Marleau's late score gives Sharks 2-1 win

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Marleau's late score gives Sharks 2-1 win

BOX SCORE

COLUMBUS Patrick Marleaus late marker was the difference in the Sharks' 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night, in a game marred by an ugly hit on San Joses Andrew Desjardins in the second period at Nationwide Arena.After Rick Nash tied the game earlier in the third, Marleau put home a juicy rebound of a wrist shot by Joe Pavelski with 2:57 remaining. The puck went from the pad of goalie Curtis Sanford right to the tape of Marleau for an easy conversion.You dream of those ones, thats for sure, Marleau said. It was a great play by Pav, and Dan Boyle to get it going up the ice, and I was in the right spot at the right time, I guess.

The win was the Sharks sixth in their last seven games (6-0-1), but may have come at a cost, as an elbow from Columbus Dane Byers nailed Desjardins in the head at 3:01 of the second period. The rookie had been seeing increased ice time of late.NEWS: Desjardins feels "fine" after dirty hit
Desjardins said he felt fine after the game, but he did not return after the blindsided collision. Byers received a match penalty for intent to injure, but not before he had to answer to Brad Winchester, who decided to stick up for his linemate by dropping the gloves.I kind of saw it out of the corner of my eye. I saw Desjardins go down, and jumped in, Winchester said.Winchester received 17 minutes of penalties himself, including an instigating minor and misconduct, so the Sharks ensuing power play was just three minutes instead of five. But, that didnt matter to coach Todd McLellan.I think its appropriate at that time to take care of a teammate, McLellan said. Winnie has done that for our team all year. Were very happy with the way hes been playing.Ryane Clowe, whose power play goal gave the Sharks a 1-0 second period lead, took the opportunity to vent about the instigator penalty in general.Winnie will pick up for his teammates, no doubt. Its great to see, Clowe said. To get two, five and a 10, thats a rule that frustrates me. He didnt go up and jump the guy, the guy saw him coming and he gets 17 minutes and misses half the game. Thats kind of frustrating, but thats the way it is. Well take those penalties any night.The Sharks conclude a four-game road trip on Sunday in Chicago.The San Jose power play capitalized on its fifth opportunity on a goal by Clowe in the second period.Brent Burns fired a heavy slapper towards the net, ringing it squarely off of the far post. Goalie Curtis Sanford was unable to locate the puck, and Logan Couture chipped it into midair, while Clowe whacked it into the net just under the crossbar on the other side at 14:59.Clowe had no problem seeing the puck through his cage, which he is wearing due to a facial injury incurred on Tuesday in Minnesota."Whats that thing they say, you see three and swing at the middle one? he joked. I couldnt see it until the last minute, actually. Cant really whine about the cage when Im doing that. Ill take it.There was a thought right away that Clowe may have knocked it in with a high stick, as the puck was still several feet in the air when he swatted it in.I knew right away. You can feel when the stick is too high and I knew it was at the cross bar or below, he said.The San Jose power play had been generally ineffective up to that point, including the Byers penalty and a four-minute power play in the first period with Nash off on a double minor for high sticking Douglas Murray.We shuffled it around a little bit and changed some things, then it got real urgent, McLellan said of the power play. Then, it did what its supposed to do, shoot and get it back. That was a big goal for us, obviously.Thomas Greiss kept it that way at the intermission, making his best save of the night with six seconds left in the period. Derek Brassard looked like he was about to fire a wrist shot on net, but instead found an open Fedor Tyutin. Greiss quickly dove from his left to his right to snuff out Tyutins attempt.I just saw the rush coming. I saw Brassard, and he had a pretty good scoring chance, too, but I saw Tyutin in the back door and just jumped at it, said Greiss, who finished with 25 saves. It just hit my pad.The Blue Jackets tied it, though, on a great effort from Nash. Columbus best player skated across the blue line and fired a perfectly placed wrist shot into the corner, high past the stick side of Greiss at 8:53 of the third.The goal was Nashs 16th career marker against the Sharks in 31 games, and was one of those goals that few players in the NHL have the ability to convert.He put that in a good spot, Greiss said, laughing.Greiss finished with 25 saves to record his sixth win of the season. He also beat the Blue Jackets on Jan. 5, in what are his only two appearances in the last six weeks.I thought Greisser was very good. His last two starts, both against Columbus, were exceptional, McLellan said. It makes us feel very good heading into this busy stretch.Odds and ends: The Sharks killed off both Columbus power plays. San Jose lost 28 of 46 faceoffs. Each team had 13 blocked shots.

Rewind: Sharks fall behind early again, lose 3-2 to Ducks

Rewind: Sharks fall behind early again, lose 3-2 to Ducks

ANAHEIM – Spotting a team the first two goals is a difficult recipe for winning hockey games. That’s even truer when you’re the Sharks, and you’re having tremendous difficulty scoring more than two goals on any given night in the first place.

While the Sharks hung with Anaheim in a closely contested game at Honda Center on Friday night, the Ducks got that extra necessary score. Brent Burns and Kevin Labanc answered first period goals by Rickard Rakell and Antoine Vermette, but Hampus Lindholm’s marker with 5:38 to go in the third period was the difference.

For the fifth time in their last six, and ninth in their last 12, San Jose's scuffling offense couldn’t eclipse the two-goal plateau in a 3-2 defeat.

