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Roadtrip ends on a high note
Marleau scores winner in OT
2/15/11 - By Mike Lee -

It took 50 shots on goal, but the Sharks squeaked out a 2-1 overtime win over the Nashville Predators to close out their seven-game road trip to snap their brief losing streak. Patrick Marleau deposited a turnover in the extra period on a long breakaway chance, to complete a very successful 5-2-0 trip. As the longest trip of the season wore on, things got bumpy for the Sharks, but they wrapped things up on a positive note.

For Marleau, it was a nice finish to a pretty solid game, but it was Huskins who continues to produce offensively. The defenseman had a pair of assists, to give him 6 points in the last five games. The defenseman bagged a pair of goals on the road trip to go along with four assists .

After dropping back-to-back games against teams out of the playoff picture, San Jose turned to an up-tempo attack on offense that had plenty of rubber flying in Predator goaltender Pekka Rinne’s direction. The Sharks blew 3rd period leads in both of their losses on the road trip, but turned the tide on Nashville by coming back against an early deficit.

Nashville took a 1-0 lead on a Cody Franson power play goal after Logan Couture was sent off for high sticking. The biggest sore spot for the Sharks on the road trip has been special teams. San Jose’s 15th ranked penalty kill unit failed to contain Nashville on the Predators first chance on the man advantage. Franson would take a cross-ice feed from Steve Sullivan, then fire a shot through a Niklas Wallin screen to beat Antti Niemi.

The Sharks power play didn’t fare any better. The Sharks were 0-for-4 on the man advantage, which included 26 seconds of 5-on-3 time after penalties to Ryan Suter and Shane O’Brien briefly cross over. Rinne would make what may have been his biggest save of the game with the Sharks on the two-man advantage, when Joe Pavelski cranked a one-time chance from the left circle. Rinne would slide to his right and get his body in front of Pavelski’s would be goal.

Niemi would come up with some nifty defense of his own, stopping Sullivan on a break away chance at 8:30 of the 2nd period. The Sharks netminder would throw a poke check as the veteran forward raced in on net after Suter hit him with an 80-foot pass.

All the while, San Jose threw a continuous stream of pucks at Rinne. They would put 16 shots on the Predators in the middle period.

Only one of those shots would get past Rinne, but it was enough to draw even with Predators who lead the Sharks by percentage points. Devin Setoguchi would take a Huskins pass at his own blueline then race up the right wing. The Sharks winger’s stutter step at the Predators blueline would give him a step on Suter, allowing him to whip a shot from the bottom of the right circle. The shot roofed over Rinne’s left shoulder, rattling the water bottle perched on the top of the net.

Niemi would deny Nashville on a 2-on-1 break with 2 minutes remaining in the period with sliding save of his own as he covered the right post.

San Jose would pepper Rinne with 17 shots in the 3rd period, including a sequence that saw four pucks fly toward the Nashville net after the Predators failed to clear the puck out of their own end.

In the overtime period, San Jose looked more motivated to end things before the shootout. They would outshoot Nashville 5-0 in the extra session, which included a pair of nice scoring chances for the Sharks.

Marleau would end things with his 22nd goal of the season after Kent Huskins picked former Shark Marcel Goc’s pocket at the San Jose bluline with a poke check. Huskins was back skating into his own zone, when he jabbed at the puck that Goc was skating up ice. He would gain control of the loose puck then hit Marleau in stride with a diagonal pass through the neutral zone. Marleau would carry the puck in on Rinne rght up the gut before snapping a shot through the five-hole.

Nashville would fall to 0-5 in overtime games this season.


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1 2 3 OT T
SJ 0 1 0 1 2
NSH 1 0 0 0 1
1st period - 1, NSH, Franson 8 (Sullivan, Legwand), 6:48, (pp
2nd period - 2, SJ, Setoguchi 12 (Huskins, Marleau), 9:13.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - 3, Marleau 22 (Huskins, Thornton), 3:53.
1st period - Couture, SJ (high sticking), 5:30; Suter, NSH (hooking), 10:47; O’Brien, NSH (tripping), 12:21.
2nd period - O’Brien, NSH (hooking), 5:16; Setoguchi, SJ (holding), 9:35.
3rd period - Sulzer, NSH (cross checking), 6:17.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 31 30
NSH - Rinne 50 48
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 12 16 17 5 50
NSH 14 10 7 0 31
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 4
NSH 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Antti Niemi
Pekka Rinne
Referees: O'Rourke, Rehman. Linesmen: Galloway, Nowak.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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