a shootout. The Sharks won 3-2. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
Joe Pavelski and Jonathan Cheechoo scored in the shootout to lift San Jose to a 3-2 victory Wednesday night, giving the Sharks their 10th straight win against the Capitals.
"There comes a point where you have to leave everything (bad) behind you," said Cheechoo, whose team had lost five of eight games. "Everyone stayed real positive."
Patrick Rissmiller and Matthew Carle scored in regulation and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 24 shots for San Jose. The Sharks, boasting the league's best power play, came into the game 4-for-31 on the man advantage during the last eight games.
Shaone Morrisonn and Brian Sutherby scored for the Capitals, who have not beaten the Sharks since Feb. 20, 1999. Washington has dropped five straight overall and fell to 1-8 in shootouts.
"They have a pretty skilled group out there, but every team has a skilled group," Nabokov said. "With the shootout, you're always rolling the dice."
Matt Pettinger scored in the shootout for Washington, but Nabokov denied Alex Ovechkin on a stick save in front and Alexander Semin on a move to the right post. Cheechoo then ended the shootout with a backhander past Brent Johnson at the left post.
Ovechkin, mired in a career-worst scoring slump that has seen him score only one goal in nine games, wasn't really surprised that Nabokov challenged him. The goalie's poke check left the puck in front of the crease as Ovechkin skated harmlessly by.
"He knows me," Ovechkin said of Nabokov. "I tried to do some move, (Nabokov pokechecked) me and he saved the puck."
Morrisonn and Sutherby scored less than a minute apart midway through the opening period, as Washington scored on two of its first four shots.
After the Sharks stopped a 2-on-2 rush, Morrisonn scored on a one-timer from the left point, ending a 43-game goal-scoring drought at 9:52. When defenceman Kyle McLaren failed to Jamie Heward's rebound in front of the crease 49 seconds later, Sutherby knocked in the loose puck for a 2-0 lead.
"It could have been easy to throw up a white towel," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "It was close by."
Rissmiller converted Mike Grier's right-wing pass, capping a 3-on-2 break with his fifth goal at 17:02.
Carle's power-play goal with 14:11 remaining in the third period tied the score. Carle finished off a three-shot flurry by tapping in the puck as it rolled along the goal line at the right post.
Notes: The Capitals have played five overtime games in their last eight. ... San Jose scratched C Patrick Marleau (food poisoning), but Pavelski returned after missing eight games with a foot injury. ... Capitals C Kris Beech rejoined the lineup after nine consecutive games as a healthy scratch. ... Ovechkin has scored one goal in nine games, the worst slump of his brief NHL career.