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Marleau makes a splash in his return
Centerman scores a pair of goals in SJs win
10/10/19 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks received a much needed nfusion of energy in the lineup on Thursday night, when Patrick Marleau rejoined the team after a two-year hiatus in Toronto. The reunion couldn't come soon enough, as Marleau helped propel the Sharks to a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center with a pair of goals. The long time Sharks forward extended his franchise record for goals scored, but more importantly, the tallies helped the Sharks get in the win column for the first time this season.

The victory snaps a 4-game losing streak, and provides some belief that the Sharks are actually capable of competing this season. Marleau immediately injects experience and a work ethic that his younger teammates can try to emulate.

Marleau's speed instantly provides the Sharks offense with the zip that it was lacking in the first four games of the season. The former Sharks captain helped San Jose tie the game twice. He scored his second goal late in the 2nd period, providing San Jose with some momentum as they headed to the final 20 minutes.

That was critical, because San Jose would grab their first lead of the season 4:47 into the 3rd period when Barclay Goodrow put a puck past Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford. The Sharks cycled the puck behind the Chicago net, where Joe Thornton gathered it, then swept it to the slot where Goodrow was lurking. Goodrow didn't exactly get good wood on the shot, but it was good enough to get it across the goal line.

Aaron Dell surrendered 4 goals to Chicago, but he buckled down over the last 5 minutes to keep the lead intact. San Jose couldn't clear the zone in the final 90 seconds, which setup some hair raising hockey.

San Jose played catch-up all night, falling behind on four separate occasions. Dominik Kubalik staked the Blackhawks to an early lead shortly after Chicago wrapped up their opening night festivities. The goal was Kubalick's 1st career NHL tally, coming off a put-back shot from the right side. The Sharks had a chance to clear a pin-balling puck when Dell swept it to his right, but Erik Karlsson misplayed it, allowing Brandon Saad to push it over to Kubalik on the right side.

Kevin Labanc evened things up at the 11:30 mark of the opening period when he whipped a rebound from behind the end line past Crawford. Evander Kane bounced a backhand chance off the right post, but the puck landed right on Labanc's tape on the right side.

Andrew Shaw scored the first of his two goals less than 2 minutes later. Shaw jammed home a rebound from the doorstep after Olli Maata ripped a shot from the left point. Dell made the initial save, but he had no defensive support to stop Shaw who easily punched the puck home. Joe Thornton was the closest Sharks defender, but he was late to support.

A Patrick Kane roughing penalty late in the period setup Marleau's first goal. San Jose worked the puck into the Blackhawks zone, before working it back to Erik Karlsson at the right point. Karlsson ripped a shot that Marleau tipped past Crawford for his 1st of the season.

Shaw bagged his 2nd of the game midway through the 2nd period after Karlsson was stripped of the puck along the left wing boards. Alex Debrincat pulled the puck off Karlsson's stick then dropped it to Shaw who was cutting toward the Sharks net. Shaw snapped a 25-foot wrist shot that beat Dell for the 3-2 lead.

The Sharks got a little luck from the hockey gods at the 10 minute mark of the period when Brent Burns tried to pass the puck to the front of the net, but it ended up hitting Connor Murphy in either the left knee or glove, redirecting it past Crawford to knot the game at 4-4.

Dylan Strome put the Blackhawks right back on top 2:14 later. Chicago forced a turnover in their own zone then raced up ice 3-on-2. Strome carried the puck up the right wing before dropping back to Kane in the slot. The Blackhawks forward immediately returned the puck to Strome who deposited it into a wide open net. Dell shifted to his right to cover the pass to Kane, exposing the entire right side of the net for Strome.

Marleau worked his magic with 2:14 left in the period after he cycled the puck up to Burns on the right point. The defenseman fired a shot on net as Marleau cruised through the slot from right to left. Marleau gained inside position on Maata, allowing him to push the rebound past Crawford.

Goodrow did his thing in the third and San Jose had its first win of the season.

Game Notes:

* Brent Burns 2nd period goal was the 200th of his NHL career.

* Not surprisingly, Patrick Marleau was named the game's first star. In addition to his 2 goals, Marleau led all skaters with 6 shots on goal.

* Kevin Labanc recorded his first goal of the season, but he still managed to earn the league's worst plus/minus rating. His -3 on Thursday night adds to his -10 overall +/-. Erick Karlsson is right behind him at -9.

* Dylan Gambrell had a strong game, recording a pair of assists to go along with 1 shot on goal, and 1 hit. He was 4-of-5 on draws (80%).

* Special teams was a key contributor to the Sharks success. The power play finished 2-for-3 and the penalty kill went a perfect 2-for-2.

* Much of Marleau's ice time came at the expense of the Sharks rookies. Lean Bergmann was limited to 6 shifts and 4:11 of ice time. Danil Yurtaykin only skated 9 shifts, totaling 7:36 of ice time.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 2 2 1 5
CHI 2 2 0 4
1st period - 1, CHI, Kubalik 1 (Saad), 5:07. 2, SJ, Labanc 1 (Kane, Couture), 11:30, (pp). 3, CHI, Shaw 1 (Maata), 13:22. 4, SJ, Marleau 1 (E. Karlsson, Gambrell), 19:43, (pp).
2nd period - 5, CHI, Shaw 2 (Debrincat), 9:27. 6, SJ, Burns 2 (Gambrell), 10:00. 7, CHI, Strome 1 (Kane, Gustafsson), 12:14. 8, SJ, Marleau 2 (Meier, Burns), 17:46.
3rd period - 9, SJ, Goodrow 2 (Thornton, M. Karlsson), 4:47.
1st period - Carpenter, CHI (interference), 11:21; Kane, CHI (roughing), 18:26; Dillon, SJ (cross checking), 19:59.
2nd period - Shaw, CHI (cross checking), 19:21.
3rd period - Burns, SJ (cross checking), 11:12.
Shots Saves
SJ - Dell 29 25
CHI - Crawford 34 29
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 11 12 11 34
CHI 15 7 7 29
Power Play Conversion
SJ 2 of 3
CHI 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Andrew Shaw
Logan Couture
United Center - 21,455
Referees: South, Meier. Linesmen: Gawryletz, Suchanek.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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