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Marleau's O.T. goal lifts Sharks with four ticks left

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Marleau's O.T. goal lifts Sharks with four ticks left

Feb. 23, 2011

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PITTSBURGH (AP) Foiled by Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury once already in overtime, San Jose's Patrick Marleau went back to the front of the net to see if he could get another opportunity.He did, and took advantage, converting Logan Couture's rebound from close at 4:56 of overtime to seal a 3-2 victory over the Penguins on Wednesday.It was Marleau's second goal of the game, and came exactly a minute after he broke in on a clear-cut breakaway only to have his backhand gloved by Fleury."That wasn't my best move, that's for sure, but it was a good save," Marleau said.
VIDEO: Patrick Marleau postgame
Marleau's resilience resembled that of his team's, which didn't let down after allowing Pittsburgh's Tyler Kennedy to force overtime by scoring with 50 seconds left in regulation."It's just a sign of our perseverance," Marleau said. "You don't want to see that happen, but when it does happen, you want to see guys forget about it right away."The decisive goal came during a scramble in front, and after Fleury stopped Couture from in close. The puck dribbled to the left of the net, where Marleau flipped it in for the surging Sharks who improved to 14-2-1 in their past 17 games.It was Marleau's sixth game-winner of the season, and second in overtime in a span of five games, after he settled a 2-1 win at Nashville.The Sharks extended their winning streak to five games while also vaulting a point ahead of Phoenix into first place of the tightly packed Pacific Division.Couture, with his franchise rookie record-tying 25th goal of the season, also scored while Antti Niemi stopped 24 shots.Kennedy scored twice for the Penguins, who are winless in their past three (0-1-2) and dropped to 2-5-2 in their past nine since Evgeni Malkin sustained a season-ending knee injury to join captain Sidney Crosby on the injury list. Crosby is out indefinitely after missing his 21st straight game with a concussion.Penguins coach Dan Bylsma wasn't pleased with the outcome, even though the Penguins earned a point to move four points ahead of the fifth-place Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference.
RELATED: NHL standings
"It doesn't feel much of a consolation prize to add a point there," Bylsma said. "We think we need to play better than that to get the result we want going forward."The Penguins might be down yet another key player after defenseman Brooks Orpik did not return for the start of the second period after taking Marleau's shot off his hand late in the opening period. Orpik skated off shaking his hand and was escorted up the tunnel.Bylsma said he would wait until Thursday to update Orpik's status.The new-look Penguins continue to have difficulty scoring, despite shaking up their lineup by adding forward James Neal and defenseman Matt Niskanen in a trade that sent defenseman Alex Goligoski to Dallas on Monday.Both Neal and Niskanen made their debuts, but the Penguins extended their string to 15 games since they scored four or more goals in regulation.Pittsburgh has been shut out three times during that span, including a 1-0 loss to Washington on Monday."I don't really care how many goals we score, we've just got to win," Neal said. "We played well last game, we played pretty well tonight. We need to keep playing well every night and give ourselves a chance."Neal finished with two shots on goal, his best chance coming four minutes into the third period, when he blasted a shot on the fly from just inside the blue line, only to have Niemi get his right shoulder up for the stop. He made an even better save with 7:01 left, getting his glove up to snatch a snap shot from Kris Letang, who was driving in alone up the right wing.Niemi sees Sharks developing chemistry during their second-half run."I think it comes from just being confident that we are able to do it and we trust each other," Niemi said. "We've been playing really well lately, and we've got to keep it up."The Sharks, coming off a 4-3 win at Detroit on Tuesday, won by rallying from a 1-0 deficit, after Kennedy opened the scoring during a scramble in front at 5:48 of the first.Couture tied it 3:01 into the second period. He's tied with the Islanders' Michael Grabner for the rookie lead in goals and also tied the franchise rookie record set by Pat Falloon in 1991. Marleau then scored 5:28 into the third period to put the Sharks ahead 2-1.Fleury kept the Penguins in the game. He finished with 35 saves, including a pair of blocker shots on bang-bang chances from Joe Pavelski and Kyle Wellwood with 4 minutes left.Notes: In closing a brief two-game homestand, the Penguins hit the road for a five-game swing that opens at Carolina on Friday. The home games are the only two for Pittsburgh during a 25-day span. ... The Sharks conclude a three-game road trip at Calgary on Friday before returning home for a six-game homestand, which opens Tuesday against Colorado. ... For the second consecutive home game, the start of the second period was delayed because the house lights wouldn't come on in the first-year Consol Energy Center. The delay on Wednesday lasted more than 15 minutes, or 10 minutes longer than on Monday.

