User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Marleau, Pavelski lead Sharks into semis

New Sportsbook.com customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

   

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - A year after being among the main perpetrators of another playoff failure in San Jose, Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski are leading the Sharks back to the second round.

Advertisement
Marleau scored the series clincher in overtime against Vancouver on Tuesday night, giving him one goal in all four games of the sweep over the Canucks.

Marleau got that overtime chance only because Pavelski scored the game-tying goal on the power play with 4:27 to go. That gave Pavelski his second straight two-goal game in the series.

It's a far cry from a year ago when both players failed to record even a single point in a five-game, first-round loss to St. Louis that ended a run of two straight trips to the Western Conference finals.

``You lose in five last year it's tough,'' Pavelski said. ``You always want to contribute more, you want to be better. You want to play as long as you can as well as you can. It's good to come out and have a start like this and get some confidence early. It's good to see the team respond the way they have.''

Marleau and Pavelski had plenty of help leading the Sharks to their first playoff sweep in franchise history. Logan Couture tied Pavelski for the team lead with eight points and dominated the faceoff circle in his matchup with Henrik Sedin.

Joe Thornton had one goal and five assists, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun played shutdown defense against the Sedin twins and Antti Niemi allowed just eight goals in the four games.

``Everybody is doing the little things it takes to win,'' Marleau said. ``That's the main thing. We have to keep building up. It's only going to get harder. We know that.''

The Sharks will get a few days of rest before beginning the second round next week.

Marleau has often come under fire for lackluster postseason play despite posting the second-most goals (56) and game-winning goals (14) among all active players. In fact, Marleau has scored the series clinchers the past two times the Sharks have advanced, doing it in Game 7 of the second round two years ago against Detroit.

But there was his poor positioning late in Game 4 that turned the tide of a second-round series against Detroit in 2007, his failure to attempt to block a shot the next year against Dallas, and criticisms from former teammate and TV analyst Jeremy Roenick two years ago that he was ``gutless'' and lacked heart.

Coach Todd McLellan said he has mostly seen Marleau score clutch goals during his five years in San Jose and that people want Marleau to be perfect. The critics only got more ammunition last year when he generated no offense in five games against the Blues but they have little to say after his first-round performance this year.

``It's great to see Patty do what he does after what he takes in the media and what people say about him and his character, stuff like that,'' Couture said. ``It's good to see Patty be successful.''

Pavelski has been successful for most of his playoff career, which made last year's struggles so notable. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound forward turned his nickname from ``Little Joe'' to the ``Big Pavelski'' when he scored 14 goals in the 2010 and 2011 postseasons.

He is perhaps the best bellwether of San Jose's successes and failures in the postseason. He has posted 22 goals and 15 assists in 35 playoff wins in his career, while being held to two goals and seven assists in Sharks playoff losses.

``He's had those runs and you can only hope those runs come and stay for a long time,'' Marleau said. ``He has a knack for it, scoring big goals in the playoffs.''

Pavelski has played that role all year for the Sharks. He had four goals and eight assists during a franchise-record 7-0 start to the season. He was then held to three goals and two assists over the next 23 games that included 17 San Jose losses.

After starting the season as a top six forward, Pavelski was dropped to third line center March 25 after posting no points in the previous eight games as the Sharks dropped to ninth in the conference. He responded with nine goals and five assists in his final 18 games to help lead the Sharks back to the playoffs.

``He's around the puck a little bit more, distributes it more from the middle,'' McLellan said. ``He's probably a lot more comfortable there than being on the right side. He's more involved in the game.''

The move also gives the Sharks strong centers on three lines with Joe Thornton and Couture manning the top two lines, causing difficult matchups they exploited against the Canucks.

NOTES: Niemi was named one of three finalists for the Vezina Trophy, given to the league's best goalie, along with Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers and Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky. ... F Adam Burish did not play after the second period and had his right hand wrapped after the game. There was no word on the extent of the injury.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
News: First Round Cheat Sheet
News: 2014 Playoff Results
Bruins top Red Wings 4-1, knot series 1-1
Flyers stop Rangers 4-2, even series 1-1
Pivotal Game 3 awaits with Pens, Jackets
Blackhawks D Seabrook suspended
Stars ready for home playoff game
Duchene not likely to play in Wild series
Boston's Lucic fined $5,000 for spearing
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NHL Pro Hockey Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NHL Hot Streaks
+2,969 NHL This Year
26-15, +1,137 Last 41 Run
9-5 L14 Picks, +1,182 This Year
4-2, +282 Record L2 Days
NHL Pro Hockey Expert Sports Picks
2013 NHL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 2969
Joe Williams + 1182
Doc's Sports + 421
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Gary Bart + 137
   
   
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1276
Bill Marzano + 620
Joe Williams + 264
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 818
Bill Marzano + 641
Doc's Sports + 610
Yesterday's Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Yesterday  
   
   
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 2026
Joe Williams + 1808
Bill Marzano + 989
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!