SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) --
was unreal, helping to prove the
San Jose Sharks
are for real.
Playing his first game since his wife gave birth to their first child, Nabokov stopped 34 shots as the Sharks continued an eye-popping three-game sweep of the NHL's best teams with a 2-1 victory over the
Detroit Red Wings
Nabokov yielded only
's goal midway through the third period, looking as good as ever three days after his daughter was born. He was at his best in the third, making 13 saves.
"He made some good saves, no question,"
said. "He was sharp tonight and he made some big saves."
and rookie Niko Dimitriakos scored for the Sharks, who have defeated Vancouver, Colorado and Detroit in succession. The trio began Monday with the top three records in the league.
"When you consider the teams we just beat, the first-place teams that everybody would point to as teams to beat in the West, yes, it's certainly gratifying," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "It builds your confidence so that you can play with anybody."
"We're going to compete," Nabokov added. "I'm not saying we're going to win every game, but we're definitely going to compete."
fell to 1-2-1-1 in their last five games. They are just four points better than the Sharks, whom have earned the utmost respect.
"They look a lot different than they did last year," Joseph said. "They look like they're skating well and moving well and in good position and getting great goaltending."
"They're playing with a ton of confidence," Wings coach Dave Lewis added. "I think they're playing as a team and they're getting very solid goaltending. When you have solid goaltending and you play as a team, that's a good recipe for success."
That's what San Jose has been getting, especially the goaltending. Nabokov and capable backup
began the day with goals-against averages of 2.20 and 1.89, and save percentages of .923 and .936, respectively.
"Well, I don't think you can praise our goaltending enough, especially the tandem," Sharks defenseman
said. "We all know Nabby's our No. 1 goalie, and when Vesa's in the nets, it seems like we don't skip a beat."
"We take pride in our defense and we've talked about it and harped on it all year, about taking care of our own end, and that comes from the goaltending," Harvey added.
Harvey opened the scoring with 2:12 left in the first period, wheeling around the net and past traffic before putting a snap shot inside the right goalpost from the low slot for his third goal.
Dimitrakos added his fifth with 4:56 remaining in the second period, one-timing a nifty backhand feed by
past Joseph from the right hashmark.
Nabokov did the rest, fighting off the
until Yzerman scored with 10 minutes remaining. He was especially sharp on a first-period power play - Detroit's only one of the game - making six saves.
"He was sharp, he was good," Lewis said. "He's been like that for a while from what I understand. He was good when he had to be good."