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Power play fest at the Tank
Sharks and Wild score 6 goals on the man advantage
1/30/10 - By Mike Lee -

Special teams can make or brake a hockey game. They were the game on Saturday night at HP Pavilion, where the Sharks and Minnesota Wild combined for six power play goals. San Jose ’s power play was two goals better, scoring four times on the man advantage, leading the Sharks to a 5-2 win before a sellout crowd. Rookie defenseman Jason Demers and Patrick Marleau each scored a pair of goals for San Jose .

Both of Demers goals came on the power play, making him on the third defenseman in team history to score twice on the man advantage. Demers joins current General Manage Doug Wilson and teammate Dan Boyle as the only blueliners to record a pair of tallies on the power play.

The Sharks had to overcome another shaky start, falling behind twice in the opening period.

Former Sharks captain Owen Nolan gave the Wild the early 1-0 lead with his 13th goal of the season after Devin Setoguchi took a delay of game penalty for throwing the puck over the glass. Nolan Cut underneath the Sharks defense just as Guillaume Latendresse slid a pass into the slot from the right side. Nolan redirected the pass just inside the right post at 6:25 of the opening period.

Martin Havlat took a tripping penalty at 9:34, giving the Sharks the opportunity they needed to tie the game up. Demers sent a blast from the point past Wild goaltender Josh Harding with 4 seconds remaining on Havlat’s penalty. Harding was partially screened by Setoguchi who cut across the slot just as Demers uncorked his shot.

Scott Nichol put the Wild back on the power play late in the period after committing a holding penalty, and Minnesota would jump back in front when Cal Clutterbuck redirected a Kyle Brodziak pass from the end boards past Nabokov. Defenseman Jay Leach was tracking the puck from the top of the crease, but he picked the wrong post to cover as Andrew Brunette reversed his direction and made a quick pass to Brodzak along the end boards. Brodziak was able to find Clutterbuck parked in front for the easy tap in.

The power play carousel continued to start the 2nd period, when Eric Belanger interfered with Nabokov, earning a trip to the box just 1:40. Demers recorded his first multi-goal game of his NHL career by sending another point shot past Harding from the point on the ensuing power play.

San Jose showed they could kill a penalty after Kent Huskins took a retaliatory slashing penalty at 8:26.

Minnesota was so lucky. Marek Zidlicky put the sharks back on the power play at 15:33 of the period for interference, then Joe Pavelski gave the Sharks the lead 84 seconds later. The Sharks centerman took a feed from Patrick Marleau at his own blueline before navigating into the Wild zone and snapping a 25-foot wrist shot past Harding for the 3-2 lead.

Pavelski just missed adding another goal a minute later when a crossing pass in front of Harding was swept to safety by Belanger.

With the Sharks top line sputtering, head coach Todd McLellan moved Nichol onto the top line late in the period, centering Marleau and Dany Heatley. Joe Thornton was moved down to the third line.

Thornton gave the Wild another chance to get in on the power play goal parade by taking a high sticking penalty at 10:41 of the 3rd period. Antti Miettinen came within a hair of tying things up with a shot that rang off the left post on the ensuing power play.

Robbie Earl got in on the act, by earning an interference penalty after trying to throw a pick in the offensive zone at 13:07. San Jose would finally get a little breathing room when Marleau converted with his league leading 36th goal of the season. Marleau sent a wrist shot from the top of the left circle to give San Jose their 4th power play goal of the game.

Marleau finally snapped the power play party by scoring an even-strength goal with 3:35 to play, by swatting a deflection out of the air. Heatley setup the circus goal by carrying the puck up the right side and pushing a pass through the slot. Zidlicky got a stick in front of the pass, deflecting it up into the air, where Marleau connected for his second goal in just over three minutes.

Game Notes:

Dan Boyle missed his fourth consecutive game with an undisclosed upper body injury. Blyle was joined by Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who was injured on Thursday in the Sharks 4-3 loss the Chicago Blackhawks.


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Scoring
1 2 3 T
MIN 2 0 0 2
SJ 1 2 2 5
1st period - 1, MIN, Nolan 13 (Latendresse, Belanger), 6:25, (pp). 2, SJ, Demers 3 (Clowe), 11:30, (pp). 3, MIN, Clutterbuck 10 (Brodziak, Brunette), 19:42, (pp).
2nd period - 4, SJ, Demers 4 (unassisted), 3:15, (pp). 5, SJ, Pavelski 15 (Marleau, Heatley), 16:57, (pp).
3rd period - 6, SJ, Marleau 36 (Pavelski, Thornton), 13:14, (pp). 7, SJ, Marleau 37 (Heatley, Murray), 16:25.
Penalties
1st period - Koivu, MIN (high sticking), 0:55; Setoguchi, SJ (delay of game – puck over glass), 5:02; Havlat, MIN (tripping), 9:34; Nichol, SJ (holding), 17:47.
2nd period - Belanger, MIN (goaltender interference), 1:40; Huskins, SJ (slashing), 8:26; Zidlicky, MIN (interference), 15:33.
3rd period - Heatley, SJ (high sticking), 1:32; Brodziak, MIN (cross checking), 6:03; Thornton, SJ (high sticking), 10:41; Earl, MIN (interference), 13:07; Johnsson, MIN (tripping), 14:01.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
MIN - Harding 36 31
SJ - Nabokov 38 36
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
MIN 10 17 11 38
SJ 13 12 11 36
Power Play Conversion
MIN 2 of 5
SJ 4 of 7
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Jason Demers
Joe Pavelski
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Dwyer, Joannette. Linesmen: Nansen, Sericolo.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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