Marleau's late goal lifts Sharks, 2-1
Patrick Marleau scored off a rebound with 2:57 left to lead the San Jose Sharks to a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night, extending the Sharks' point streak to eight games.
Ryan Clowe also had a goal for the Sharks, who are 6-0-1 in the new year and 6-0-2 in their last eight. Thomas Greiss had 25 saves to beat the Blue Jackets for the second time in his only two starts since Dec. 3. He also defeated Columbus by the same score in San Jose on Jan. 5.
Rick Nash picked up his fourth goal in four games for the Blue Jackets, who split home games on back-to-back nights.
Curtis Sanford had 31 saves for Columbus.
The Sharks had nearly scored with 3:20 left when Jamie McGinn fed Torrey Mitchell, who appeared to have an empty net in front of him. But the puck scooted wide.
Seconds later, Dan Boyle slid a quick pass to Joe Pavelski, who carried the puck over the blue line and muscled a shot on Sanford, who deflected it to the left wing where Marleau pounced on it for his 17th of the year.
Greiss was effective all night, despite not seeing much action lately. He was making only his second start since he gave up five goals on 35 shots in a 5-3 loss to Florida on Dec. 3. Antti Niemi started the next 13 games before Greiss gave up just one goal on 23 shots in the 2-1 win over the Blue Jackets earlier this month.
The Sharks, now 18-1-3 when leading after two periods, broke a scoreless duel with a power-play goal at 14:59 of the second period.
Brent Burns' hard, high slap shot from the right point pinged off the far post, with Pavelski and Logan Couture scrambling to get to the loose puck. Couture got there first and was able to chip the puck toward the goal mouth from the left goal line. Clowe was there to reach back with his stick waist-high to jam it into the net.
Clowe hadn't scored a goal since the last time the teams met, a 2-1 victory at home for San Jose on Jan. 5.
Sanford pointed his stick at Clowe instantly after the goal, hoping the official would call a high stick.
Burns stretched his points streak to four games, during which he has three assists and a goal, while Couture has points in the last three games after notching goals in the previous two.
Nash evened it at 6:53 of the third with a lethal snap shot from the top of the left circle that snuck just inside the far post.
Columbus left wing Dane Byers was handed a match penalty 3 minutes into the second period for intention to injure for a shoulder hit to the head of Andrew Desjardins. Desjardins was helped off the ice and did not return.
The Sharks, 17th in the NHL with a man advantage, were able to tally on just one of five power-play chances.
NOTES: The Sharks won 2-0 at Winnipeg on Thursday night, then flew into Columbus. Coach Todd McLellan sat in the press box and watched the Blue Jackets beat the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday night, 4-3. ... That win was Columbus' first regulation home win since Nov. 25. ... The Blue Jackets claimed LW Colton Gillies off waivers from the Minnesota Wild earlier on Saturday. He will likely make his debut on Tuesday night at home against Edmonton.