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Marleau extends goal scoring lead in win
Sharks dispatch Dogs with 3-1 win in Arizona
1/12/10 - By Mike Lee -

Turning in a workmanlike performance on the road, the Sharks knocked off a divisional foe for the second straight night, taking a 3-1 decision over the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale, Arizona. Patrick Marleau extended his NHL goal scoring lead with a pair of tallies, and linemate Dany Heatley converted his 27th of the season to help pace the Sharks. Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov made 32 saves, to earn his 26th win of the season.

The only downside to San Jose’s night was the excessive number of power plays that were surrendered to the opposition. The Sharks were forced to kill seven Coyote power play chances, including a partial 5-on-3 chance.

That issue was diffused to some degree by the two goals Marleau scored in the opening period. San Jose ’s first tally came courtesy of the lively boards midway through the period, and some questionable play by Coyotes netminder Jason Labarbera. <

With the Sharks on the penalty kill following a hooking penalty to Jody Shelley, defenseman Rob Blake fired the puck the length of the ice to clear his own zone. Labarbera skated behind his net to play the puck, but he fell to the ice just as the puck was chipped off the boards to the front of the goal. Hustling down the ice, Marleau beat Labarbera to the puck, depositing his 30th of the season, short handed.

Marleau made it 2-0 less than seven minutes later on the power play. Dan Boyle sent a shot in on net from the blueline that Labarbera stopped, but a juicy rebound landed right on Marleau’s stick for the put back from 5-feet out.

The Sharks once again spent more time in the box than the opposition in the 2nd period. Jay Leach was sent off for cross checking at 8:22. Joe Thornton was also penalized for boarding with five minutes to play in the period, but those two penalties were split by Sano Jose’s third goal of the game.

Heatley bagged his 27th of the season at 12:49 of the period on a second effort in front of Labarbera. The Sharks gained control of the puck after Marleau created a turnover behind the Coyotes net. Heatley took a feed from Thornton and tried stuffing a wrap-around shot off the right post. Labarbera stopped the initial shot, but the rebound trickled back out to Heatley for the put back.

Devin Setoguchi almost made it 4-0 breakaway with 5:30 to play before the 2nd intermission, but Labarbera came up big in front of his own net.
B Radim Vrbata missed on a golden opportunity to cut into the Sharks lead with Thornton in the penalty box. The Coyotes winger found himself uncontested with the puck just outside the left post, but is shot attempt sailed wide of Nabokov.

Rob Blake put the Sharks in a precarious position when he took an elbowing penalty before Thornton ’s penalty expired, giving the Coyotes a 2-man advantage. That advantage would be short lived after Evgeni Nabokov stoned Scottie Upshall from point blank range.

After the Sharks netminder had cleanly gloved the scoring chance, Upshall tried took a stab at Nabokov’s glove with this stick. That generated an immediate response from three Sharks in the vicinity, including Marleau. Upshall took one too many liberties, firing a punch at Marleau, earning a trip to the box, which evened things up on the ice. Upshall’s lack of self control essentially killed the Coyotes chance to score before the period ended.

The three-goal deficit entering the 3rd period proved too much to overcome for Phoenix . They would score on Vrbata’s 14th goal of the season with 8 minutes to play, but would get no closer.

Vrbata ended Nabokov’s shutout bid by tipping a Sami Lepsito shot from the left dot after the Coyotes did a nice job of cycling the puck in the corner for a good 20 seconds.

Game Notes:

Marleau set a franchise record with his first goal, as the fastest Sharks to reach to the 30 goal mark in a season. The win was Nabokov’s 275th career victory, pushing him to 30th on the all-time list.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 2 1 0 3
PHO 0 0 1 1
1st period - 1, SJ, Marleau 30 (unassisted), 11:24, (sh). 2, SJ, Marleau 31 (Heatley, Boyle), 18:06, (pp).
2nd period - 3, SJ, Heatley 27 (Thornton, Marleau), 12:49.
3rd period - 4, PHO, Vrbata 14 (Lepisto, Prucha), 11:50.
1st period - Bench, SJ (too many men), 0:50; Boyle, SJ (hooking), 7:18; Shelley, SJ (hooking), 11:14; Vandermeer, PHO (cross checking), 17:40.
2nd period - Michalek, PHO (cross checking), 5:54; Leach, SJ (cross checking), 8:22; Thornton, SJ (boarding), 15:00; Blake, SJ (elbowing), 16:35; Upshall, PHO (roughing), 16:48; Boyle, SJ (high sticking), 18:16; Doan, PHO (tripping), 18:16.
3rd period - Thornton , SJ (tripping), 4:23; Doan, PHO (hooking), 9:00.
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 33 32
PHO - Labarbera 32 29
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 12 12 8 32
PHO 13 13 7 33
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 4
PHO 0 of 7
3 Stars of the Game
Evgeni Nabokov
Patrick Marleau
Dany Heatley
Referees: L'Ecuyer, Sutherland. Linesmen: Cherrey, Lazarowich.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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