Michalek, Marleau lift Sharks past Senators

OTTAWA (Ticker) — Milan Michalek and captain Patrick Marleau
netted power-play goals just 78 seconds apart in the second
period to lift the San Jose Sharks to a 2-1 victory over the
Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

Brian Boucher made 23 saves in his first start in over two weeks
for the Sharks, who have won five of their last six contests.

“The resilience that we have as a team to come back and play
three games in four nights on the road and win is always a good
sign,” San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. “It’s a quality that
we’ll need come playoff time. A lot of mental toughness tonight
in our hockey club.”

Alex Auld turned aside 22 shots and Mike Fisher scored the lone
goal for the Senators, who have lost four of their last five

Facing a 1-0 deficit, the Sharks responded with a pair of quick
goals after Ottawa rookie defenseman Brian Lee was whistled for
holding and unsportsmanlike conduct, giving San Jose the man
advantage for four minutes.

“You can’t afford to take penalties like that,” Senators interim
coach Cory Clouston said. “You have to earn the respect of the

“On the bench, we felt the momentum was kind of changed when
that happened and we wanted to bear down and make them pay,”
All-Star center Joe Thornton said.

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Michalek leveled the contest at 8:34 remaining the middle
session, taking a pass from Joe Pavelski at the right doorstep
and stuffing his attempt past Auld.

Still on the power play, Marleau beat Auld with a snap shot just
over a minute later for his 34th goal of the season.

It was enough offense for Boucher, who improved to 13-2-3 over
the last two campaigns with San Jose. He also collected his
first win against Ottawa in seven career games.

“It’s almost like a mold the way he comes in and plays,”
McLellan said of the netminder. “He gives us a chance to win
and he is very calm. When he gets a chance to play, the players
want to play for him.”

“We kind of took a while to get going,” Boucher said. “But once
we got going, we did a good job of shutting them down.”

The Senators opened the scoring with 6:14 left in the first
period. On the man advantage, Fisher deflected defenseman Chris
Campoli’s slap shot from the high slot past Boucher.

“They are one of the best teams in the league,” Ottawa captain
Daniel Alfredsson said. “We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy
game, but I think we felt comfortable coming into the game that
we can beat them and we came close.”