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Outlasting an Avalanche
Clowe scores first of the season to pace SJ
10/30/09 - By Mike Lee -

Having Ryane Clowe take a turn in Wednesday's shootout against the Los Angeles Kings last Wednesday may have paid additional dividends on Friday night as the Sharks knocked off the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 at HP Pavilion. Clowe's shootout winner may have been just the ticket to jumpstart Clowe's scoring. Mired in a 21-game goalless slump, Clowe scored the first goal for San Jose, which in turn snow-balled into more offense for the Sharks.

Clowe would snap a 0-0 deadlock with 5.9 seconds remaining in the 2nd period, and in the process, record his 100th NHL point. Clowe was in the right place at the right time, but this time there would be no misfires. Clowe gathered in a deflection off Avalanche goaltender Craig Anderson and deposit his 1st goal in an eternity.

Patrick Marleau, who had two assists on the night, started things off by taking a chip pass from Rob Blake and firing the shot that deflected off Anderson. Clowe was hovering around the left post and had nothing but empty net to shoot at.

The Sharks chipped away at Anderson the prior 39 minutes with plenty of rubber thrown in the Avalanche netminder's direction. Anderson faced 32 shots through the first periods, and made more than his share of spectacular saves to keep the Avalanche in the game.

Dany Heatley got things rolling early by placing a backhand pass in front of the net from the right corner with 5:15 to play in the 1st period, but Anderson denied Jed Ortmeyer who was crashing in on net and tried redirecting the one-time chance from the top of the crease.

A delay of game penalty to John-Michael Liles late in the period would put the Sharks on the power play, but Anderson made a crazy glove save to deny Joe Thornton.

San Jose would go back on the power play early in the 2nd period, and another wild sequence almost netted the Sharks a goal, but once again Anderson denied San Jose, withstanding a frantic scrum in front of his net. A series of scoring chances on the power play would end with a Benn Ferriero shot just missing wide left while Anderson was flat on his back trying to cover the puck.

The Sharks almost got caught late in the period when a Marc-Edouard Vlasic tripping penalty gave the Avalanche the man-advantage. San Jose's penalty-killing unit failed on numerous attempts to clear the puck and by virtue of defending the goal opposite their bench, their defenders were stuck in their own zone for the full 2 minutes.

Luckily the Avalanche were showing the effects of having played 24 hours earlier in Los Angeles and couldn't generate any chances themselves. San Jose would counter with Clowe's goal, which deflated the Western Conference's hottest team.

Marleau and Manny Malhotra teamed up for a 2-on-1 break early in the 3rd period, but Anderson made a save with his right skate, pinning Malhotra's one-time chance against the left post.

A Thornton turnover almost turned costly for the Sharks when Wojtek Wolski raced up the center of the ice and ripped a shot that Evgeni Nabokov just deflected wide.

Heatley would make it a 2-goal lead moments later, when he redirected a Jason Demers feed right in front of Anderson at 3:59 of the 3rd. Demers was up against the right wing boards and whipped a 40-foot pass to Heatley, who swatted the puck out of the air for his 9th goal of the season.

San Jose would fall asleep on a power play with 10:26 to play. Matt Duchene grabbed an Adam Foote deflection in the neutral zone, then beat two San Jose defenders before putting a shot on Nabokov. The Sharks netminder made the first save, but Duchene sent the deflection into the back of San Jose's net.

Jamie McGinn would convert on the same power play by taking a lead pass from Marleau at the Colorado blueline and racing in on Anderson uncontested. The Sharks forward ripped a shot from the left dot that caught the left post and crossbar, before hitting the back of the net. The puck kicked out back into the field of play so quickly that the play was reviewed to ensure the puck had in fact crossed the goal line. It did, and McGinn had his first goal of the season.

The Avalanche would pull Anderson late, and a delay of game penalty to Dan Boyle gave Colorado a 6-on-4 advantage, but Nabokov denied any further scoring.

Game Notes:

Thorton took an errant puck off the chops in the 2nd period, but he would return. The loss was only the second in regulation for Colorado this season. With two assists, Patrick Marleau extended his point streak to seven games. During that span, he has five goals and eight assists for a total of 13 points. The Sharks set a season-high mark with 46 shots on goal.


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Scoring
1 2 3 T
COL 0 0 1 1
SJ 0 1 2 3
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, SJ, Clowe 1 (Marleau, Blake), 19:54.
3rd period - 2, SJ, Heatley 9 (Demers, Clowe), 3:59. 3, COL, Duchene 2 (Foote), 9:34, (sh). 4, SJ, McGinn 1 (Marleau), 10:04.
Penalties
1st period - Duchene, COL (tripping), 1:13; Staubitz, SJ (cross checking), 7:44; Demers, SJ (holding), 12:25; Lilies, COL (delay of game - puck over glass), 17:23.
2nd period - Koci, COL (slashing), 3:01; HAnnan, COL (interference), 14:03; Thorntonm SJ (interference), 14:58; Vlasic, SJ (tripping), 16:56.
3rd period - Cumisky, COL (hooking), 8:03; Boyle, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 19:32.
 
Goaltending
Shots Saves
COL - Anderson 46 43
SJ - Nabokov 25 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
COL 5 8 12 25
SJ 12 20 14 46
Power Play Conversion
COL 0 of 5
SJ 0 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Ryane Clowe
Patrick Marleau
Craig Anderson
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Fraser, Walkom. Linesmen: Rody, Wheler.

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