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Sharks down Avalanche behind Marleau's hat trick

Nov 21, 2011 - 5:32 AM
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Patrick Marleau recorded the fourth hat trick of his career, Thomas Greiss made 36 saves and the San Jose Sharks continued their strong play with a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic set up each one of Marleau's goals and Joe Thornton collected two helpers for San Jose, which has gone 11-2-1 since a 1-3-0 start to the season.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere made his third consecutive start between the pipes for the Avalanche and yielded three goals on 17 shots.

Colorado, which kicked off an eight-game homestand with a 3-0 victory over Dallas on Friday, fell to 2-7-1 in November.

The Avalanche got off to a strong start Sunday, as Matt Duchene opened the scoring 7:25 into the contest. The third-year Colorado forward dished to the left point for Ryan Wilson, settled down the defenseman's return feed and fired a shot from the right circle past Greiss.

Marleau drew San Jose even at the 12:16 mark of the first period, one second after a tripping penalty to Colorado defenseman Kyle Quincey had expired. He struck again at 7:35 of the middle stanza when he cruised through the low slot and tipped Vlasic's point shot.

Thornton fed Joe Pavelski from behind the net to make it 3-1 with 3:13 remaining in the second. It was Pavelski's team-leading 11th goal of the season.

"We didn't get the puck out at times at the blue line," Duchene said. "They made us pay. They are a very skilled team and if you make a mistake, it will likely end up in the back of your own net."

Marleau added an empty-netter -- while on a power play -- in the final minute of regulation.

"I got an assist on all three of his goals, but the last one I was just trying to protect it, get it out, and pushed it off the boards and Patty made a great play to spin it around and shoot it into the net," Vlasic said.

Game Notes

Vlasic's second assist was the 100th of his career...Colorado defenseman Shane O'Brien played in his 400th career game...The Sharks finished 1-for-6 on the power play, while the Avalanche were 0-for-1...Colorado hasn't won back-to- back games since a five-game winning streak on the road from October 10-17.