Coach Pete DeBoer said giving up the first two scores, like they also did on Wednesday in a similar loss against Ottawa, “is not optimal, obviously. But we battled back, and I thought the game could have gone either way. 

“I give our guys credit for battling back. … We didn't hang our head, we battled, and we're just finding a way to lose right now instead of win, which, we've been winning games like that."

For the second straight game, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski had numerous prime chances but couldn’t find a way to get one. An early third period opportunity stood out among the rest, though, when Pavelski was staring at a wide open net in a 2-2 game from close range.

Typically that’s an automatic score for Pavelski, who led the league in game-winners last season. But this time, it went five feet wide.

“Kind of rolls up, catches the blade, and it’s not even close,” Pavelski said. “Those are the moments you’ve got to cash in on. I haven’t done that.”

The Sharks’ best stretch came early in the second period, when they outskated the Ducks and peppered Jonathan Bernier while trailing, 2-1. The Ducks goalie turned them all away until Labanc squeezed one through at 8:40 after the rookie was nicely set up by linemate Logan Couture.

“He didn’t give me much room. You just want to get that off as quick as you can,” Labanc said. “Just took a quick shot, and it went in the net.”

In a game of momentum swings, though, the Ducks outplayed San Jose in the third. They took the lead when Joel Ward gave Lindholm a little too much room to pick his spot on a wrist shot from the top of the circle.

After looking like they were in good shape after two periods, Labanc thought the Sharks were “a little too confident” headed into the third.

“We stopped skating, stopped dumping the puck in, and working hard in the corners,” he said.

Pavelski bemoaned the fact that for the second straight game, a regulation loss in the final minutes, that the Sharks didn't even manage to get the point in the standings for forcing overtime despite fighting back.

"The last few games you have a chance to at least push it to the end," he said. "We're not giving up a whole lot."

The Sharks nearly did tie the game with Martin Jones pulled for an extra attacker, though. After Burns made a pair of remarkable shot blocks on Andrew Cogliano bidding for an empty netter, DeMelo and Ward each had whacks at the puck, but somehow it remained out. 
 
“A bunch of chaos, really,” is how DeMelo described it. “It was really tight. I think we were just inches away from getting the equalizer.”

Again, though, they just couldn’t find a way to get that third score.

“We were close,” DeBoer said, “but not close enough."

Instant Replay: Sharks' comeback thwarted by Lindholm goal

Instant Replay: Sharks' comeback thwarted by Lindholm goal

BOX SCORE

ANAHEIM – For the second straight game, the Sharks fell into an early 2-0 hole.

And for the second straight game they erased that deficit, only to lose on a late third period marker. Hampus Lindholm scored with 5:38 to go in regulation, pushing the Ducks to a 3-2 win over the Sharks at Honda Center on Friday night.

Lindholm snapped a 2-2 tie when he found open ice at the top of the circle and buzzed a wrist shot past Martin Jones, for the defenseman’s first of the season.

Anaheim improved to 5-0-1 in the last six head-to-head matchups between the Pacific Division rivals, and moved ahead of the Sharks by two points in the standings.

The Sharks lost their second straight game, including a 4-2 defeat to Ottawa on Wednesday night at SAP Center. They have scored two or fewer goals in nine of their last 12 games, going 6-5-1 over that span.

Rickard Rakell opened the scoring at 4:44. The forward found the rebound of a Shea Theodore shot after Marc-Edouard Vlasic failed to clear the zone for his 11th goal.

Antonie Vermette increased the lead to 2-0, finishing off a rush at 15:06 when he slid the puck past Jones’ far side.

San Jose got one back just before the intermission, though. One second after a power play had expired, Brent Burns hammered home a one-timer from the circle on a pass from Patrick Marleau with just six seconds left in the period, after Vlasic nicely kept the puck in at the offensive blue line.

Burns has now scored one goal in each of the past three games, and has six in the last nine games overall.

The Sharks pushed the pace early in the second period, but Jonathan Bernier made stops on Mikkel Boedker, Joonas Donskoi, Joe Pavelski and Melker Karlsson to keep the Ducks lead intact. That is, until Kevin Labanc knotted it at 2-2, finishing off a cross-ice pass by Logan Couture at 8:40 for the rookie’s third of the season.

The Sharks had a great chance to take their first lead of the night early in the third period, but Joe Pavelski missed a wide open net less than three minutes into the final frame.

The Sharks and Ducks split the first two meetings of the season series. San Jose returns to Honda Center later this month on Dec. 27.

Special teams

The Sharks were officially 0-for-1 on the power play. They killed off all three Anaheim advantages, ending a three-game streak of one power play goal against.

In goal

Starting for the 10th time in the last 11 games, Jones allowed three goals on 32 shots. He fell to 3-7-0 in his career against Anaheim.

Bernier was playing for the first time since giving up eight goals to Calgary on Dec. 4. He made 22 saves to pick up the win.

Lineup

Defenseman David Schlemko missed his second straight game with a right ankle injury. Mirco Mueller was recalled on Friday morning, but did not play.

Rakell returned from being out for the last two games with an upper body injury.

Up next

The Sharks return home for the second of a back-to-back on Saturday against the Hurricanes, who claimed a 1-0 win in Carolina on Nov. 15.

A four-game road trip begins in Toronto on Tuesday, Dec. 13.