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Pair of shorties key win
SJ starts 4-0 for first time in team history
10/14/08 - By Mike Lee

Trying to sustain their early season momentum, the Sharks survived a sluggish 1st period and overcame two early deficits to knock off the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 at HP Pavilion on Tuesday night. San Jose scored four unanswered goals, capitalizing on several mistakes by Columbus goaltender Pascal Leclaire. Captain Patrick Marleau scored his first two goals of the season to pace the Sharks. Evgeni Nabokov stopped 31 shots en route to his 3rd straight win of the season. The win also marked the first time the franchise has opened the season 4-0.

The Sharks misfired on their first power play of the game after Kristian Huselius was sent off for interference 6 minutes into the game. Rick Nash grabbed a turnover and raced up ice on goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. Defenseman Dan Boyle was forced to hook Nash to prevent the breakaway goal.

Nash would turn up the heat with two fantastic chances during the 4-on-4. He pushed a shot off the post, then used a Sharks defenseman on his way to another scoring chance. Columbus would capitalize on their man advantage when Huselius snapped a wrist shot from the left dot past Nabokov who was screened by Fedor Tyutin.

Jonathan Cheechoo tied the game at 1-1 at 4:54 of the 2nd period while the Sharks were killing a Rob Blake high sticking penalty. Pushing on the forecheck, Joe Pavelski forced a turnover along the right wing boards, then setup a one-time chance for Cheechoo who buried it from 12 feet out.

Columbus grabbed the lead right back just 24 seconds later on a deflection off a Christian Backman blast. Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray tried blocking the shot in the slot, but ended up redirecting it past Nabokov.

"I thought we put our toe in the water early, we didn't jump into the lake and get playing right away," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. " We got more involved physically and it seemed to turn the tide our way. Obviously the penalty kill created a lot of momentum tonight."

The Sharks would benefit from a deflected puck themselves when Milan Michalek knotted the game again at 8:12. Skating near the left corner, Michalek threw the puck toward the crease, bouncing it off a Blue Jacket skate that slipped past Leclaire.

San Jose would strike again a minute later, when Sharks captain Patrick Marleau scored his 1st of the year. Marleau pulled a deflection out of the slot, then slipped it into the goal after Devin Setoguchi fired a shot off Leclaire. The Blue Jackets goaltender was outside the crease after making the initial save, leaving the net wide open for Marleau to make the easy deposit.

The Sharks began to buzz the Columbus net, and just missed when Pavelski ripped a shot off the crossbar moments later. Only another penalty by Blake would suppress the Sharks attack.

Jason Chimera almost tied the game early in the 3rd period when he blew past Dan Boyle at the Sharks blueline, then raced in on net with the puck. A slash by Boyle disrupted the Blue Jackets forward enough to prevent the tally, but he would be sent off for the infraction.

San Jose would bag their second short handed goal of the night when Marleau punched home a feed from Mike Grier behind the Columbus net. The Sharks cleared the puck back to the Columbus end of the rink, then Grier stripped the puck from Leclaire behind the net before setting up Marleau. The Blue Jackets goaltender would take out his frustration on the left post, smashing his stick against it.

"He (Marleau) played like a captain should," said McLellan. "He took the team on his back, I'm very proud of him. He played very well defensively and won big faceoffs."

The wheels would come off for Columbus after they failed to capitalize on the Boyle penalty, then gave up another goal moments after it expired. Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic roofed a Joe Thornton feed for the 5-2 Sharks lead.

Columbus head coach Ken Hitchcock would pull Leclaire in favor of Frederik Norrena.

Even with the three-goal lead, the Sharks kept the pressure up. Jeremy Roenick took exception to a hit from Derek Dorsett, with 5:15 to play, throwing several punches in response to the aggressiveness of the Columbus rookie. When the smoke cleared, Roenick and Dorsett each earned 12 minutes each, and Boyle joined them in the box with two minutes for interference.

On the ensuing Blue Jackets power play Columbus Andrew Murray missed a wide open net after Nabokov went down to make a snow angel.

"I think it's our own end, I think we aren't good enough with the puck in our own end," said Hitchcock. "We're competing, we're creating all kinds of scoring chances, but we're not good enough in our own end with the puck. It's communication between defenseman and goaltender."

Game Notes

Rookie Lukas Kaspar took a puck to the face after failing to glove it.


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1 2 3 T
CBJ 1 1 0 2
SJ 0 3 2 5
1st period - 1, CBJ, Huselius 2 (Tyutin), 9:01, (pp).
2nd period - 2, SJ, Cheechoo 3 (Pavelski), 4:54, (sh). 3, CBJ, Backman 1 (Brassard, Modin), 5:18, (pp). 4, SJ, Michalek 1 (unassisted), 8:12, (pp). 5, SJ, Marleau 1 (Setoguchi, Thornton), 9:29.
3rd period - 6, SJ, Marleau 2 (Grier), 5:19, (sh). 7, SJ, Vlasic 1 (Thornton), 8:17.
1st period - Husselius, CBJ (interference), 6:14; Boyle, SJ (hooking), 7:08.
2nd period - Blake, SJ (high sticking), 3:36; Dorsett, CBJ (hooking), 6:38; Blake, SJ (holding), 13:19.
3rd period - Boyle, SJ (slashing), 4:59; Cheechoo, SJ (hooking), 11:25; Dorsett, CBJ (boarding), 14:45; Dorsett, CBJ (10 minute misconduct), 14:45; Roenick, SJ (roughing), 14:45; Roenick, SJ (10 minute misconduct), 14:45; Boyle, SJ (interference), 14:45.
Shots Saves
CBJ - Leclaire 24 19
CBJ - Norrena 1 1
SJ - Nabokov 33 31
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
CBJ 8 13 12 33
SJ 8 12 5 25
Power Play Conversion
CBJ 2 of 6
SJ 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Evgeni Nabokov
Joe Thornton
Referees: Hasenfratz, Kimmerly. Linesmen: Galloway, Henderson.

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