<
>

Marleau, Thornton lift Sharks over Chelios-less Wings

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- The San Jose Sharks were three goals
down, and their starting goalie had been lifted. Then Josh Gorges
took a shot that was sailing wide -- and it somehow caught the top
end of Dominik Hasek's stick and caromed into the net.

One bizarre bounce triggered an avalanche of goals -- nine
straight, to be exact -- on a revitalizing, record-setting night for
the Sharks and Patrick Marleau, their steady captain.

Marleau had a goal and three assists while becoming San Jose's
career scoring leader, and Joe Thornton contributed four assists
during the Sharks' rally from a three-goal deficit to a 9-4 victory
over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.

The Red Wings played without veteran defenseman Chris Chelios,
who is indefinitely sidelined while he deals with the stabbing
deaths of two employees in his Detroit sports bar.

The Sharks were careful not to celebrate too much after turning
a potentially miserable night into a remarkable success. They
trailed 3-0 late in the first period, and goalie Evgeni Nabokov was
pulled in a move to stir a somnolent team that woke up with two
outstanding periods -- particularly on the power play.

"We didn't want to let up," said Gorges, whose lucky bounce
led to his first NHL goal in 79 career games. "Most nights,
something like that isn't going to happen. It was a special night.
You can't really explain how that happened."

Mike Grier scored two of the Sharks' franchise-record six
power-play goals, including five in the third period during the
longest one-game scoring rally in team history. Both power-play
totals were the most ever allowed in Detroit's lengthy hockey
history.

"We worked hard and drew penalties, and then our power play was
phenomenal," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "I don't understand
it, to be honest with you. It has to be two things: Your power play
is having an on night, and their penalty killing is having an off
night."

The charge was led by Marleau, who has 454 points in a career
spent entirely with the Sharks. He roared past Owen Nolan's career
record of 451 early in the third period with his second assist.

"It's nice to get recognized like that, and that it came in a
win, that makes it much better," said San Jose's captain, who's
also one goal shy of Nolan's franchise record of 206.

Ryane Clowe scored two goals, and Jonathan Cheechoo, Christian
Ehrhoff and rookie Joe Pavelski each had a goal and an assist as
the Sharks snapped Detroit's four-game winning streak with their
second straight victory following a skid of five losses in seven
games.

The Sharks befuddled Hasek, who hadn't given up more than five
goals in a game since March 15, 2000, also in San Jose -- a span of
229 games. The two-time NHL MVP made 20 saves before finally
getting pulled after Grier's second goal, and Chris Osgood gave up
Clowe's final score.

"I have no explanation," Hasek said. "I don't know what to
say about it. ... We were up 3-1. Everything was fine. They scored
three power-play goals, and it all fell apart. We didn't think it
could get any worse on their power play, and it did."

Brett Lebda added a late goal, but the Red Wings' first
regulation loss in eight games was a disaster in the opener of a
five-game West Coast road trip.

"It was a tough night," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
"We haven't played like that in I don't know how long. We weren't
competitive at all after the first period. ... We got humbled
beyond belief. Now we get a chance to rebound."

Jiri Hudler, Tomas Holmstrom and Justin Williams scored
first-period goals to chase Nabokov, though Wilson made the move
strictly for the psychological effect on his team.

Vesa Toskala made 17 saves after relieving Nabokov in the first
period, but the Sharks made his job easy. Detroit hadn't given up
more than six goals in a game this season, but the Red Wings also
gave up five power-play goals to the Sharks in their first visit to
the Shark Tank this season on Oct. 19.

"It's almost funny," said Hasek, who could only personally
compare it to an 11-4 loss in the Czech league in the mid-1990s.
"I thought seven was enough, and then I made a save, and the next
shot was a goal."

Game notes
Detroit also played without top-line forward Pavel Datsyuk,
who missed his second game with an upper-body injury. ... Nabokov
also was pulled after giving up three goals on six shots in the
first 15 minutes of the Sharks' 8-0 loss at Phoenix. ... Clowe
missed nine games with a groin injury. ... San Francisco 49ers
quarterback Alex Smith attended the game.