By Michael Duca
PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- The third time was a charm for
All-Star goaltender Roberto Luongo - until the San Jose Sharks
once again used their home-ice advantage.
Captain Patrick Marleau scored a power-play goal with 1:52 left
in overtime to help the Sharks post a thrilling 2-1 victory over
Luongo and the reeling Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.
Marleau also helped set up Devin Setoguchi's game-tying tally
with 40 seconds remaining in the third period, spoiling Luongo's
bid for his sixth shutout of the season.
"We stuck with it and got it done at the end there," Marleau
All-Star Joe Thornton notched two assists and Evgeni Nabokov
stopped 13 shots for the Sharks, who improved to 22-1-2 at home.
San Jose was handed its first regular-season regulation loss at
HP Pavilion in over 11 months with a 3-2 setback to Calgary on
Thursday but bounced back with a 6-5 win over Detroit two nights
"The two games we've played in the past 72 hours have been
complete opposites," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "Saturday
was up and down with lots of offense, and tonight was 'dump it
out and wait with five guys in the neutral zone.'
"I didn't think our skill level allowed us to play in that type
of game. Our passing was poor, our receiving was poor and, as a
result, we were slow. We were lucky to pull the goalie and
score, and win in overtime."
Taylor Pyatt scored in the first period and Luongo made 27 saves
for Vancouver, which has lost six in a row (0-4-2) for the first
time since March 13-25, 1999.
The Canucks have struggled immensely of late, and the addition
of Mats Sundin has not helped turn things around. With
Tuesday's crushing defeat, they fell to 1-4-2 since his arrival
following a high-profile, nine-month layoff.
Despite being outshot, 15-8, through two periods and having to
kill three power plays, the Canucks clearly were being lifted by
Luongo, who played in his third straight contest after missing
more than seven weeks with a groin injury.
"We worked like animals for 59 minutes," Luongo said. "We were
playing exactly the type of game we wanted to be playing against
these guys. Everything was going the way we wanted it to, so
it's unfortunate they got that goal at the end."
Luongo was masterful throughout, shrugging off rust that caused
him to fizzle in a 4-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday
and a 6-5 shootout setback to the Columbus Blue Jackets on
That momentum ended, though, when Setoguchi forged a tie. After
receiving a cross-slot pass from Thornton, Setoguchi beat Luongo
from the right faceoff circle for his 21st goal of the season.
"I saw the pass coming," said Setoguchi, who will play in the
NHL's YoungStars Game in Montreal as part of the All-Star
Weekend festivities. "I just wanted to get it on net. (Luongo)
didn't move laterally quite fast enough, so I just wanted to get
it on net as quickly as I could."
The tally forced the extra session and helped San Jose avoid
walking away without a point at home for the second time since
"I think it was lucky," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said of
Setoguchi's game-tying goal. "That pass went through three
players and he didn't have much to shoot at, but they tied it
up. And on the winning goal, I thought they should have blown
it dead. You can't be poking your stick under the goalie, but
obviously, the two referees saw it differently."
Marleau secured two points for the Sharks when he fired the puck
past Luongo after receiving a feed from the left corner by
Thornton. It was Marleau's league-leading eighth game-winning
goal of the campaign and second in as many contests.
"(San Jose All-Star defenseman) Dan Boyle's spin caused (Daniel
Sedin) to get his stick up and take the hooking penalty,"
Marleau said. "(Thornton) made a good pass to let me finally
get my third shot (of the power play) into the back of the net."
The win made for a successful return to the NHL for the
43-year-old Claude Lemieux, who retired in 2003 following a
21-year career in which he won four Stanley Cup championships
but began a comeback during a brief stint earlier this season
with a team in China owned by the Sharks.
"Claude played well," McLellan said. "He wasn't a liability at
all. He finished his checks and skated well, which is something
we were looking for. I think he is going to feel good about
himself after one game. We do."
Lemieux then spent two months at Worcester of the American
Hockey League, where he recorded three goals and eight assists
in 23 games, before being recalled by San Jose on Monday.
In 7 minutes, 8 seconds of action, Lemieux registered three
shots on goal.
"You can only imagine," Lemieux said. "I've been dreaming about
this since the day I retired, so to speak. Great building,
great night to have the opportunity to play with such a great
team. These fans are unbelievable. Honoring me on my first
shift meant a lot to me."
Pyatt opened the scoring with 7:22 remaining in the opening
period, but Vancouver dropped its 12th game this season when