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Marleau comes through in the clutch
Sharks blow 3 goal lead, then win in OT
9/19/09 - By Mike Lee -

If Sharks head coach Todd McLellan is having any issues deciding on who to fill out this roster with, the last two games will undoubtedly make it easier to decide on who to cut. The Sharks staked themselves to a 3-0 lead against the visiting Phoenix Coyotes before watching it evaporate into a 4-3 deficit. Only a pair of goals by Patrick Marleau, including one in overtime bailed out the Sharks in the preseason contest.

Marleau used some deft shooting to tie the game at 4-4 with 3:02 left in regulation, by snapping a shot from a tight angle to the riht of the goal after Dan Boyle bounced a shot off Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.

He then ended the game with a wrist shot from the high slot that got a little help from Coyotes defender Zbnyek Michalek who inadvertently re-directed the puck’s path. Marleau swept a shot on net, but the puck hit Michalek in the leg, fooling Bryzgalov.

The Sharks seemed destined to cruise to an easy win early after staking themselves to their early lead, but not before the two teams reintroduced themselves to each other. A rather rudimentary tripping penalty to new Sharks Scott Nichol turned into a fisticuffs fest. After Shaun Heshka and Brad Staubitz squared off following the whistle, Vern Fiddler and Nick Petrecki locked horns. Both Fiddler and Petrecki would draw game misconduct penalties and early trips to the showers.

Fiddler limped off the ice, favoring his left leg, after Petrecki slammed him to the ice.

A Justin Berhardt slashing penalty would give Sharks fans their first look at the Sharks new muti-million dollar power play featuring Dany Heatley, Joe Thornton, Dan Boyle and Marleau. The new unit had some issues moving the puck in their first crack at working together.

"I felt pretty good tonight," Heatley said after the game. "I'm getting used to the routes Todd (McLellan) wants. Getting used ot Joe and Seto a little more. Overall, I think it was a good first game. It'll get better from here."

The Sharks second power play unit has more experience with each other, and that would become evident moments after spelling the first unit. Joe Pavelski setup a Ryane Clowe goal by carrying the puck through the slot before dishing back to his winger in the slot. All Clowe had to do was redirect the pass from the top of the crease for the easy tap in goal.

McLellan would give Devin Setoguchi a crack not the first unit , swapping him in for Marleau to start the 2nd period and that would pay instant dividends. Setoguchi punch home a Joe Thornton feed at the 38 second mark for the 2-0 lead.

Kyle Turris would take a holding penalty 56 seconds later and the Sharks would respond quickly. Jamie McGinn tapped home a Boyle pass from the slot at 1:47 of the period to extend the Sharks lead to three goals.

More fisticuffs would ensue, when Brad Staubitz and Chris Frank fought to a draw.

Sharks netminder Evgeni Nabokov looked like he was in midseason form early in the period, making a sprawling save at 9:45 while defenseman Joe Callahan was serving a boarding penalty. Nabokov would then stuff Stefan Meyer on a breakaway chance moments later. That would be it for the Nabokov highlight reel.

Phoenix would start their comeback on a power play at 18:39 when Meyer punched home a turnover right in front of the Sharks net. Nabokov was screened on the play by a scrum of players that dog-piled in front of the San Jose net.

The Coyotes would start the 3rd period with former Los Angeles Kings netminder Jason Labarbera in net.

The Coyotes cut the lead to 3-2 on a delayed penalty at 6:01 of the 3rd on a redirect by Justin Berhardt. Meyer setup the goal with a pretty diagonal pass through the slot.

The Sharks missed on a golden opportunity to build on their lead at the 7 minute mark, but a turnover would result in disaster. Michalek would cap a counter attack off the turnover with his first goal of the pre-season after Meyer and Heshka strung together a series of passes on their way to the San Jose net.

"In order to get that three goal lead we were doing things right," Marleau said. "We were doing some of the work down low and it got away from us. You can't really do that in this league because teams will come back."

Turris would give the Coyotes the lead a minute later on a power play goal after Jason Demers was sent off for holding the stick.

After Marleau knotted the game at 4-4, defenseman Derrick Joslin would put the Coyotes back on the power play with 1:49 left in regulation after tripping Bernhardt. The Sharks would weather the Phoenix man-advantage, allowing Marleau to end things 2:29 into the extra session.

"It was fun," Thornton said. "Lots of goals, lots of fights, lots of hits. A normal preseason game."

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Scoring
1 2 3 OT T
PHO 0 1 3 0 4
SJ 1 2 1 1 5
1st period - 1, SJ, Clowe 1 (Pavelski, Callahan), 13:22.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Setoguchi 1 (Thornton, Demers), 0:38, (pp). 3, SJ, McGinn 1 (Boyle, Nichol), 1:47, (pp). 4, PHO, Meyer 1 (Watkins, Bernhardt), 18:39.
3rd period - 5, PHO, Bernhardt 1 (Meyer, Heshka), 6:01. 6, PHO, Michalek 1 (Hanzel, Boedker), 7:38. 7, PHO, Turris 1 (Michalek, Upshall), 8:38, (pp). 8, SJ, Marleau 1 (Boyle, Couture), 16:58.
Overtime - 9, SJ, Marleau 2 (Joslin), 2:29.
Penalties
1st period - Fiddler, PHO (fighting major), 5:42; Fiddler, PHO (game misconduct), 5:42; Fritz, PHO (10 min misconduct), 5:42; Heshka, PHO (fighting major), 5:42; Petrecki, SJ (fighting major), 5:42; Petrecki, SJ (game misconduct), 5:42; McLaren, SJ (10 min misconduct), 5:42; Nichol, SJ (tripping), 5:42; Staubitz, SJ (fighting major), 5:42; Joslin, SJ (hooking), 9:03; Bernhardt, PHO (slashing), 11:12.
2nd period - Michalek, PHO (tripping), 0:18; Turris, PHO (holding), 1:34; Frank, PHO (fighting major), 2:02; Staubitz, SJ (fighting major), 2:02; Callahan, SJ (boarding), 7:48; Murray , SJ (cross checking), 16:09.
3rd period - Demers, SJ (holding the stick), 8:25; Michalek, PHO (delay of game), 11:07; Clowe, SJ (tripping), 13:35; Joslin, SJ (tripping), 18:11.
Overtime - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
PHO - Bryzgalov 22 19
PHO - Labarbera 10 8
SJ - Nabokov 30 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
PHO 10 10 9 1 30
SJ 9 13 7 3 32
Power Play Conversion
PHO 1 of 7
SJ 2 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Zbynek Michalek
JAmie McGinn
Attendence
15,896
Officials
Referees: Kowal, O'Rourke. Linesmen: Cvik, Seitz.

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