SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Patrick Marleau made NHL history, and the San Jose Sharks made quick work of the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday afternoon at HP Pavilion
Marleau scored two goals for the fourth straight game, leading the undefeated Sharks to a 4-0 victory. Marleau became just the second player in NHL history to open a season with four straight multi-goal games. He joined Cy Denneny of the 1917-18 Ottawa Senators in that elite club.
Marleau scored both goals on power plays in the first period. In the second, Sharks captain Joe Thornton added a power-play goal and rookie Matt Irwin scored the first goal of his NHL career.
Goaltender Thomas Greiss, making his first start of the season in place of Antti Niemi, stopped 24 shots, earning his first career shutout in his 39th NHL game. He improved to 3-0-0 lifetime against Colorado.
The Avalanche (2-2-0) lost their ninth straight regular-season game at HP Pavilion, where they haven't won since Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in 2010. Colorado's last regular-season victory in San Jose was on Feb. 6, 2008.
The Sharks didn't log their first shot until 12:17 of the first period, but Marleau scored twice before the first intermission, giving them a 2-0 lead.
Both of Marleau's goals came after Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart delivered a huge hit on Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog. As Landeskog left the ice, Avalanche defenseman Ryan O'Byrne confronted Stuart, igniting a long, nasty fight.
O'Byrne, the instigator, earned 19 penalty minutes, including a 10-minute misconduct. Landeskog, who appeared to take a shoulder to the head, limped toward the dressing room and missed the rest of the first period before returning for the second.
Marleau gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead at 16:09 of the first, sending a rebound past Semyon Varlamov from close range. Joe Pavelski and Dan Boyle earned the assists. Seventy-eight seconds later, Marleau struck again. This time he took a cross-ice pass just right of the crease from Thornton and put the puck into a wide-open net, making it 2-0.
The Sharks made it 3-0 just 2:32 into the second period with another power-play goal, this one by Thornton. After Marleau nearly redirected a shot past Varlamov, Ryane Clowe got his stick on the puck before Thornton knocked it home from just to the right of the crease.
Irwin put the Sharks ahead 4-0 at 17:05, taking a pass from Martin Havlat and ripping a slap shot from above the left circle past Varlamov.
Varlamov, who was coming off a 4-0 shutout of Columbus on Thursday, was replaced by Jean-Sebastien Giguere after the second period.
Entering the game, the Sharks' power play ranked No. 3 in the NHL at 38.9 percent with seven goals in 18 attempts. Colorado's penalty kill ranked fourth in the league at 89.5 percent. The Avalanche had killed 17 of 19 penalties before facing the Sharks, who went 3-for-6 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
Forward Scott Gomez made his Sharks debut just three days after signing a one-year, $700,000 contract with San Jose as an unrestricted free agent. Gomez, a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the New Jersey Devils, became a free agent last week when the League altered its rules, allowing the Montreal Canadiens to buy out the final two years of his seven-year contract.
Gomez centered the fourth line between Andrew Desjardins and Adam Burish. He also saw some time with the second power-play unit.