SAN JOSE, Calif. -- San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau participated in Thursday morning's skate at HP Pavilion. Eight hours later, there he was in warm-ups, ready to help his team attempt to win its Western Conference Semifinal opener against the Detroit Red Wings.
But when the scratches were announced for this Game 1, Marleau was among the names on the list. Marleau, who scored a team-high 44 goals this season for San Jose, apparently was battling the flu all day and a fever forced him to miss the 4-3 victory.
"He had been fighting the flu for the past 24 hours," Sharks coach Todd McLellan explained. "His temperature was at a point where it was dangerous for him to play. It wasn't healthy, and we sure won't risk his health for that for one night. We missed him, but I thought the rest of the team stepped up and filled in admirably."
Once again, the line of Joe Pavelski, Devin Setoguchi and Ryane Clowe provided plenty of offense. Pavelski had two goals and an assist in more than 23 minutes of ice time, while Setoguchi finished off a frenzy that saw the Sharks score three times in a span of 1:19 midway through the first period.
Setoguchi was one of several players stunned to learn that the Sharks were going to be forced to play this one without the highly-skilled Marleau, who had a goal and two assists in San Jose's opening-series win against the Colorado Avalanche.
"No idea," Setoguchi said. "Everyone showed up and Patty showed up and had warm-ups, but he wasn't feeling well. He gets some nice rest and hopefully he's back soon. He's a great player and we need him."
The good news for the Sharks is that they have two days before this series resumes on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, which should give Marleau plenty of time to recover. McLellan said he fully expects No. 12 to be in the lineup for Game 2, when the Sharks will aim to take a 2-0 lead in this series before it shifts to Detroit.
"Patty's a huge part of this team," said goalie Evgeni Nabokov, who made 20 saves in Thursday's victory. "When somebody takes his place, you have to step up, whoever it is. I thought we did a good job."
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