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Sharks defeat Blue Jackets, finish perfect road trip

by Craig Merz / NHL.com

COLUMBUS --The San Jose Sharks scored the final four goals in a 5-3 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Sunday to sweep a six-game road trip for the first time in their history.

"You think getting 10 out of 12 points would be great, but we wanted to make a focus of getting every point we can," San Jose defenseman Brenden Dillon said.

Joe Pavelski's second goal of the game, into an empty net with 1:16 left in regulation, capped the rally after Dillon scored his first goal of the season with 6:45 left to put the Sharks (13-8-0) ahead 4-3.

Columbus (8-14-0) built a 3-1 lead 1:23 into the third on Cam Atkinson's fourth goal but the Sharks got three goals 7:02 apart by Pavelski, Brent Burns and Dillon even though San Jose was playing on consecutive nights.

"We knew they had back-to-back games," Atkinson said. "You have to take advantage of that. You could see they were tired. They were a little sluggish but we were sluggish as well."

Patrick Marleau had the first goal and had an assist for the Sharks; Joel Ward had two assists.

"It was pretty impressive," Ward said of the record streak. "I've never been a part of that. Even in video games I've never seen that."

The Blue Jackets had won four of five games.

"They found energy in third and we didn't for some reason," Columbus captain Nick Foligno said. "A 3-1 lead and we lost it. To me that's unacceptable.

"We didn't play our best game but we played well enough to win, especially when you get the third goal like that. That's a big lead to have. You have to find a way to close it out. I'm sick of these. We've got find ways to ways to get points. I'm tired of the way we're losing."

Ryan Johansen and Boone Jenner scored in the second period for Columbus. Sergei Bobrovsky made 24 saves.

The Sharks' comeback started when Pavelski got his 11th goal with a deflection past Bobrovsky at 6:13.

"We've got to take more sticks. Almost every goal was tipped," Columbus defenseman David Savard said. "We have to be more assertive at our job."

Burns scored on a one-timer at 11:25 on the power play. His eight goals are tied for first among NHL defensemen with Justin Faulk of the Carolina Hurricanes.

The play started with a faceoff win, one of many in critical spots.

"We lose three faceoffs and they score three goals," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "We just did not win enough faceoffs."

Marleau, who got his 1,000th NHL point with an assist on Saturday at the Pittsburgh Penguins, scored his seventh of the season and 463rd of his career with 3:33 left in the first period for a 1-0 lead before Columbus responded with two goals in the second after Tortorella juggled lines.

Johansen put in rebound with a backhander in front when he dug out the puck between three Sharks players at 5:30 for his fourth goal. New linemates Kerby Rychel and Josh Anderson assisted.

Jenner got his team-leading 11th goal at 6:38. Brandon Saad made the entry, passed to the left to William Karlsson, who sent the puck to Jenner at the right post. He settled the puck and shot it into an open net.

Backup goalie Alex Stalock (28 saves) stopped 18 of the final 19 shots he faced.

"That third period showed the character in the room," Dillon said. "We're never going to get down. We're never going to let off the gas."

San Jose coach Peter DeBoer, who returned after missing the game Saturday to attend personal matters, credits players such Pavelski, Burns, Marleau, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic for the recent success.

"I've been impressed with the leadership, the guys driving the bus here," DeBoer said.

The Sharks have the most road wins in the League (10-3-0).

"We're refusing to lose," DeBoer said. "It's at a critical time for us. We knew coming on this trip we're better than our record indicated. We wanted to make a push."

The Sharks play the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday to begin a three-game homestand. Columbus visits the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday.

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