Marleau's late score gives Sharks 2-1 win


Marleau's late score gives Sharks 2-1 win


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 slow, sloppy and undisciplined in loss to Wings

Rewind: Sharks slow, sloppy and undisciplined in loss to Wings

DETROIT – The Sharks had just one scheduled practice on their 10-day road trip, set to take place on Friday in Detroit prior to the fifth and final game against the Red Wings. It was canceled, though, as the coaching staff opted for rest rather than work.

The result was a 3-0 loss to the Red Wings in which the Sharks were sloppy in their own zone, were smoked in the faceoff circle, surrendered a plethora of odd-man rushes, and took eight minor penalties. They just couldn’t keep pace with a Detroit team that was playing its second game in as many nights. 

San Jose looked like a club that has held just a single solitary practice since the season began on Oct. 12.

“Some breakdowns, guys not being above [the puck], some giveaways in our own end, we’re kind of leaving [the defensive zone] early,” Logan Couture said. “We just don’t seem like we’re dedicated to defense like we were at the end [of] last year.”

[KURZ: Instant Replay: Sharks blanked by Wings, end road trip with thud]

“It wasn’t very good tonight,” added Martin Jones, who lost his third in a row in goal. “Too many penalties, too many turnovers. Just wasn’t very good tonight.”

The start was actually a decent one, as the Sharks were attempting to put Thursday’s third period collapse in Pittsburgh behind them, but Detroit eventually took over. Gustav Nyquist broke the scoreless tie four minutes into the second period, and added to the Red Wings’ lead with a second marker about 11 minutes later.

On the first, Paul Martin was caught flat-footed in the offensive zone, leading to a two-on-one rush by Detroit. Nyquist abruptly stopped on the faceoff dot in front of Justin Braun, and rifled a shot though. On the second, Matt Nieto had control of the puck and was headed up the ice before he stumbled and turned it over to Ryan Sproul, who found Nyquist in the slot. 

A bad line change resulted in Andreas Athanasiou powering a slap shot to Jones’ far side six minutes into the third period, giving Detroit a commanding three-goal lead. 

“We were late everywhere tonight,” Pete DeBoer said. “When you’re a step behind a good team they expose you, and I think that was the story. We’ll have to go back and figure out why, and get our game back in a better place.”

“We played into their hands. They’re a transition team, a speed team, and if you’re going to play east-west and turn the puck over they’re going to make you pay for it. We talked about it, but we still fell into that trap. Obviously the penalties didn’t help, and we’re playing catch up all night.”

Among those penalties was a double minor to Joe Pavelski for spearing Steve Ott, just a few seconds after Athanasiou’s goal. The captain seemed agitated for much of the night.

Pavelski said he didn’t think he got a whole lot of Ott with his stick, but “it’s a play you don’t want to make.”

DeBoer didn’t take issue with the play which nullified what would have been a Sharks power play after a Drew Miller interference.

“Pav is a competitor. He was probably our best player tonight. He’s competing right until the final buzzer,” DeBoer said. “I don’t have a problem with that. It doesn’t bother me.”

The power play, though, is one area that the coach may need to focus on when the Sharks finally get a practice in on Monday at home. Despite being together for so many years, the top unit seems tentative with the puck and is misfiring on passes that are typically routine.

On one power play in the second period when the game was still scoreless, Pavelski was open in front of the net, but Patrick Marleau missed him on what would have been a tap-in goal. The Sharks finished 0-for-4 with a man advantage and have just one goal in a manned net this season during five-on-four play.

What has to change?

“Quite a few things,” Couture said. “We’re breaking in fine, [but] we’re too stationary, I think. I don’t know if we’re moving the puck well enough. Not attacking holes, not shooting the puck and getting it back.”

The Sharks will open up a three-game homestand on Tuesday with the Ducks. There is work to do before that.

“We’re 3-3. That’s the good news,” DeBoer said. “I think we’ve played some good hockey, but we have a lot of things we’ve got to clean up, too.”

Jones said: “Obviously it wasn’t the way we wanted to end the road trip. We’ll bounce back, and we’ve got a lot of games left.”

Instant Replay: Sharks blanked by Wings, end road trip with thud

Instant Replay: Sharks blanked by Wings, end road trip with thud


DETROIT – The Sharks organization made some good memories over the years at Joe Louis Arena. Saturday’s game, their final regular season game ever in the storied Detroit arena, wasn’t one of them.

Gustav Nyquist scored twice and Jimmy Howard made 30 saves in leading the Red Wings to a 3-0 blanking of the Sharks. San Jose’s record stands at an even 3-3-0 after it lost three of five games on its road trip, including the final two.

The Sharks open a three-game homestand with the Ducks on Tuesday.

Both of Nyquist’s goals came in the second period as Detroit opened up a 2-0 edge.

His first came on a two-on-one rush. Nyquist skated the puck into the Sharks’ zone, slammed on the breaks in the faceoff circle, and buzzed a wrist shot past Martin Jones at 4:14 of the middle frame.

On his second score, Nyquist squeezed a wrist shot through Jones from the slot at 15:10 shortly after Matt Nieto lost his footing – and the puck – in the Sharks’ defensive zone.

The Red Wings put the game out of reach when Andreas Athanasiou teed off on a slap shot from the circle at 6:05 of the third period, beating the Sharks’ starting goalie high to the far side.

San Jose was unable to score despite pulling Jones for an extra attacker with more than three minutes to go.

The Sharks again struggled on the power play taking an 0-for-4, and are 0-for-8 over the last three games.

Detroit will open Little Ceasar’s Arena at the start of next season. The Sharks finished with a 12-28-4 record all-time at The Joe.

Special teams

If there was one bright spot for the Sharks it was their penalty kill, which fought off all seven Red Wings power plays.

The power play, though, remains ice cold, as San Jose has scored just one power play goal this season during a standard five-on-four advantage. Overall, the Sharks are 3-for-20 on the season, including an empty net goal and another on a two-man advantage.

A bit of nastiness ensued shortly after the Red Wings’ third goal, as Joe Pavelski was given a double-minor for “attempting to spear” Steve Ott, who got an unsportsmanlike conduct minor.

In goal

Jones dropped to 2-3 on the season, losing his third straight start after beginning the season with a pair of wins. He allowed three goals on 32 shots.

Howard won for the second time in as many starts. He improved to 5-7-4 all-time against San Jose.


Brent Burns, who entered the game tied for the league lead in scoring with nine points, saw his five-game point streak to start the season come to an end.

Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader was scratched, so Athanasiou was inserted back into the lineup.

San Jose reassigned forward Ryan Carpenter to the Barracuda on Friday. He did not play at all on the trip.

Up next

The Sharks will play just their second home game on Tuesday against Anaheim. The Blue Jackets visit SAP Center on Thursday, and the Predators next Saturday.

Overall, five of the Sharks’ next six games are in San Jose.