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Redemption in the Desert
Clowe paces 4-1 win
1/13/07 - by Mike Lee

Two weeks after suffering their worst loss in ten seasons, the Sharks had a score to settle with the Phoenix Coyotes. More importantly, San Jose wanted to redeem themselves in Phoenix for the 8-0 white washing they endured at the hands of the Coyotes. Captain Patrick Marleau sent a message uncharacteristically with his fists, which were accentuated by four goals from his teammates in a 4-1 win at the Center on Saturday night.

The Coyotes seemed unsure of what the Sharks would throw out them after embarrassing the Sharks back on December 30th. Most of the opening period was spent feeling out the tempo of play and if the Sharks would retaliate with any physicality.

That probing eventually led to a scrap between Marleau and Coyotes defenseman Keith Ballard six minutes into the game. The message was simple enough, and it dictated how Phoenix played the rest of the night. Absent were the heavy handed checks that dictated play the last time these two teams met.

The two teams would put a combined 4 shots (only 1 coming from Phoenix) on net during that opening period, but one from Sharks forward Ryane Clowe found the back of the net to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead. Clowe positioned himself in front of the Coyotes net, while Phoenix tried pressing Joe Thornton in the left corner. Thornton whipped a centering pass to Clowe for a one-timer that beat Curtis Joseph.

Coyotes captain Shane Doan would knot the game at 1-1 on a power play goal at 9:41 of the 2nd period after Clowe was sent off for hooking. Steve Reinprecht setup Doan with a touch pass from the end line, just outside the left post.

Clowe would redeem himself with his second goal of the night less than 5 minutes later. Sitting in the high slot, Clowe chipped a pass from Douglas Murray over Joseph's right shoulder, on a shot that crossed up the Coyotes goaltender. The goal was Clowe's 6th goal in the past four games.

Redemption was the theme of the night. Recently demoted defenseman Matt Carle made his return to the team after a brief stint in Worcester with the Sharks AHL affiliate. Carle made the most of his return, scoring his 4th goal of the season just 51 seconds into the 3rd period. Carle swept home a rebound from a severe angle near the left corner after Clowe bounced a shot off of Joseph.

San Jose would cap the night's scoring with a power play tally by Jonathan Cheechoo with 8:31 remaining in regulation. The Sharks were on the man-advantage after Doan took a brainless roughing penalty in front of his own net after the whistle had been blown. Cheechoo parked himself on the Coyotes doorstep, and redirected a Christian Ehrhoof blast for this 15th goal of the season. Thornton would earn the secondary assist on the play, giving him three on the night.

Phoenix had one last opportunity to claw back into the game with 7 minutes to play after Milan Michalek took a 4-minute high sticking penalty. Michalek was penalized after his stick nailed Ed Jovanovski while following through on a shot. The penalty followed the letter of the law, but what made it hard to swallow was that Jovanovski was on his knees when the stick hit him in the face.

San Jose would kill off the double-minor and extinguish any Phoenix comeback attempt.

Vesa Toskala made his second consecutive start and stopped 29 of 30 shots, including 18 in the 2nd period.

Marleau was named as a reserve for the Western Conference All Star team. Marleau will join Cheechoo and Thornton, who were both voted as starters for the contest in Dallas in two weeks.

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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 1 2 4
PHO 0 1 0 1
1st period - 1, SJ, Clowe 10 (Thornton, Cheechoo), 8:07.
2nd period - 2, PHO, Doan 14 (Reinprecht, Nagy), 9:41, (pp). 3, SJ, Clowe 11 (Murray, Hannan), 14:28.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Carle 4 (Clowe, Thornton). 5, SJ, Cheechoo 15 (Ehrhoff, Thornton), 11:29, (pp).
1st period - Marleau, SJ (fighting major), 6:07); Ballard, PHO (fighting major), 6:07; Doan, PHO (hooking), 9:39; Carle, SJ (hooking), 18:55.
2nd period - Clowe, SJ (hooking), 8:19.
3rd period - Morris, PHO (roughing), 2:52; Cheechoo, SJ (tripping), 8:57; Doan, PHO (roughing), 10:49; Michalek, SJ (high sticking, double minor).
  Shots Saves
SJ - Toskala 30 29
PHO - Joseph 20 16
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 3 7 10 20
PHO 1 18 11 30
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 3
PHO 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Ryane Clowe
Vesa Toskala
Joe Thornton
Referees: Paul Devorski, Don VanMassenhoven. Linesmen: Brian Mach, Tim Nowak.

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