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Sharks live to see another day
Marleau's OT winner sends series back to Anaheim
4/25/09 - By Mike Lee -

If you were anywhere in the vicinity of downtown San Jose on Saturday night and didn't know who won the Sharks Western Conference Quarter Final game against the Anaheim Ducks, the roar that enveloped the city streets solved that mystery. Cheers and honing horns could be heard for blocks after the Sharks rallied in overtime to knock off Anaheim 3-2 to force a game 6 in Southern California on Monday. Patrick Marleau scored 6 minutes into the extra frame, saving the Sharks who squandered a 2-goal lead in the 3rd period.

For Marleau, the goal was partial redemption for his sub-par performance in the series thus far. The Sharks captain punched home a loose puck in front of the Anaheim net after Joe Thornton carried the puck into the zone and put three shots in succession off Ducks netminder Jonas Hiller.

"It's obviously must win for our club," a relieved Marleau said after the game. "The next couple of games as well. We try and build off this game and try and get better for the next game." Thornton's first shot kicked back out to him on the right post after hitting Hiller's leg pad. His second shot went wide right, but he was able to circle around the back of the net and put a third chance on goal. Hiller again made the stop, but Marleau crashed the net and pushed the puck to the goal line. Trying to reach back and cover it, Hiller finished things off by helping the puck clearly into the back of the goal.

Both Marleau and Thornton's hands went up signifying the tally and the Sharks bench cleared in celebration. Ducks centerman Ryan Getzlaf protested the goal, forcing the on-ice officials to review the goal, but it would not be overturned.

"The reason the puck went in the net was because their player pushed our goalie's pad, which is attached to his skate, which knocked the puck in the net," Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle argued after the game.

When pressed on the interpretation of the rules, Carlyle had an obvious opinion.

"I think there needs to be some clarification, because my view is that they are not allowed to push the goaltender and the puck in the net and cause a good goal," Carlyle responded.

For the Sharks, it means their season is extended by another 2 days as the series heads back to Anaheim where game 6 will be played on Monday night. For Marleau, Thornton and Setoguchi, it put the wraps on a combined 3 goal, 4 assist haul for the Sharks top line.

"We are obviously happy with their performance tonight," Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said. "They were challenged in the locker room by the coaching staff and this is supposed to be their time of the year."

Amid all the jubilation, the Sharks still have to be kicking themselves for blowing a 2-goal lead in the 3rd period. To Anaheim's credit, they didn't roll over. With the 3-1 series lead already in hand, the Ducks have the luxury of letting a game or two slip.

That luxury wasn't something the Sharks enjoyed, so they were forced to play for their lives. Needing to take advantage of their opportunities, San Jose misfired early.

A Corey Perry cross checking penalty 26 seconds into the game afforded the Sharks with an early chance, but one too many passes during the sequence killed their best chance.

Thornton would doom a 2-on-1 break later in the period when he inexplicably dished the puck rather than take an uncontested shot from 10 feet out. Devin Setoguchi was the recipient of that pass, but he misfired on the shot.

They would finally break through after Getzlaf took a hooking penalty at 6:51. On the ensuing power play, Marleau walked the puck in from the right side then bounced a shot off Hiller from about 10 feet out. Thornton was there to clean up the rebound slamming the puck behind the Ducks goaltender for that 1-0 lead.

The duo almost converted 2 minutes later on a break, but Thornton's feed across the top of the crease hopped over Marleau's stick as he came flying in on net on he right post.

Anaheim opened the 2nd period by controlling the puck in the Ssharks zone for over a minute. Only a nifty glove save by Evgeni Nabokov kept the puck out of the net after Bobby Ryan put a one-timer on net from 15 feet out. The play was almost identical to the 2 goals Ryan scored in Game 4.

The Ducks sustained pressure helped create a Mike Grier tripping penalty, but Anaheim would fail to cash in. They then sent a man of their own to the box after Travis Moen tried hunting down a loose puck. James Wisniewski was sent off for interference on the play, but the Ducks would escape without surrendering a goal. The Sharks seemed to use the chance to win back some of the momentum that they lost to start the period.

