Sharks earn fourth straight win, topping Capitals 5-2

JOSE – Patrick Marleau, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Torrey Mitchell
scored goals in the third period as the San Jose Sharks outlasted
the Washington Capitals 5-2 Saturday at sold-out HP

Jose, with 50 points after 38 games, has a three-point lead over
both Los Angeles and Dallas in the Pacific

Washington continued to come up
short in appearances in the San Jose building. The Capitals have
not defeated the Sharks in San Jose since Oct. 30, 1993, a 0-11-1
mark since that decision.

The Sharks begin
a four-game roadtrip Tuesday in Minnesota against the Wild. San
Jose’s next home game is Tuesday Jan. 17 against the Calgary

Jose brought a 2-1 lead into the third period. The Sharks were
15-1-3 when leading after two periods going into Saturday’s

The Capitals
pulled even at 2-2 with 44 seconds gone in the third period. Joel
Ward jammed home his fifth goal of the season from the low slot off
a pass from Wideman.

The hosts needed
16 seconds to regain the lead. Dan Boyle hustled to the right point
to keep the puck in the Capital zone. A pass to Joe Thornton in the
slow was followed by a behind-the-back pass to an advancing Marleau
for the point-blank goal at the one-minute mark.

Vlasic gave San
Jose a two-goal cushion at 8:51 with the teams skating 4-on-4.
Vlasic settled the puck with his right skate off a pass from Ryane
Clowe. Vlasic powered toward the net, seeing two shots stopped by
Tomas Vokoun before a third effort was lifted over Vokoun’s right
pad for his third goal of the year.

Capital coach
Dale Hunter pulled Vokoun for an extra skater with 90 seconds to
play. Mitchell finished the scoring when he reached the blueline
and deposited the empty-net goal with 1:17 to go.

Antti Niemi made
29 saves to improve to 18-7-4 for the season.

Washington managed a 12-9 edge in
shots on net in the scoreless first period. The teams combined for
six shots in the first 10 minutes of play.

The Sharks,
12-2-1 when scoring the first goal entering Saturday’s game,
snapped the scoreless run 5:15 into the second period.

Jason Demers,
coming off a two-assist game Thursday, earned his second goal of
the season. His low blast from the top of the left circle was wide
left of the net. The bounce off the endboards resulted in the puck
sliding into the crease, eventually kicking off the left skate of
Vokoun and across the goalline for the 1-0 San Jose

The Capitals,
seeking a fifth consecutive win and a share of eighth place in the
Eastern Conference, needed 26 seconds of power play time to tie the
score at 6:37 of the second period. Troy Brouwer, with the puck in
the left corner of the San Jose zone, fed an unmarked Dennis
Wideman at the inside edge of the right circle for a one-timer past

When Wideman went
to the penalty box for high-sticking Benn Ferriero with 43.8
seconds left in the second period, the Sharks used most of the
remaining time in the period before emerging with a 2-1

Defensemen Brent
Burns and Boyle played catch along the blueline before Burns
rocketed a shot inside the right post for his seventh goal of the
year with 8.2 seconds left.



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