Hundley still not ready to discuss future; Cain to start during final weekend

Hundley still not ready to discuss future; Cain to start during final weekend

PHOENIX — A few weeks ago, Nick Hundley said he preferred not to talk about his future until the end of the season. We’re close enough, so after hitting the go-ahead homer Monday night, Hundley was again asked about his 2018 plans. He smiled.

“How many have we got left? Five?” he said. “Ask me Sunday.”

It’s not just the media and fans seeking an answer from the popular backup who has nine homers. The Giants hope to get some feel from Hundley as they finalize offseason plans, and manager Bruce Bochy said he would talk to the veteran this week. Bochy left no doubt about what he hopes will happen.

“I think he knows what we think of him,” he said. 

Hundley, a 34-year-old who came over in the offseason, has been one of the few overachievers this season. He has 32 extra-base hits in 274 at-bats, taking advantage of increased time with Brandon Belt done for the year and Buster Posey sliding over to first base. Hundley is one of the lineup’s more potent right-handed options, and he has earned praise from the starting staff. Johnny Cueto said Hundley helped him navigate a post-clinch Diamondbacks lineup that was essentially pulled straight out of Triple-A. 

Cueto did so with ease, striking out eight in six innings. He evened his record at 8-8, and he’ll have a chance to clinch a winning season on Sunday. Bochy said Cueto will start the final game of the season, and he confirmed that Matt Cain will start either Friday or Saturday. Asked for more details, the manager kept it just as mysterious as his catcher. 

“I’ll let you know tomorrow,” he said.

Mariners club four home runs, end A's seven-game winning streak

Mariners club four home runs, end A's seven-game winning streak

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- Mitch Haniger homered twice and Felix Hernandez won for the first time in more than two months as the Seattle Mariners defeated the Oakland Athletics 7-1 on Monday night.

A day after being eliminated from playoff contention, the slumping Mariners snapped Oakland's season-high seven-game winning streak and its eight-game run at home - the team's second-longest in 11 years.

The Mariners had lost eight of nine.

Hernandez (6-5) gave up one run in six innings of two-hit ball. King Felix hadn't won since July 15, a stretch that included a stint on the disabled list from Aug. 2 to Sept. 13 with right shoulder bursitis. He was 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in his previous five starts.

Haniger hit his 15th and 16th home runs off starter Daniel Gossett (4-10). The 24-year-old Oakland rookie gave up seven runs on a career-high four homers allowed.

Mike Zunino hit a three-run shot, his 24th, that broke a scoreless tie in the second. Yonder Alonso added his 26th homer, connecting against his former team.

Marcus Semien hit a solo homer off Hernandez in the sixth.

Andrew Albers pitched three shutout innings for his first save.

MAXWELL IN THE LINEUP:
A's catcher Bruce Maxwell played his first game since becoming the first player in the majors to kneel during the national anthem Saturday, part of a national protest movement against discrimination and harsh treatment of blacks by police. He was greeted with a loud ovation along with some boos sprinkled in from the Oakland crowd of 9,329. Maxwell cleared the concussion protocol on Monday. He hadn't played since Sept. 20.

SHOW OF SUPPORT:
In an apparent show of support for Maxwell, most of the Oakland Unified School District band members took a knee as they performed the national anthem before the game.

2,500 CLUB:
The 31-year-old Hernandez became the fifth active pitcher to log more than 2,500 career innings.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Mariners: INF Jean Segura (sprained right middle finger) will likely miss the remainder of the series, manager Scott Servais said. "He wants to get in there before the season's over. It's important to him, but he's not going to be available for a couple of days," Servais said.

Athletics: 1B Matt Olson was scheduled to have an MRI to determine the severity of a hamstring injury he sustained Sunday. The 23-year-old rookie will miss the rest of the series, manager Bob Melvin said. Olson has 25 home runs in 189 at-bats. "We're hoping we can get him back in Texas, but I'm not so sure about that," Melvin said. ... LHP Sean Manaea, who missed his last scheduled start on Saturday with upper back tightness, threw a bullpen and is on track to make his next start Thursday, Melvin said.

UP NEXT:
Mariners: LHP James Paxton (12-5, 3.03 ERA) is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts since coming off the DL on Sept. 14. He had been sidelined with a strained left pectoral muscle. Paxton is 3-0 with a 3.77 ERA in five career starts against Oakland.

Athletics: RHP Daniel Mengden (2-1, 3.30) is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in his last three starts. Mengden took the loss in his only career start against Seattle last season. He struck out six and gave up two runs on five hits and two walks in five innings.