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Marleau's OT goal bails out Sharks
Pens tie the game late, but Sharks extend winning streak
2/23/11 - By Mike Lee -

The schedule makers were poking the voodoo doll when they scheduled the Sharks to play in Detroit and Pittsburgh on back to back nights. Winning one of those two games would have been successful, but after San Jose dispatched Detroit a day earlier, the Sharks got an overtime goal from Patrick Marleau with 4 seconds left to help San Jose take both contests. San Jose had to work an extra 4:56 after the Penguins scored a dramatic goal with 50 seconds left in regulation. The win, combined with a loss by the Phoenix Coyotes, puts the Sharks atop of the Pacific Division standings and in control of the 3rd seed in the Western Conference.

For Marleau, it was his second overtime winner in the past two weeks. The game winner on Wednesday night was the second of the game for the Sharks veteran. He would be forced to bail out his team after Penguins forward Tyler Kennedy would score a pair of goals himself, including the stunner to send the game to overtime.

Kennedy would give the Penguins the early 1-0 lead after the Sharks turned the puck over in their own zone on a blind clearing attempt by defenseman Ian White. White tried to send the puck around the end boards, but it never made it out of the zone, after Deryk Engelland intercepted it along the right wing boards. Engelland floated a shot into the slot that Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi stopped, but gave up a big rebound to Matt Cooke for another shot from 18-feet out. Niemi made the save Cooke, but the rebound deflected to Kennedy on the left side for the easy deposit.

Brooks Orpik would take a hooking penalty at 9:16 of the period, but the league's best penalty killing unit snuffed out the Sharks man-advantage.

Derrick Engelland would give it to Torrey Mitchell with a series of cross checks that would land the Penguin in the penalty box with 2:39 remaining in the period. Once again, the Pittsburgh penalty killers would keep the puck out of their own net, but the Sharks did show a little more signs of life, with several shots on Marc-Andre Fleury.

San Jose would outshoot Pittsburgh 11-6 in the period, but it wasn't the performance San Jose wanted to open the game with after their emotional win in Detroit 24 hours earlier.

Greg Adams would open the 2nd period with another penalty for Pittsburgh, but this time the Sharks would cash in. Logan Couture would tie Pat Falloon's 20-year old rookie record by scoring his 25th goal of the season at 3:01 on a one-timer from the left dot. Devin Setoguchi set up the goal with a pass from behind the Pittsburgh net after Jason Demers pinched along the right wing boards to keep the puck in the Penguins zone.

The goal was Couture's first in six games.

The Penguins dodged a bullet 7 minutes into the period when San Jose pushed the puck into the Pittsburgh crease, but Couture couldn't get his stick on the puck as it sat at his feet. The cross-check he took to the back of his neck also made it difficult to get a stick blade on the puck.

Joe Thornton was sent off for hooking at 10:23 of the period, but San Jose's penalty kill handled the Penguins to keep the game tied.

Penguins forward Matt Niskanen was forced to hook Ben Eager on a play in front of the net, putting San Jose back on the power play with under three minutes to play in the period. Dany Heatley misfired on a point blank shot from the slot, denying the Sharks on their best scoring chance of the power play.

Known more for his quick feet, Patrick Marleau would use quick hands to put the Sharks ahead 5:28 into the 3rd period. Marleau took a feed from Heatley behind the Penguins net and jammed a shot inside the left post for his 23rd goal of the season.

Pittsburgh would get another chance on the power play with 8:34 left in regulation. San Jose would almost turn the tables on the Penguins when Jamal Mayers and Joe Pavelski missed on separate short-handed chances.

Niemi would rob Chris Letang on the Penguins man-advantage, after the Penguins defenseman found himself coasting in on net with no defenders between him and the Sharks netminder. Letang's 15-foot shot was gloved by Niemi, who floated out toward the right circle to cutoff the angle.

Fleury came up big against Kyle Wellwood with 4 minutes to play, denying the Sharks forward from in tight.

The Penguins would pull Fleury with a 70 seconds remaining, and San Jose looked like they would ice he game when Letang broke his stick and Setoguchi had the puck at center ice, but his shot sail wide of the Penguins net.

Pittsburgh capitalize by jamming the net inot the Sharks zone, then on net. Niemi would stop a shot from the right side, but the puck floated behind him for Kennedy to jam home his 2nd goal of the game.

The Sharks looked fatigued in the overtime, allowing Pittsburgh to dictate most of the period. Marleau would give the Sharks their best chance to win with a breakaway chance, but his backhand chance would be gloved by Fleury.

Marleau wouldn't miss when he lifted a rebound over Fleury with 4 seconds left in the extra session. San Jose pushed the puck up ice, then Marc-Edouard Vlasic pumped a shot on goal from the left wing boards. Marleau and Couture were sitting on top of the crease to pounce on the rebound. With Fleury on his stomach after making the save on Vlasic's shot, he could only wave at Marleau's shot .

Game Notes:

The Consol Energy Center lighting had issues to start the 2nd period, delaying the game 20 minutes. Orpik would leave the game after injuring his hand trying to block a shot.


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1 2 3 OT T
SJ 0 1 1 1 3
PIT 1 0 1 0 2
1st period - 1, PIT, Kennedy 13 (Cooke, Engelland), 5:48.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Couture 25 (Setoguchi, Demers), 3:01, (pp).
3rd period - 3, SJ, Marleau 23 (Heatley), 5:28. 4, PIT, Kennedy 14 (Staal, Cooke), 19:10.
Overtime - 5, SJ, Marleau 24 (Couture, Vlasic), 4:56.
1st period - Orpik, PIT (hooking), 9:16; Engelland, PIT (cross checking), 17:21.
2nd period - Adams, PIT (hooking), 1:31; Thornton, SJ (hooking), 10:23; Niskanen, PIT (tripping), 17:24.
3rd period - Setoguchi, SJ (holding), 11:26.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 26 24
PIT - Fleury 38 35
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 11 9 14 4 38
PIT 6 9 8 3 26
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 4
PIT 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Tyler Kennedy
Devin Setoguchi
Referees: McCreary, Auger. Linesmen: Champoux, Devorski.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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