(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)
In a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau earned his 1000th career point, and his 1001st. Ex-Penguin, now Sharks defenseman Paul Martin scored his first goal of the season, and the Sharks extended their winning streak to five. Brent Burns scored two goals and goaltender Martin Jones stopped 38 of 39 shots. The Sharks did this despite the absence of head coach Peter DeBoer, who was away due to a personal matter.
The win holds added promise as the team changed their lineup somewhat from the group that won the last game in Philadelphia. Defenseman Matt Tennyson was in, Mirco Mueller was out. Nikolay Goldobin was in, while Micheal Haley was out. This was also the first game of this road trip that the Sharks won by more than one goal. It was a step forward in an already excellent road trip. After the game, Patrick Marleau described the team’s success on this road trip:
I think when we haven’t been our best, there’s different guys stepping up and playing key roles. Jonesy’s been playing great, but finding a way to get those points, those wins is big. You’re not going to have it every night, and I think last game against Philly we saw that and we still found a way to get it in overtime. I think tonight we played a pretty strong sixty minutes against a very powerful offensive team with a lot of good players over there.
The first power play of the game went to the Penguins, after a hooking call against Melker Karlsson. The Sharks penalty killers kept the Penguins at bay and only allowed one shot to get through to Martin Jones. The penalty ended in a two on one for Patrick Marleau and Joel Ward. Marleau opted to shoot, but he hit the near post.
The penalty kill seemed to energize the Sharks. After the break, they spent three long shifts in the offensive zone. During the third one, Brent Burns picked up a rebound from a Ward shot and put the puck in an open net. The second assist went to Marleau.
The assist was Marleau’s 1000th career point. When this was announced, the Pittsburgh crowd gave Marleau an understandably subdued but gracious round of applause.
The Sharks had to kill a second penalty when Mike Brown was called for kneeing at 12:40. The Sharks killed that off and had two unsuccessful power plays of their own before the first period ended. At the first intermission, the shots stood at 12-9 Pittsburgh.
The Sharks took another penalty early in the second. Joe Pavelski was called for high-sticking Rob Scuderi at 6:39. The stick drew blood so the Penguins had four minutes with a man advantage. It took the Sharks 90 seconds to clear the puck the first time. On a third zone entry, Phil Kessel found some space and tied the game. The goal came just shy of the two minute mark, so the Sharks had to kill the second minor despite the goal.
The Sharks regained the lead at 13:06 when Burns took a shot from the point just as Ward cruised across in front of Marc-Andre Fleury. The puck clipped Scuderi enough to change direction and make the Penguins goalie’s job harder. Assists went to Paul Martin and Patrick Marleau.
The Penguins had another power play at 17:21. when Paul Martin was called for high-sticking. Pittsburgh had an early shot but the Sharks kept them out of the zone for most of the penalty.
San Jose failed to convert on yet another power play early in the third, but some good chances set the tone for a strong period. 8:27 into the third, Paul Martin extended their lead to 3-1. His shot from the blue line went through traffic and Fleury after a great shift from Matt Nieto, Tomas Hertl and Joonas Donskoi. While Nieto and Hertl wreaked some havoc near the Penguins net, Donskoi sent the puck up to Martin for the shot. An assist went to Donskoi.
By the end of the game, the Penguins had a shot lead of 39-29 but the score was still 3-1 Sharks.
Logan Couture skated on Saturday in full gear. Couture explained that this was part of the process, and that he still had no specific return date: “I don’t plan that far in advance, I didn’t plan this whole trip in advance, like I said it’s kind of a day by day thing. All how it reacts.”
The Sharks next play on Sunday at 2:00 PT, in Columbus against the Blue Jackets. It will be their second meeting of the season. The Blue Jackets defeated the Sharks 5-2 on November 3 at SAP.