NHL Game Summary - Columbus at San Jose
(Tuesday, October 14th)
Final Score: San Jose 5, Columbus 2
San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Patrick Marleau scored twice, including once shorthanded, to guide the unbeaten San Jose Sharks to a 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Jonathan Cheechoo also scored shorthanded, while Milan Michalek netted one on the power play for the Sharks, who are 4-0 for the first time in franchise history. Marc-Edouard Vlasic also lit the lamp for San Jose, while Evgeni Nabokov stopped 31 shots as the Sharks continued their winning ways for new coach Todd McLellan.
"There's a whole lot of teams that are going to have four game winning streaks. It just happens to be ours at the beginning of the year," said McLellan. "There's no spotlight on myself. The players are the ones that get out there and do what they're supposed to do. We have a really small role in it when you think about it."
Nabokov improved to 15-4 lifetime against Columbus in 20 career starts.
Newcomers Kristian Huselius and Christian Backman had the goals for the Blue Jackets, who have just one victory in their last 15 games at HP Pavilion. Pascal Leclaire made 19 saves before being lifted during the final period for Fredrik Norrena.
San Jose beat visiting Anaheim in its season opener on Thursday and then swept Los Angeles in a home-and-home series. On Tuesday, the Sharks tallied three times in the middle period, with Michalek and Marleau scoring 77 seconds apart for the lead.
Michalek netted the tying goal at 8:12 of the second on a wrist shot, and Marleau then pounded a rebound from in front past Leclaire.
The Sharks caught a break again shorthanded with Dan Boyle in the penalty box early in the third. Marleau scored from in front to make it 4-2 at the 5:19 mark, and Vlasic tallied nearly three minutes later on a one-timer.
"We're competing, we're creating all kinds of scoring chances, but we're not good enough in our own end with the puck," said Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock. "It's communication between defensemen and goaltending. Part of it is the passer's responsibility with the puck. Those are the areas we've got to get cleaned up."
Huselius scored on the power play, at 9:01 of the opening period, but Cheechoo evened the contest at 4:54 of the second while shorthanded on a shot from the slot.
Backman gave the Blue Jackets a 2-1 edge just 24 seconds later on a 60-foot power play slap shot that surprised Nabokov. The puck was accidentally redirected by San Jose defenseman Douglas Murray near the crease.
The Sharks went 3-1 against the Blue Jackets last year and have taken 11 of 15 in the series overall...Columbus has lost eight straight in San Jose and hasn't won at the Shark Tank since posting an OT decision on January 8, 2004....The Sharks have outscored the opponents 8-1 in the second period this year...Columbus was 2-for-6 on the power play, while the Sharks were 1-for-2.
10/15 02:17:08 ET