The San Jose Sharks used a night that celebrated Ron Wilson’s 1,000th career game as a coach to defeat the Los Angeles Kings 3-1. Captain Patrick Marleau’s line took care of the offense, totaling all three goals with Marleau scoring the first and third tallies.
“Patty had a great night and was flying around,” said Wilson.
Bill Guerin scored the Sharks second tally and was credited with the game-winner.
“I was just concentrating on settling the puck down and getting the shot off as quick as I could,” said Guerin. “Most goalies in this league go down and I just wanted to shoot high.”
The common factor on all three tallies was Christian Ehrhoff providing a helping hand. The three assist night established a single-game career high and marked his first multi-point game since Jan. 4 versus Detroit.
“It’s always nice to contribute to the team’s success,” said Ehrhoff. “The puck was bouncing and I saw Billy in front. It was a little lucky, but that is what you need once in a while.”
The big game was nice as Ehrhoff had struggled recently according to his coach.
“Maybe this will get him to relax and play the way he can,” said Wilson. “He was dangerously close to being out of the lineup tonight. If it wasn’t Scotty Hannan (sore groin), it would have been Christian. A game like this can get him going forward.”
WIN AND IN Lost amid Wilson’s 1,000 games coached celebration and the Sharks jumping within two points of Anaheim, was that San Jose actually clinched a playoff spot with their victory.
“It’s feels pretty good,” said Ehrhoff. “At times today, we had a rough game, but we got the job done. We have to get the points against those teams if we want to stay in the race with Anaheim.”
“It narrows the gap and keep the pressure on Anaheim,” said Wilson. “I’ve got Brian Burke in my office . . . trying to make him sweat. He doesn’t seem to be too intimidated.”
San Jose’s next two opponents, Phoenix and Los Angeles, are both out of the playoffs, but they can be even more dangerous as they are very relaxed and playing with nothing to lose.
“The teams we’re playing our out, so we have to focus that much harder and not let those games slip,” said Marleau. “They are really loose and anything can happen with those guys.”
San Jose let their tempers get the better of them in the second and saw several trips to the penalty box put the game unnecessarily at risk.
“If you want to be a good playoff team, you have to put some of that stuff aside,” said Wilson. “We play these guys on the weekend. If you want to even the score, make sure you have the game in hand. We almost gave the game away in the second period.
“We got sloppy in the second. You can’t look at the team your playing. You have to play your game. We took our foot off the gas.”
KINGS HEAD COACH MARC CRAWFORD:
“I thought we did a great job tonight and we carried the play in second.”
“They had an ability to reach the level to win and we were unable to match it match it late in the game.”
“I thought our guys did a great job of exceeding the Sharks level of play, especially in the 2nd period.”
NOTES Marleau earned his third point of the game in the third period. The Sharks are 19-2-0 when he posts a multi-point game.
NEXT GAME The Sharks will be off until Friday when they host Phoenix at 7:30 p.m. at HP Pavilion. Limited tickets are still available and the contest will be available on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.