Marleau’s two goals propel Sharks by Lightning, 5-2

San Jose Sharks

SAN JOSE
– Two road shut-out losses during the week did not appear to
hinder the offense of the San Jose Sharks Saturday night in a 5-2
victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning at sold-out HP Pavilion.
SAN JOSE – Two road shut-out losses during the week did not appear to hinder the offense of the San Jose Sharks Saturday night in a 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning at sold-out HP Pavilion.

After posting 5-2 wins over both New Jersey and Anaheim last week, San Jose, despite posting a combined 61-45 edge in shots on net, fell to Minnesota 1-0 and St. Louis 2-0 this week.

The offense kicked into gear in the first period Saturday, using two goals from Patrick Marleau to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. San Jose was on the way to its sixth win in 12 starts by adding two unanswered goals in the second period.

The game was the first of two that Joe Thornton, the Sharks’ leading scorer, will miss after receiving a suspension Friday as a result of his hit to the head of St. Louis forward David Perron in Thursday’s game opposite the Blues.

The Sharks continue the five-game home stand Tuesday night against Pacific Division foe Anaheim. The New York Islanders visit Thursday, Calgary Saturday before the stand ends Monday Nov. 15 against the Los Angeles Kings.

Marleau opened the scoring by intercepting a cross-ice pass from Lightning’s Steven Stankos and lining a low shot between the pads of goalie Mike Smith at 12:16 of play on a Tampa Bay power play.

Stamkos helped the Lightning draw even at 1-1 at 13:58 when his hard shot from the top of the left circle skipped off teammate Martin St. Louis’ stick and past San Jose goalie Antero Niittymaki.

Marleau followed with a power-play goal at 15:26 to complete the scoring for the period.

Defenseman Dan Boyle was able to keep the puck in the Lightning zone and deliver a pass to Marleau on the left boards. Marleau’s pass, intended to go to Dany Heatley at the far post, caromed off the stick of Lightning defenseman Mattias Ohlund and past Smith.

San Jose registered two even-strength goals six minutes apart in the second period for the 4-1 cushion.

Boyle earned the secondary assist at 11:27 of the Sharks’ third goal. Boyle found Logan Couture ready at the right boards in the Tampa Bay zone. Couture’s hard shot from the right flank kicked off the right pad of Smith into the slot. Heatley’s quick one-timer found the back of the net for his sixth goal of the season.

The score went to 4-1 at 17:27 when John McCarthy turned a pass from the endboards from Jamal Mayers into a point-blank goal.

Heatley and Couture combined to make it 5-1 with 27 seconds gone in the third period.

Heatley controlled the puck along the right boards toward the Tampa Bay zone. Couture sped up the middle of the ice toward the front of the net, then redirected Heatley’s offering between Smith’s pads for Couture’s fifth goal of the campaign.

Stamkos, the leading scorer in the NHL, ripped a 30-footer past Niittymaki with 1:47 left in the game on a Lightning power play to end the scoring.

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