San Jose just missed converting on a Ducks miscue with 4 minutes remaining in the period. Scott Neidermayer missed touching up an icing behind his own net and Marleau would grab the puck and position himself in front of Hiller. Marleau had Hiller dead to rights, but his shot sailed over the cross bar.

Setoguchi would finally utilize that momentum by firing a shot off the top of Hiller's left pad as the Ducks goaltender sat kneeling up against the right post. Setoguchi stick-handled behind the net before reversing his direction, skating back toward the right corner, then pivoting toward the net along the end line.

With things going swimmingly for the Sharks, all of that would be turned upside down in the coarse of 4 minutes to open the 3rd period.

"Everything is fine and dandy right now, but we've still got a noose around our necks and we better be prepared to play even better than we did tonight," McLellan added.

Ryan Carter would cut the Sharks lead in half just 55 seconds into the period after the Sharks turned the puck over at center ice. Mike Grier fell down while carrying the puck up the right wing boards. Neidermayer chipped the puck to Andrew Ebbett who was skating back toward the Sharks zone. Ebbett raced up ice, then put on the breaks and slid a pass to Carter, who was trailing on the play. Carter one timed the shot through Nabokov's pads to make it a 2-1 game.

Before the Sharks could regroup, Perry knotted the game up after a defensive coverage mistake once again reared its head for San Jose. Neidermayer carried the puck into the San Jose zone drawing two defenders to the slot, before sliding a pass to the right side where Perry had slipped past Setoguchi for the one-timer.

Things seemed to go from bad to worse when Joe Pavelski served up a big turnover to Mike Brown at the Ducks blueline. That was followed by Marc-Edouard Vlasic falling down as Brown raced in on net. Nabokov would extinguish the fire by brushing aside the 1-on-nobody break with a poke check on Brown.

Thornton would miss on a golden opportunity in front of Hiller with 6:47 minutes to play, crossing the top of the crease with the puck. Cheechoo tried putting a shot on net, but the puck rolled off his stick right to Thornton on the right post. The Sharks centerman tried sending the shot across his body, but the puck hit the right post.

"The initial period we were very happy with the start we had, we had a lot of energy," McLellan said. "The first couple minutes of the second and certainly the first three or four of the third period we didn't win face-offs, and we didn't skate we were kind of on our heels. "

Teemu Selanne would bounce a shot of his own off the left post with 2:45 left in regulation, after circling around the back of the Sharks goal.

"We played well," said Thornton. "We're a confident team. We haven't won here in the playoffs this year. We knew that it was just a matter of time before we got our feet under us and win at home. It was an excellent game by everybody tonight."

Game Notes:

Both teams stayed with the same rosters from game 4.



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Scoring
1 2 3 OT T
ANA 0 0 2 0 2
SJ 1 1 0 1 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Thornton 1 (Marleau, Blake), 7:25, (pp).
2nd period - 2, SJ, Setoguchi 1 (Cheechoo, Thornton), 17:16.
3rd period - 3, ANA, Carter 1 (Ebbett, S. Neidermayer), 0:55. 4, ANA, Perry 2 (S. Neidermayer, Getzlaf), 4:42
1st Overtime - 5, SJ, Marleau 2 (Thornton, Setoguchi), 6:02
Penalties
1st period - Perry, ANA (cross checking), 0:46; Getzlaf, ANA (hooking), 6:51.
2nd period - Grier, SJ (tripping), 2:03; Blake, SJ (hooking), 5:51; Wisniewski, ANA (interference), 8:32; Goc, SJ (interference), 17:39.
3rd period - None.
1st Overtime - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
ANA - Hiller 48 45
SJ - Nabokov 25 23
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
ANA 5 8 9 3 25
SJ 11 18 12 7 48
Power Play Conversion
ANA 0 of 3
SJ 1 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Joe Thornton
Scott Neidermayer
Attendence
17,496
Officials
Referees: LaRue, Pollock. Linesmen: Devorski, Cameron.

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