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Associated Press
11/26/2006 1:17:03 AM


SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Joe Thornton picked off an errant pass and scored midway through the third period, lifting the San Jose Sharks to a 2-0 victory against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.

Evgeni Nabokov stopped all 24 shots he faced for his third shutout, the 30th of his career, and the Sharks won their season-best fifth straight at home and eighth of 10 overall.

Mike Grier added a short-handed, empty-net goal in the final seven seconds. The Devils allowed their sixth short-handed goal of the season.

Martin Brodeur was nearly as impenetrable, stopping 25 shots. That wasn't enough, though, to keep the Devils from losing three straight in regulation for the first time this season. The Devils have also lost four of their last five road games.

Thornton, the league's reigning MVP, swarmed to a pass that skittered off the stick of New Jersey centre Scott Gomez at the blue line. Thornton skated around two defenders and then fired the puck past Brodeur from the left faceoff circle.

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