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Marleau and Sharks snap out of scoring drought, beat Lightning 5-2

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Patrick Marleau ended San Jose's long scoring drought with two first-period goals, and the Sharks snapped a two-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.

The Sharks, coming off shutout losses at Minnesota and St. Louis, had gone 156 minutes, 59 seconds without scoring before Marleau beat Tampa Bay goalie Mike Smith with a short-handed goal at 12:16. He scored again 3:10 later.

Dany Heatley, John McCarthy and Logan Couture also had goals for San Jose (6-5-1), which played for the first time this season without leading scorer Joe Thornton, who received a two-game suspension from the NHL.

Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos scored for Tampa Bay (7-4-2), which lost for the second time in three nights to end its four-game Western road trip.

San Jose's Antero Niittymaki improved to 5-1-1 by stopping 33 shots, including a breakaway opportunity by Stamkos in the closing seconds of the first period to preserve a 2-1 lead.

The Sharks took a 1-0 lead on Marleau's short-handed tally, San Jose's first goal since Oct. 30 against Anaheim. Marleau stole a centring pass from Stamkos inside the blue line, then turned and fired from inside the left circle to beat Smith.

The Lightning answered 1:42 later when St. Louis deflected Stamkos' shot from above the left circle past Niittymaki.

Marleau broke the tie during a power play with 4:34 left in the first. As the Sharks worked the puck around the perimeter in the Tampa Bay zone, Marleau took a pass from Dan Boyle and fired from the far left corner. The puck rattled between Smith' s legs and slipped into the net.

The Sharks added to their lead with two goals in the second period, when San Jose held a 20-6 shots advantage.

Heatley scored his team-leading sixth of the season at 11:27, tapping in a rebound while Smith was sprawled on the ice after stopping Logan Couture' s shot from the right circle.

The Sharks made it 4-1 with the period winding down as Jamal Mayers grabbed a loose puck behind the net and slid it to winger John McCarthy, who beat Smith from point-blank range.

Couture scored just 27 seconds into the third, and Stamkos finished the scoring with his NHL-leading 11th goal with 1:47 left.

NOTES: Tampa Bay hasn't won in San Jose since 2003, going 1-6 with one tie in its last eight visits. The Sharks recalled forward Benn Ferriero from Worcester (AHL) and put him in the starting lineup. ... Marleau played in his 965th game with the Sharks, the sixth-most among active NHL players who have spent their entire career with one organization.


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