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Sharks outmuscle, outshoot, outscore Penguins

The SportsXchange

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Turning up the heat, the San Jose Sharks bullied their way to an impressive victory Thursday.

Center Joe Thornton's knuckling shot from just inside the blue line snapped a 3-3 tie late in the third period, and the Sharks beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 at SAP Center.

"That was as physical as we've played in a while," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "We were really engaged. It's not about running out of position and big hits. It's about body position, playing on the inside, knocking people off of 50-50 pucks. ... It's nice to get rewarded for that type of effort."

Several hits by left winger Raffi Torres, one by defenseman Jason Demers and more from right winger Brent Burns and Thornton turned the tide in the middle period that saw the Sharks cut a two-goal deficit in half. San Jose outshot Pittsburgh 18-8 during the middle period.

"We got physical, and that totally turned the game," Thornton said. "Everybody got into it after the big hits."

Center Patrick Marleau scored a gorgeous short-handed goal at 5:18 of the third period to tie the game. He made a move to elude Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin, and his backhand shot slipped through Penguins goalie Jeff Zatkoff.

Just as soon as the Sharks made it 2-2, the Penguins went back on top as defenseman Olli Maatta scored his second of the night 21 seconds later on a power play.

San Jose, however, rallied again as Burns one-timed his 16th goal past Zatkoff at 6:52 of the third after hard work in the corner by Joe Pavelski and Thornton.

"Sometimes they go in," Burns said. "It was a great play by Pavs, he put it right where I wanted it. You stay as happy as you can when things aren't going the way you want it."

Burns, who added an empty-netter, has three goals in two games after going 19 in a row without one.

On the game's deciding sequence, Thornton and Pavelski battled along the boards at center ice before the puck popped free. Thornton gained possession and wristed a high shot that may have deflected off of Maatta to slip past Zatkoff.

In all, the Sharks outshot the high-powered Penguins 47-22.

"They say it's never bad to take a shot," Thornton said. "I just got lucky, that's all it is."

The result avenged San Jose's 5-1 loss to Pittsburgh in December. One glaring stat from the rematch was Penguins star center Sidney Crosby finishing as a minus-5 with no points and one shot during 21:02 of ice time. San Jose is one of three teams Crosby has yet to score a goal against.

"They're physical, and we didn't get a lot of time in the offensive zone," Crosby said. "We did a good job in the first half of the game and then made it easy for them in the second half of the game. Once they tied it at 3-3, they really came at us hard."

Demers said, "It was great hockey. It was hard, dirty, it was everything. The refs really managed it well. They made calls and let other stuff go. Both teams played great games, we just came out on top."

Sharks defenseman Justin Braun started the comeback with drive that bounced past Zatkoff, who was bothered in front by right winger Adam Burish and center Tommy Wingels at 17:43 of the middle period.

The Penguins jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals in the final five minutes of the opening period by Maatta and left winger Chris Kunitz.

San Jose goalie Antti Niemi made 19 saves, while Zatkoff stopped 42 shots.

NOTES: Pittsburgh's two deadline-day acquisitions -- C Marcel Goc and RW Lee Stempniak -- both played after not arriving until after the team's optional morning skate. ... The Penguins last won in San Jose on Oct. 22, 1997. Pittsburgh is 0-9-1 with a tie in the 16 seasons since then. The Sharks, who were winless in the teams' first eight meetings, are 15-2-1-1 during the past 19 meetings. ... San Jose C Patrick Marleau came into Thursday's game with a team-leading 229 shots, fourth most in the league. He added seven to his total against Pittsburgh. ... The Penguins are back in action Friday against the Ducks in Anaheim before completing the coast-to-coast trip with a Monday game against the Capitals in Washington. ... The Sharks play host to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday before heading out for three on the road. ... RW Martin Havlat, RW Mike Brown and D Matt Tennyson were San Jose's healthy scratches. C Joe Vitale and D Deryk Engelland did not dress for Pittsburgh. ... The Sharks signed free agent F Barclay Goodrow to an entry-level contract. Goodrow, 21, has 30 goals and 58 points in 57 games this season for the North Bay Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League.
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