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Marleau, Jones lead Sharks past Ducks

by Eric Gilmore

SAN JOSE -- Hours before the puck dropped at SAP Center on Saturday, new coach Peter DeBoer said his San Jose Sharks had a chance to make a statement against the defending Pacific Division champion Anaheim Ducks.

The Sharks did exactly that.

Patrick Marleau scored two goals, Martin Jones stopped 27 shots in his eighth career shutout and the defeated the Ducks 2-0 in their home opener.

"I think a statement was made that the Sharks are back and we're for real this year," DeBoer said. "We talked about it through training camp. We're only two games in but we played two tough teams. I think our game is getting better every day. I think the guys are feeling good about what we're doing. We just have to keep moving forward with that."

Jones, who spent the past two seasons backing up Jonathan Quick with the Los Angeles Kings, has stopped 46 of 47 shots in his first two games with the Sharks. He made 19 saves in his debut with the Sharks, a 5-1 victory against the Kings at Staples Center on Wednesday.

"That's a big, strong team up front and typically they do a really good job of getting in front of the net with bodies and sticks," Jones said of the Ducks. "I thought we did a really good job boxing out. I was able to see a lot of pucks tonight."

The Sharks (2-0-0), who missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season despite going 4-0-1 against Anaheim last season, defeated the Ducks at SAP Center for the eighth straight time.

Anaheim lost its season-opener despite a 42-save performance by goaltender Frederik Andersen.

"We just have to keep battling," Andersen said. "All I wanted to do was give the guys a chance. We probably need more shots. We passed it away too many times."

Marleau gave San Jose a 1-0 lead with 39 seconds left in the second period, knocking in a rebound from close range.

The Sharks had three shots in a span of three seconds, with Marleau capping the blitz with his first goal of the season. Marleau initially took a pass from center Logan Couture but nearly fanned. Andersen stopped that weak shot and a stronger shot by Couture, but Marleau got to the rebound and lifted the puck over Andersen's stick and inside the left post, putting San Jose in front.

"I thought it would be a tough goalie's night, and I really wanted to score the first goal," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "They got it. Both teams played well, but we didn't get enough traffic in front of the net. I could count on one hand the number of times [Jones] didn't see it. Don't get me wrong, he played a great game.

"We couldn't get going in the third. They were holding us in our zone with puck possession. Once we get it out, we were dumping it for line changes and couldn't get much pressure on them."

Marleau had only 19 goals last season, his lowest total in a non-lockout season since scoring 19 in 2007-08. He's started this season with two goals in two games.

"This guy is one of the best players in the last 10 or 15 years," DeBoer said. "Not surprised. He's in great shape. I think last year was a bit of an aberration. He's come out with a lot of other guys to prove that."

Marleau said, "It's nice to get a couple early. Something to build off of."

Jones and Andersen matched each other save for save throughout most of a contentious second period; tempers flared and scrums broke out nearly every time either goalie covered the puck.

The Sharks turned up the pressure on Andersen in the third period, outshooting Anaheim 12-3 in the first 14 minutes, but he wouldn't buckle. However, at 15:10, Marleau scored on a wraparound, sneaking the puck through Andersen's pads. Linemate Joel Ward got the only assist, his second of the night.

"We kind of got better as the game went on right from the start," Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. "Second period was a little better, third was definitely our best and it needs to be and I would say last year, that was one of the problems in this rink. Hopefully we can continue that trend. Having one game here early in the season and then going on the road, it was important to get this win and guys played good."

The Sharks didn't get their first shot until nearly seven minutes into the game, but they outshot Anaheim 13-9 in a scoreless first period.

San Jose's Marc-Edouard Vlasic played his 672nd career game as a Shark, a franchise record for defenseman. He passed Mike Rathje on the franchise list.

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