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Marleau Now Tied With Friesen On Scoring List

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks

San Jose was up against one of the most potent offenses in the NHL Saturday night and gave the Red Wings all they could handle until Shark killer Brendan Shanahan posted two late goals, giving Detroit a 7-6 victory.

There were some positives though, despite the winless streak reaching nine contests.

“We thought we worked hard tonight,” said Scott Thornton. “Tonight when the goals against came, we still had the confidence to come back. We still let down on a shift here and there.”

The flow of the game was more like the Sharks preseason slate where they posted an undefeated mark.

“This game has more of the attributes an exhibition game,” said Thornton.

Still, it was nice to see names like Alyn McCauley and Marco Sturm ringing up goals again.

“They guys that scored tonight hadn’t in a while and that was a good attribute to the game,” said Thornton.

Still, moral victories don’t go into the win column.

“When you are up with four or five minutes left, you should win,” said Marcel Goc. “That’s the way things are going now.”

“It is very frustrating,” said Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson. “We had the game right there and let it slide away. I’ve got to watch the tape. They had 30 shots and managed to score seven. We shouldn’t have lost 7-6.

Thornton has been the cause of several recent Sharks goals, including two Saturday night. He received helper while camping on top of the crease for Alyn McCauley’s opening Sharks tally. In fact, Thornton was celebrating while planted on his backside when McCauley’s shot crossed the line.

“I don’t care if I get rewarded on the scoresheet,” said Thornton. “My reward is getting put back out there. I loved seeing the puck go through my legs and then seeing us score. You hate to stand there all night and have nothing good happen.”

In familiar territory later in the third, Thornton was actually the first to find the loose puck as he scored a goal of his own.

Rookie Grant Stevenson kept his scoring streak alive when he beautifully set up Marcel Goc for a tally, giving San Jose a 6-5 lead in the latter half of the third.

“He’s playing great,” said Goc. “All I had to do there was place my stick on the ice.”

“I was just going to the net,” said Stevenson. “I wanted to make the pass and if it wasn’t there, I was going to try and stuff it in. They left Marcel wide open and it was easy to find him.”

The two actually had some ice time together in Cleveland last season.

“We played together a couple of times in Cleveland,” said Goc. “It is the same system as here.”

Just prior to scoring the go-ahead goal, Goc was flattened in front of the crease by Kirk Maltby.

“He just ran into me,” said Goc. “I saw him coming, but the puck was laying right there and I was trying to put it in the net.”

Stevenson was enjoying his first taste of home cooking after being the visitor for his first few NHL games.

“Coming here, it was great having the fans cheer for us,” said Stevenson. “They are really impressive. When the puck moves up ice, they are loud, but when Primeau scored, I thought the roof was going to come off. It just fires everyone up.”

While only a few games into his NHL career, Stevenson is aware of the big picture.

“It’s nice to get the points, but it is tough to enjoy right now,” said Stevenson.

Goc and Stevenson are both riding three game point streaks.

Tough bounces are part of the game, but in a one-goal loss, one of Mathieu Schneider’s tallies could never have been a ‘called shot’. His shot from the point hit Marco Sturm, then appeared headed away from the net before changing direction off Tom Preissing and crossing the goal line.

“It seems like that is how it’s going, but we’ve got to battle through it and earn our luck back,” said Goc.

With his helper on Thornton’s tally, Patrick Marleau moved into a tie with Jeff Friesen for second place on the Sharks all-time scoring list. Owen Nolan still ranks atop the all-time list with 451 points. The accomplishment caught the Sharks current captain off guard.

“I wasn’t aware of that,” said Marleau. “It’s nice to reach marks like that. ‘Freeze’ was here a while and did a lot of great things.”

Marleau is also riding a five-game point streak, posting three goals and three assists during the run.

With his assist on Mark Smith’s second period goal, Brad Stuart tied Marcus Ragnarsson for second on the Sharks all-time defensemen scoring list with 153 points. He could soon be number one as he trails only Mike Rathje and his 155 points as a blueliner.

The 153 career points are also tied for ninth on the Sharks overall scoring list.

Saturday marked Wayne Primeau’s 100th game in a Sharks uniform.

On Tuesday, the Sharks will fly to Dallas for an odd three game trip that will take them from the Lone Star state and then on to Buffalo and Toronto. When the trek is finished, the Sharks will have played 17 of 26 contests away from HP Pavilion.

“It sure doesn’t feel like we’ve been home much, but it doesn’t matter,” said Thornton. “The guys want to go out and play every other day. The good news is that after this trip, we have a lot of home games piled up.”

San Jose will next play the Stars Wednesday night in Dallas. The 5:30 p.m. PST contest will be televised on FSN Bay Area and can be heard on 98.5 KFOX and

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