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Associated Press
11/12/2006 1:14:43 AM


GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - The San Jose Sharks showed they are one of the NHL's better defensive teams.

Steve Bernier and Patrick Marleau scored in the second period, and Vesa Toskala stopped all 25 shots he faced in the last two periods after replacing Evgeni Nabokov as the Sharks beat the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 Saturday night.

San Jose, outshot 39-18 for the game, blanked the Coyotes over the final 41 minutes and limited their scoring opportunities.

''Getting outshot is not a significant factor,'' said Nabokov, who left due to a stiff neck after making 13 saves in the opening period. ''It's the quality chances that you want to eliminate, and then it's up to the goalie to see the puck and make the save. So far, our defence has been solid, and that makes my job easier.''

The Sharks came into the game tied with Anaheim for fourth in goals allowed. Only Detroit, Minnesota and Dallas gave up fewer goals.

''Our defence is doing an outstanding job, but we need to clean up some little things,'' San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. ''The wingers are turning the pucks over and that's not acceptable. Sure, we picked up the two points, but have to figure out how we can do things better and improve.''

Both teams squandered two-man advantages in the first period.

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