ANAHEIM, Calif. —
Held to four shots in two stunning losses at home, Patrick Marleau
finally made an impact for the top-seeded San Jose Sharks
in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.
Marleau broke through Tuesday night as he redirected in Rob Blake's shot on the power play with 9:27 remaining to give the Sharks a crucial 4-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in the best-of-7 series at the Honda Center.
Sometimes singled out for criticism amid the Sharks' inability to get past the second round over the last three seasons, Marleau delivered when his team desperately needed it as San Jose now trails the upstart Ducks by a 2-1 margin.
"We're just focused on winning," Marleau said. "It doesn't matter how or who's doing it. It's just basically coming down to wins right now."
Marleau's goal was his first point of this postseason. The Sharks' longtime captain and three-time All-Star had a career-high 38 goals in the regular season and has 36 goals in 89 playoff games.
"An interesting stat is that Patty since 2001 has had nine game-winning goals in the playoffs, which leads all NHL players," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "We're excited for him to get that one tonight."
"It's just one. There's still a lot of work. That's a good team over there. It's going to be a battle each and every night. It's just one." -- Patrick Marleau
After the first two games, Marleau earned some redemption on the ice and in the dressing room.
"We have held him accountable for his play over the last couple of games and for him to come into this building and respond the way he did is something we're happy about," McLellan said. "For he and the rest of the players, it can't be a one-man thing."
In his typical quiet manner, Marleau put the focus on his team heading to a pivotal Game 4 on Thursday night.
"It's just one," Marleau said. "There's still a lot of work. That's a good team over there. It's going to be a battle each and every night. It's just one."