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28 SOG
24 SOG
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SJS
game recap

Colorado Avalanche 2, San Jose Sharks 5 FINAL

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 12:22 AM

Associated Press

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Colorado Avalanche 2, San Jose Sharks 5 FINAL
Colorado Avalanche 2, San Jose Sharks 5

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ From Patrick Marleau's opening goal to the final buzzer, the San Jose Sharks were a stride ahead _ and they knocked the Avalanche off their skates with an impressive victory.

Marleau had his second three-goal game of the postseason, and the Sharks scored three first-period goals in a 5-2 victory Thursday night over Colorado in the opener of their second-round playoff series.

The second-seeded Sharks are the underdogs against Colorado, a perennial Stanley Cup contender _ but San Jose's speed, depth and discipline still haven't been matched this season. The Sharks were led by the taciturn Marleau, whose biggest challenge of the night came from the overflowing pack of reporters and television cameras in the locker room.

``You want to work hard, and if the points come, great,'' the Sharks' 24-year-old captain said. ``But the most important thing is the team's winning. We try to come out of the gate pretty hard and get our game going. We used our speed to our advantage, get that extra step out there.''

Marleau took over the NHL's postseason goal-scoring lead during San Jose's relentless offensive performance for nearly two periods against a Colorado lineup loaded with prolific scorers and All-Stars.

He scored San Jose's opening goal and added two more in 94 seconds midway through the second, chasing shaky Colorado goalie David Aebischer.

``We need him to do that,'' said Vincent Damphousse, who scored a first-period goal. ``He's our leader, and he's stepping up in the playoffs. ... We showed tonight that we can play our team game against anybody. I think they'll come back with a much better game. I don't know if they were surprised by us or not.''

Scott Hannan also scored his first career playoff goal during the first period, which the Sharks dominated with a 79-44 goal advantage during the regular season. Rookie Niko Dimitrakos had three assists, and Evgeni Nabokov made 26 saves.

Game 2 is Saturday in San Jose, with Game 3 in Denver on Monday.

Steve Konowalchuk and Peter Forsberg scored power-play goals for the Avalanche, who seemed surprised and overwhelmed by the Sharks' aggression. Colorado lowered itself to third-period goonery, starting several fights in the final two minutes _ and even worse, Aebischer struggled.

Aebischer, the Avalanche's surprising choice to replace retired Patrick Roy last fall, performed admirably during his first regular season as a starter. He also outplayed Dallas' Marty Turco in the first round _ but he allowed three terrible goals to the Sharks.

After Marleau completed his hat trick with 6:47 left in the second period, Aebischer was replaced by veteran Tommy Salo. Aebischer allowed five goals on 17 shots.

``The good thing about the playoffs, it's just one game,'' Aebischer said. ``You lose 1-0 or 5-2, it doesn't matter. You start 0-0 next game. ... They played better than us everywhere.''

Marleau got started midway through the first period, slipping unchecked into the slot for a pass from Jonathan Cheechoo. Forsberg appeared to be lost defensively on the play _ and 110 seconds later, Damphousse caught Adam Foote flat-footed, roaring past the star defenseman and beating Aebischer with a quick wrist shot.

The sellout crowd went crazy, and it got even louder when Hannan scored over a pile of players in front of the Avalanche net with 53 seconds left. Aebischer threw two hard punches at Alyn McCauley, who fell on top of the goalie after a check.

``We weren't ready to match their intensity,'' Colorado captain Joe Sakic said. ``They outplayed us. They won every matchup. They deserve everything they got. That wasn't our best effort.''

After Konowalchuk scored early in the second, Marleau responded with two quick goals _ the first on a two-on-one rush, and the capper on a power play.

Marleau set the franchise playoff record for the fastest two goals _ and the fastest three, as well. He had the first playoff hat trick of his career in the first round against St. Louis, and fans again covered the ice with hats.

Matthew Barnaby instigated one of three simultaneous fights that broke out with 1:35 to play. Barnaby, Chris Gratton, Ossi Vaananen and San Jose's Curtis Brown all got misconducts _ and Bob Boughner started yet another fight in the final second.

scoring summary
1st Period
10:52
SJS
Patrick Marleau (4) Slapshot - ASST: Jonathan Cheechoo (3), Mike Rathje (2)
1 - 0 SJS
12:42
SJS
Vincent Damphousse (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Niko Dimitrakos (2), Brad Stuart (2)
2 - 0 SJS
19:07
SJS
PPG - Scott Hannan (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Nisse Ekman (1), Alexander Korolyuk (1)
3 - 0 SJS
2nd Period
09:07
COL
PPG - Steve Konowalchuk (4) Slapshot - ASST: Andrei Nikolishin (2), Joe Sakic (3)
3 - 1 SJS
11:39
SJS
Patrick Marleau (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Niko Dimitrakos (3)
4 - 1 SJS
13:13
SJS
PPG - Patrick Marleau (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Vincent Damphousse (5), Niko Dimitrakos (4)
5 - 1 SJS
3rd Period
00:52
COL
PPG - Peter Forsberg (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Joe Sakic (4), Adam Foote (4)
5 - 2 SJS
penalty summary
1st Period
02:49
SJS
Curtis Brown  Interference on goalkeeper against  David Aebischer
06:52
SJS
Scott Hannan  Cross checking against  Marek Svatos
17:16
COL
Darby Hendrickson  Holding the stick
2nd Period
00:23
COL
Adam Foote  Interference against  Niko Dimitrakos
07:42
SJS
Patrick Marleau  Interference against  Steve Konowalchuk
12:32
COL
Peter Forsberg  Tripping against  Nisse Ekman
16:39
COL
Chris Gratton  Roughing against  Mike Rathje
19:02
SJS
Jonathan Cheechoo  Tripping against  Ossi Vaananen
3rd Period
03:42
COL
Chris Gratton  Hi-sticking against  Patrick Marleau
08:38
SJS
Mike Rathje  Holding
09:40
COL
Steve Konowalchuk  Boarding against  Mike Ricci
18:25
SJS
Brad Stuart  Fighting (maj) against  Chris Gratton
18:25
SJS
Mark Smith  Fighting (maj) against  Matthew Barnaby
18:25
SJS
Curtis Brown  Misconduct (10 min) against  Ossi Vaananen
18:25
COL
Ossi Vaananen  Misconduct (10 min) against  Todd Harvey
18:25
COL
Chris Gratton  Misconduct (10 min) against  Brad Stuart
18:25
COL
Chris Gratton  Fighting (maj) against  Brad Stuart
18:25
COL
Chris Gratton  Cross checking against  Todd Harvey
18:25
COL
Matthew Barnaby  Misconduct (10 min)
18:25
COL
Matthew Barnaby  Fighting (maj) against  Mark Smith
18:25
COL
Matthew Barnaby  Instigator against  Mark Smith
19:32
COL
Tommy Salo  Slashing
19:59
COL
Robert Boughner  Roughing against  Jonathan Cheechoo
19:59
COL
Robert Boughner  Roughing against  Jonathan Cheechoo
19:59
COL
Robert Boughner  Roughing against  Jonathan Cheechoo
goalie stats
David Aebischer
SA: 17TOI: 33:13
Saves: 12EV: 8 - 11
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 5
SV%: .706SH: 1 - 1
Tommy Salo
SA: 7TOI: 26:37
Saves: 7EV: 5 - 5
PIM: 2PP: 2 - 2
SV%: 1.000SH: 0 - 0
Evgeni Nabokov
Evgeni Nabokov
SA: 28TOI: 60:00
Saves: 26EV: 21 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 5
SV%: .929SH: 2 - 2
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