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Marleau paces Game 2 win
Sharks captan records a hat trick
4/10/04 - by Mike Lee

When the Sharks knocked off the St Louis Blues in the first round of the 2001 NHL Playoffs, they employed a pesky, in your face style of play that got under the Blues skin. That approach paid dividends for the heavily outmatched Sharks, and would result in one of the biggest upsets in NHL history. The tables have turned this season, but the Blues attempt at aggravating their opponent backfired on them Saturday at HP Pavilion. The big difference is the 2001 Sharks tried to get the Blues to react by goading them into bad penalties. The 2004 Blues are simply playing undisciplined hockey, which bit them in the form of s 3-1 loss to the Sharks in Game 2 of their Western Conference matchup.

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1 2 3 T
STL 0 0 1 1
SJ 1 1 1 3
1st period - S.J, P. MARLEAU (1) (B. STUART, T. PREISSING), 17:29
2nd period - S.J, P. MARLEAU (2) (V. DAMPHOUSSE, N. DIMITRAKOS), 03:52
3rd period - S.J, P. MARLEAU (3) (V. DAMPHOUSSE), 00:48 STL, D. WEIGHT (1) , 17:51
1st period - STL, C. PRONGER, 02:47 - Hi stick S.J, N. EKMAN, 03:59 - Interference - Obstruction STL, C. PRONGER, 06:56 - Hi stick STL, C. PRONGER, 06:56 - Hi stick STL, C. PRONGER, 11:15 - Unsportsmanlike conduct STL, STL, 11:52 - Unsportsmanlike conduct- Coach S.J, S.J, 11:52 - Unsportsmanlike conduct- Coach STL, STL, 11:52 - Unsportsmanlike conduct- Coach STL, M. BARON, 11:52 - Unsportsmanlike conduct S.J, N. DIMITRAKOS, 11:52 - Unsportsmanlike conduct STL, M. SILLINGER, 16:55 - Roughing STL, K. TKACHUK, 18:11 - Interference S.J, P. MARLEAU, 18:32 - Interference - Obstruction
2nd period - STL, P. RHEAUME, 02:24 - Hooking S.J, J. MARSHALL, 05:48 - Interference STL, K. TKACHUK, 07:36 - Slashing STL, B. SALVADOR, 09:10 - Broken stick STL, K. TKACHUK, 16:39 - Interference - Goaltender S.J, A. KOROLYUK, 18:51 - Tripping
3rd period - S.J, S. THORNTON, 01:57 - Hi stick S.J, S. HANNAN, 06:24 - Hi stick S.J, J. MARSHALL, 15:17 - Cross check STL, D. WEIGHT, 15:42 - Hi stick S.J, M. RATHJE, 16:21 - Roughing STL, M. SILLINGER, 16:21 - Roughing STL, K. TKACHUK, 16:21 - Roughing STL, C. PRONGER, 16:21 - Unsportsmanlike conduct S.J, M. RATHJE, 16:21 - Roughing STL, C. PRONGER, 16:21 - Roughing
  Shots Saves
STL - Osgood 16 13
STL - Divis 8 8
SJ - Nabokov 26 25
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
STL 6 13 7 26
SJ 8 7 9 24
Power Play Conversion
STL 0 of 7
SJ 2 of 13
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Evgeni Nabokov
Kyle McLaren
While Chris Pronger was ingle handedly burying his own team with bad penalties, Patrick Marleau was burying the Blues with goals. Marleau recorded his first career playoff hat trick, providing San Jose with all the offense they would need.

Pronger would work the polar opposite of the "hot to win hockey games" spectrum by racking up four minor penalties and a double minor. The Blues defenseman would gift wrap the first four Shark power plays to San Jose in the 1ster period alone.

The Sharks, who relied heavily on Marleau early on in the season, leaned on their young captain for scoring. He would reward San Jose with three key scores.

His first two came on power play chances that looked as if they were the same identical play. Marleau would convert with just over two and a half minutes to play in the 1st period by snapping a wrist shot from the right circle under St Louis goaltender Chris Osgood's pads.

The Sharks captain would score from the exact same spot four minutes into the 2nd period. Only this time, the shot cleanly beat Osgood through the five-hole.

With the Sharks seemingly on a perpetual power play, they would ironically cap their own scoring with a short handed goal by Marleau 48 seconds into the 3d period. Vincent Damphousse setup the goal with a nifty centering pass that allowed Marleau to spring past two Blues defensemen before backhanding a shot past Osgood, for a 3-0 Sharks lead.

Doug Weight would convert on a short handed attempt himself with just under three minutes to play in regulation.

San Jose extends their lead to 2-0 in the best of seven series.

Play of the Game
The most telling play of the game was a non-play. In fact it was more of a walk away play. After Dallas Drake punched defenseman Scott Hannan in the back of the head while the two jockey for the puck behind the Blues net, Hannan simply skated away rather than get goaded into a bad penalty himself. The Sharks wrote the book on irritating opponents as a means to advance in playoff series'. The Blues look content to pile on the penalty minutes.

The Turning Point
Marleau's first goal got the Sharks rolling and force the Blues to play catch up all night long. Even with offensive threat's like Keith Tkachuk and Doug Weight, St Louis never figured out a way to get eh offensive ball rolling against San Jose.

Save of the Game
Sharks netminder Evgeni Nabokov made an incredible series of saves on the Sharks doorstep after the Blues tried firing a flurry of shots on net from deep within the Sharks zone. Nabokov managed to stop three point blank scoring chances.

Box Scores Do No Justice
Kyle McLaren showcased one of the Sharks marketing clips for next year, when he lowered the boom on Blues forward Peter Cajanek with a hip check that sent Cajanek into next Thursday. Cajanek was carrying the puck up the left wing boards when McLaren appeared out of nowhere, then crumpling to the ice after absorbing the hit.

Honorable Mention
Even with all the gifts the Blues hand delivered to San Jose, the Sharks only converted on 2 of 13 power play opportunities.

"We could have overreacted to a lot of things that were going on, but we didn't. If we retaliate, then we're playing it right back into their hands. ... I'm getting used to new linemates, but if I'm working hard and trying things that will make the team win, it doesn't really matter." - Patrick Marleau

"It takes a lot of character to survive that environment. I'm proud to say that we do have a disciplined team. ... We're getting what we need: good, strong goaltending; great penalty killing; and timely power-play goals." - Sharks head coach Ron Wilson

"The first game, they let the marginal stuff go. All of the sudden, when they switch and call everything, it's difficult. It's tough to switch gears midstream like that, and it's up to us to adapt, but it's a little late." - Chris Pronger

"Obviously you don't want to take retaliation penalties, but I'm going to hit every time I can. That's what I'm going to do. I'm going to be hard to play against, and if they call penalties, they call it." - Keith Tkachuk

Alyn McCauley was a scratch.

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