Déjà vu. That was the best description of the Sharks 3-2 victory Tuesday at HP Pavilion. Why Déjà vu? Just like in Nashville in their last meeting, it was a Patrick Marleau
overtime goal that closed out the game.
“It ended up in overtime, Patty scored the winner,” Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan said. “Eerily similar. That’s what Patty does. I think Patty is leading us in goals now and he’s scored some big ones down the stretch. He shows up and plays every night. I know his teammates and the coaching staff appreciates that from him.”
Marleau picked up a loose puck in the defensive zone and handled the rest solo.
“It was like a semi two-on-one and I was able to get in and get a little body position, a quick shot and put it in the back of the net,” Marleau said. “I think Suter was coming back on me so I pulled it to my forehand and tried to get a quick shot. (I had) to get it up, he is a big goalie.”
What Marleau didn’t describe was the speed he used to gain enough room to fire on net.
“That was an extra gear. I’ve seen him skate, but that seemed to be an extra one tonight,” McLellan pointed out. “If there weren’t any end boards he might still be going. He was going that fast.”
“Pretty fast,” Braun said. “He just skated right by them and it was good for him to get that one.”
San Jose had been dominant the entire third period and they knew if they kept the foot on the pedal, the winner would come.
“I think we started playing the way we should have the first two periods,” Marleau said. “We had a lot of chances. I think Clowe, Couture and Heater carried the play for us.”
That line accounted for the Sharks first goal.
“We had some really good jump tonight, right from the start,” Clowe said. “Heater was skating well and using his size. Couture had a lot of opportunities and great scoring chances. It was good to see.”
Video replay was called in as the puck bounced off Clowe’s skate, but there was never any doubt in the power forward’s mind.
“No, I felt it hit me, but I didn’t see it until I felt it so I had no chance to kick it because I didn’t see it,” Clowe said. “I knew it hit off my laces and wouldn’t have been called back.”
O FROM D
San Jose picked up an important power play goal from the blueline when a Justin Braun
shot found it’s way home.
“Brauny, he shoots just about anything he sees which is a nice thing to have,” McLellan said. “He has a tendency to get pucks through. He was rewarded for it tonight.”
The rookie blueliner is willing to do his part when challenged to jump start the power play.
“That’s what they want me to do, get the puck up ice and shoot it from the point,” Braun said. “I was lucky it went off one of their guy’s sticks and went in the net. It’s nice to contribute and feel more a part of it. I’m just trying to make the right plays.”
Braun is not being asked to be a carbon copy of Dan Boyle
, but he is in the power play lineup, so he is being asked to fill in to a degree.
“It helps the confidence,” Braun said. “Any goal, any point up here, they are tough to get. They make you feel a little better for the hard work.”
RACE TO THREE
McLellan noted at the morning skate that it would likely be a race for the third goal between San Jose and Nashville. He proved prophetic.
“It’s a number that both teams play to, I believe,” McLellan said. “All the games we’ve competed against them, it been basically to three.”
Jamal Mayers played in his 800th NHL game.
PREDATORS HEAD COACH BARRY TROTZ
“We were a little bit tired. We went up to Edmonton and got there late. We got beat there, but they’ve been playing pretty well. We go into Vancouver and they are the first place team overall in the league. We got two points there. Calgary. We played them tough, but didn’t get any points there unfortunately. Then we play a first place team in San Jose. Maybe the hottest team in the league. So we’ve played teams that have been good and hot. Obviously we’d like to get a few more points, but we’re going home now.”
“We’ve got 15 games left. Two on the road and the rest at home. Were one point out of the pack and we’ve got 12 home games left. So it’s time to make a move at home here. If we do we’ll make the playoffs.”