Work in Sports
With the Sharks on the power play, Stuart fired a slap shot from the point that got past goaltender Olaf Kolzig to put San Jose up 2-1. Vincent Damphousse appeared to clip Kolzig as he was skating toward the left side of the crease.
Minutes earlier, an apparent goal by Washington's Peter Bondra was disallowed when referee Richard Trottier ruled that Caps defenseman Dmitri Mironov interfered with goalie Steve Shields. Replays showed Mironov was pushed into Shields by San Jose's Jeff Friesen.
Sharks coach Darryl Sutter argued for goaltender interference on Mironov, but had to settle for the disallowed goal.
"It was half-right," Sutter said. "I was 50 percent real happy."
Stephane Matteau's third goal of the season gave San Jose a 3-1 cushion at 5:32 of the third period and the Sharks held on for their third straight road win.
Jan Bulis cut the Capitals' deficit to one with just over three minutes remaining when Jeff Halpern's shot from outside the right faceoff circle went off his skate.
Shields, who finished with 27 saves, preserved the lead by making a sliding pad stop on Joe Reekie's one-timer from the left circle with just under two minutes to play.
In four road games this season, Shields has allowed three goals on 190 shots. In his last three games, he he stopped 138 of 141 attempts.
"He's hot, so we're playing him," Sutter said. "It's probably different from any other situation in the league. The guy who is hot gets full support from the other guy and the team."
Despite playing alongside two-time Stanley Cup winner Mike Vernon, Shields has received most of the playing time.
"I think (I improved) when I got an opportunity to play last year," he said. "I was getting support and making saves. I'm continuing on that this year."
Owen Nolan's power-play goal 6:41 into the first period put the Sharks in front, 1-0. He was camped at the right side of the net when he one-timed Damphousse's centering pass from the left corner past Kolzig for his league-leading eighth goal.
"Our team is based on defense," Nolan said. "We're excited about the offense, but come crunch time, defense wins it. We feel we owe a lot to our goalies."
Nolan nearly scored his ninth goal in the final minute of the game, but it was nullified by Matteau's hooking penalty.
Calle Johansson answered for the Capitals just over five minutes into the second period when his low slap shot from the slot beat Shields just inside the right goalpost.
Kolzig stopped 21 shots as Washington had a three-game unbeaten streak snapped.
Capitals defenseman Sergei Gonchar suffered a broken nose and needed 17 stitches to repair a facial cut after being pushed into San Jose center Ron Sutter by Sharks winger Dave Lowry. No penalty was called.
"The league should see it," Washington coach Ron Wilson said. "We'll call the league. They should have two refs at every game. They missed it. That doesn't help us get a power play."
Gonchar is expected to miss Tuesday's home game against Anaheim.