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San Jose's Great 8 tops Caps
Pavelski, Thornton & Marleau combine for 9 points
2/13/12 - By Mike Lee -

Shaking off the atrocity that was their performance in St Louis 24 hours earlier, the Sharks bounced back with a throttling of the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center on Monday night. Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau each scored a pair of goals to pace the Sharks to their 16th win over the Capitals in their last 17 meetings. Thomas Greiss made 39 saves to earn his 8th win of the season.

The Jekyll & Hyde Sharks turned into scoring monsters, taking a page out of the Blues book by going 3-for-6 on the power play to stun the Capitals. Both teams were licking their wounds after losses on Sunday night, but the Sharks had the burden of travelling from St Louis late Sunday night, while the Capitals only had a short flight from New York City.

Both teams decided to play backups in net. San Jose went with Greiss, who was making only his 12th start of the season. Washington countered with farmhand Braden Holtby, who made his first appearance of the season after being recalled from Hershey earlier in the day.

The Capitals young netminder had a nightmarish start, allowing the Sharks to score on a deflection from outside the blueline. Defenseman Dan Boyle lined up a blast from the Sharks side of the center line, before Pavelski got a stick blade on the puck outside the Capitals zone. The redirected puck one-hopped then ate-up Holtby. The puck hit Holtby on the glove before flipping over his left shoulder and into the goal.

Pavelski made it 2-0 at 3:26 of the 2nd period on a point blank shot after Logan Couture tried jamming a shot by Holtby from the left post. Capitals defenseman Karl Azner appeared to deflect Couture's shot across the to of the crease right to Pavelski, who was parked on the doorstep.

Jeff Halpern setup another Sharks power play goal 12 minutes later with a high sticking infraction. Pavelski mimicked Boyle by firing a shot on goal from the blueline, allowing Logan Couture the deflect the shot in front of Holtby. Marleau made sure the puck would find the back of the net, by swatting the waist-high puck home as it fluttered over Holtby's back.

The Sharks were cruising, but got a gentle reminder of why they need to work until the horn sounds late in the period. Dmitry Orlov fired a puck on net from the high slot, squeezing a shot between Greiss' arm and his torso with 0.3 seconds left before the 2nd intermission.

Any thoughts of a comeback were quickly extinguished by the Sharks in the 3rd period. Brent Burns sent a bullet from the right point that slipped past Holtby stick side. John McCarthy created enough of a distraction in front of the net to allow the seeing eye puck to find twine.

Marleau potted his 2nd power play goal of the evening 7 minutes into the period by sliding a puck underneath Holtby's left pad after Joe Thornton slid a pass through the crease from the left side.

Roman Hamrlik sent a backhand shot from the top of the right circle that eluded Greiss en route to the Sharks goal. The Capitals defenseman picked up a Marcus Johansson drop pass at the blueline before sliding into the Sharks zone and flipping the puck through traffic.

Jeff Shultz scored a goal identical to Burns tally, firing a shot in form the left point and using a screen by Alex Ovechkin for his first goal of the season.

Washington was forced to pull Holtby with 2:12 to play in regulation, but a suspect boarding penalty by Troy Brouwer evened things up on the ice and essentially ending the Capitals evening.

Game Notes:

The Sharks took both games from Washington this season, combining for 10 goals in the two games. San Jose beat the Capitals 5-2 on January 7th in San Jose. The Sharks moved into 4th spot in power play efficiency (21.0%).Joe Thornton won 69% of his draws (9 of 13). In one of those scoring oddities, San Jose was a combined -5 +/- even though they outscored the Capitals 5-3.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 2 2 5
WAS 0 1 2 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Pavelski 21 (Boyle, Vlasic), 12:12.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Pavelski 22 (Couture, Thornton), 3:26, (pp). 3, SJ, Marleau 21 (Couture, Pavelski), 16:11, (pp). 4, WAS, Orlov 2 (Chimera, Hamrlik), 19:59.
3rd period - 5, SJ, Burns 8 (Thornton, Pavelski), 4:36. 6, SJ, Marleau 22 (Thornton, Clowe), 7:03, (pp). 7, WAS, Hamrlik 2 (Johansson, Brouwer), 10:22. 8, WAS, Schultz 1 (Perreault), 14:09.
1st period - Ward, WAS (goaltender interference), 2:57; Semin, WAS (interference), 10:03; Boyle, SJ (interference), 15:01.
2nd period - Burns, SJ (hooking), 0:51; Laich, WAS (cross checking), 2:42; Rechlicz, WAS (10 min misconduct), 3:44; Pavelski, SJ (interference), 5:26; Braun, SJ (high sticking), 10:03; Halpern, WAS (high sticking), 14:45.
3rd period - Beagle, WAS (tripping), 5:47; Brouwer, WAS (boarding), 18:48.
Shots Saves
SJ - Greiss 42 39
WAS - Holtby 35 30
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 11 12 12 35
WAS 12 18 12 42
Power Play Conversion
SJ 3 of 6
WAS 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Pavelski
Joe Thornton
Logan Couture
Referees: Auger, McCauley. Linesmen: Murphy, Murray .
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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