BOSTON – Patrick Marleau, Milan Michalek and former Boston captain Joe Thornton scored in a 6:16 span of the third period to rally the San Jose Sharks to a 5-2 victory over the Boston Bruins in a matchup of the NHL’s top two teams on Tuesday night.
The Eastern Conference-leading Bruins, on top of the NHL with 85 points, carried a 2-1 edge into the third period behind two first-period goals by Milan Lucic. Boston had been 26-0-2 when leading after 40 minutes.
The West-leading Sharks, trailing in the third period for only the 12th time this season, roared back. San Jose leads the West with 81 points.
Marleau tied the game with his 27th goal at 3:32, and Michalek and Thornton struck 2:20 apart. Marleau assisted on the goal by Thornton, who played his second game in Boston since he was traded to the Sharks, on Nov. 30, 2005.
Thornton, booed when he had the puck, scored when Devin Setogouchi’s pass from behind the net hit Thornton’s left skate and beat Tim Thomas at 9:48. The goal stood up after a video review.
Marleau assisted on former Boston University star Mike Grier’s empty-net goal with 28.6 seconds left, giving the Bruins their first three-goal loss of the season.
Ryane Clowe had three assists, and Rob Blake scored the other San Jose goal as the Sharks spoiled Thomas’ 200th NHL game.
It was the first time in 10 games the Bruins didn’t earn a point but the loss was Boston’s second straight, both at home.
Lucic, who had missed eight of 16 games with a pair of injuries, scored on two rebounds – one of Dennis Wideman’s shot and the other off a bid by Petteri Nokelainen.
In between those goals, Blake let a power-play shot go from the right point that appeared to hit Blake Wheeler and Wideman before sneaking past Thomas. The goal was originally given to Joe Pavelski.
Nokelainen left in the first period after taking what looked like a high stick from Dan Boyle, causing a cut near the eye. No penalty was called after a lengthy discussion because he apparently was hit by the puck and not Boyle’s stick.
In the second period, Boston’s Chuck Kobasew was hit by Douglas Murray and left the ice favouring his right leg. Late in the period, defenceman Mark Stuart left with what appeared to be a cut near the mouth.
Kobasew and Stuart both returned for the third period.
Notes: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was in attendance. … Bruins RW Michael Ryder is expected to miss 2-to-3 weeks after undergoing facial surgery Monday. … The Bruins are heading out for a five-game road trip. The Sharks played their second of five away from home. … Boston D Matt Hunwick was a healthy scratch. San Jose LW Jody Shelley sat out due to a lower body injury. … The Sharks are 10-1-1 against the Eastern Conference, the Bruins 7-4-1 versus the West.