Sharks find shooting eye – score 14 goals in two days
LOS ANGELES – Patrick Marleau and Ryane Clowe scored two goals apiece, and the San Jose Sharks completed a remarkable two-day scoring barrage with a 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.
A day after San Jose demolished the Calgary Flames in a 9-1 victory at the Shark Tank, Marleau led the Sharks to three first-period goals on the way to an easy win over their Pacific Division rivals. Dan Boyle added a goal and two assists in the Sharks’ 14th win in 17 games.
Evgeni Nabokov made 36 saves for the Sharks, whose victory coupled with Chicago’s 4-1 loss to Ottawa put San Jose alone atop the overall NHL standings with 74 points through 51 games. Of course, Team Teal also won last season’s Presidents’ Trophy, only to lose its first-round playoff series to Anaheim.
Joe Pavelski had two assists and Boyle had his first three-point game since Oct. 8 in the Sharks’ second straight win over Los Angeles to wrap up the clubs’ six-game regular-season series.
Wayne Simmonds scored for the Kings, who lost for the fourth time during six straight home games, including two home losses to San Jose in nine days.
Marleau, who relinquished his Sharks captaincy this season, looks remarkably quick and comfortable without that “C” on his shoulder weighing him down. After not being among the Sharks’ eight goal-scorers in that big win over Calgary, he bumped his NHL-leading goal total to 34 – two more than Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, who also scored two goals earlier Tuesday.
Jonathan Quick stopped 19 shots for Los Angeles, which finishes its seven-game homestand Thursday against Buffalo. The stretch hasn’t been helpful to the Kings’ hopes of earning their first playoff berth since 2002: They’ve won just twice on the homestand, needing a late rally to beat the Boston Bruins in a shootout last Saturday.
Marleau scored during a power play less than 5 1/2 minutes in, converting a behind-the-net feed from Pavelski. After San Jose killed off a 4-on-3 disadvantage, Boyle then came straight out of the penalty box, collected the puck and wired a mid-range shot past Quick on the stick side.
Clowe put the Sharks up 3-0 with 3:11 left in the first when Alexander Frolov allowed a clearing pass to go under his stick and straight to Jed Ortmeyer, who fed Clowe for his 12th goal.
Los Angeles finally scored when Simmonds backhanded home a rebound of Ryan Smyth’s wraparound try in the opening minute of the second period. But moments after Nabokov stopped Smyth’s breakaway chance, Marleau broke free in the slot to beat Quick for his ninth multigoal game of the season.
Clowe converted a weak-side rebound during a power play in the waning minutes of the third for his first multigoal game of the season.
NOTES: Kings C Jarret Stoll played in his 400th NHL game. … Simmonds has 16 points in his past 21 games. … San Jose improved to 25-0-4 when leading after two periods. … The Sharks scratched RW Brad Staubitz for the third time in four games.