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Huge first period sets tone as Sharks win 11th straight

Mar 15, 2008 - 6:50 AM By Ryan Leong PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- The streaking San Jose Sharks wasted little time in extending their franchise-best winning streak to 11 games.

Jeremy Roenick, All-Star defenseman Brian Campbell and captain Patrick Marleau scored in a span of just over three minutes midway through the first period as the Sharks posted a 4-1 victory over the hapless St. Louis Blues on Friday.

Milan Michalek had a goal and an assist while Joe Thornton added a pair of assists for San Jose, which has not lost since February 20.

"I think our game plan was to continue the play that we've had for the last month," Roenick said. "High energy, get the lead early, and we came out flying. The first shift with Joe's line set the tone for the whole game. That's what we have to continue on here - our strong starts. We're tough to beat when we get a lead."

Evgeni Nabokov, who leads the league with 41 wins, stopped 20 shots in helping the Sharks (42-21-8) increase their lead in the Pacific Division over the idle Dallas Stars (42-26-5) to three points.

"Those games are tough to play when you get up 4-0 like that," Campbell said. "It's a game that you try to do too much later on, and we tried to simplify it. We stick together, and it's a good win for us. It's games that we need right now when we have games in hand. You have to take advantage of those."

San Jose is the first team to win 11 consecutive games since the 2005-06 New Jersey Devils captured their last 11 regular-season contests.

"Hopefully, we can take it one game at a time here," Marleau said. "We've got Edmonton coming in next here, and they're going to come in here with some young guys that are playing really well. We have to be ready for each and every game, and we can't take any nights off with the way the standings are and games in hand. We have to win those."

David Backes scored the lone goal for St. Louis (29-31-11), which fell to 1-9-2 in its last 12 games.

"When you lose games, how can you be encouraged?" Blues coach Andy Murray asked. "We gave up four goals in the first period, so certainly that's not good. Every hockey game stands on its own, and they were much better than we were."

San Jose began its scoring binge just 70 seconds into the game as Campbell passed the puck from the right wing to Michalek, wristed it past the glove side of goaltender Hannu Toivonen from the slot.

The Sharks doubled the lead at 10:22 of the first, when Roenick netted his 11th goal of the season and 506th career.

Less than two minutes later, Thornton added to his league lead in assists with a cross-crease pass through the legs of Backes to Campbell at the right side of the net. Campbell simply tipped it past Toivonen for an easy goal with 7:50 left in the period.

Marleau was awarded a penalty shot 75 seconds later and converted, skating in and firing the puck over Toivonen's right shoulder to make it 4-0.

The Blues got on the board 54 seconds into the second period as Backes batted a rebound out of mid-air and into the left side of the net during a power play for his 11th of the season.

Toivonen stopped 23 shots for the Blues, who dropped to 0-4-1 on their season-high nine-game road trip.

"You battle and hunker down together as far as all these games time after time," Backes said. "I think if you do that early in the season, you grow on it during the year. Now, you're drained from 70 games in, and now we're on the road for nine straight.

"It's a tough deal, but it's the NHL. They accomodate us very well and it's the same 85-by-200 sheet of ice out there."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 1 0 1
    SAN JOSE 4 0 0 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - MILAN MICHALEK 23 (BRIAN CAMPBELL, JOE THORNTON) 1:10
    SAN - JEREMY ROENICK 11 (DEVIN SETOGUCHI, CRAIG RIVET) 10:22
    SAN - BRIAN CAMPBELL 7 (JOE THORNTON, MILAN MICHALEK) 12:10
    SAN - (PS) PATRICK MARLEAU 15 13:25


    Mar 15 12:56 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 1 1
    SAN JOSE 4 0 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - MILAN MICHALEK 23 (BRIAN CAMPBELL, JOE THORNTON) 1:10
    SAN - JEREMY ROENICK 11 (DEVIN SETOGUCHI, CRAIG RIVET) 10:22
    SAN - BRIAN CAMPBELL 7 (JOE THORNTON, MILAN MICHALEK) 12:10
    SAN - (PS) PATRICK MARL

    Mar 15 12:08 AM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 1
    SAN JOSE 4
    2ND PRD: STL - (PP) DAVID BACKES 11 (ERIK JOHNSON, ANDY MCDONALD) 0:54

    Blues 1, Sharks 4  2nd - 19:06Mar 14 11:38 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 0
    SAN JOSE 4 4 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - MILAN MICHALEK 23 (BRIAN CAMPBELL, JOE THORNTON) 1:10
    SAN - JEREMY ROENICK 11 (DEVIN SETOGUCHI, CRAIG RIVET) 10:22
    SAN - BRIAN CAMPBELL 7 (JOE THORNTON, MILAN MICHALEK) 12:10
    SAN - (PS) PATRICK MARL

    Mar 14 11:18 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 0
    SAN JOSE 4
    1ST PRD: SAN - (PS) PATRICK MARLEAU 15 13:25

    Blues 0, Sharks 4  1st - 6:35Mar 14 11:03 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 0
    SAN JOSE 3
    1ST PRD: SAN - BRIAN CAMPBELL 7 (JOE THORNTON, MILAN MICHALEK) 12:10

    Blues 0, Sharks 3  1st - 7:50Mar 14 11:01 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 0
    SAN JOSE 2
    1ST PRD: SAN - DEVIN SETOGUCHI 12 (CRAIG RIVET, CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF)
    10:22

    Blues 0, Sharks 2  1st - 9:38Mar 14 10:58 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 0
    SAN JOSE 1
    1ST PRD: SAN - MILAN MICHALEK 23 (BRIAN CAMPBELL, JOE THORNTON) 1:10

    Blues 0, Sharks 1  1st - 18:50Mar 14 10:41 PM