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Marleau's two goals lift Sharks past Leafs

Feb 24, 2012 - 6:06 AM
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Patrick Marleau scored a pair of goals and Antti Niemi made 29 saves, lifting the San Jose Sharks over the Toronto Maple Leafs, 2-1.

With the much-needed win, San Jose snapped a four-game skid and improved to 2-4-1 on a nine-game road trip. The Sharks and the Phoenix Coyotes remain tied for the top spot in the Pacific Division after both teams won on Thursday.

Jake Gardiner scored the lone goal for the Maple Leafs, who fell to 1-6-1 over their last eight games.

James Reimer stopped 23-of-25 shots for Toronto, which is battling for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"We just couldn't get the offense going," Reimer said. "They're big in the front and the back end. They're tough."

The Sharks broke a scoreless tie 32 seconds into the second period. Joe Thornton won a battle for the puck along the boards prior to making a pass to the left circle. Marleau gathered the puck and fired a wrister past Reimer.

Marleau added a power-play goal at the 10:43 mark to make it 2-0. Logan Couture's shot from the point was deflected in by Marleau.

Toronto made things interesting early in the third when Gardiner's blast from the left point made it a 2-1 game at the 3:53 mark.

But Niemi held strong the rest of the way and ended with 15 saves in the final stanza.

"[Niemi] looked very confident. His teammates felt good about his game. It looks like we have Nemo back," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan.

Game Notes

The Sharks have won their last three games in Toronto...San Jose forward Dominic Moore (undisclosed) and defenseman Douglas Murray (fractured throat) missed the game.