Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/26/13
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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- One big check woke up the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. Defenseman Brad Stuart met Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog with a booming check in open ice, and his Sharks teammates took advantage of retaliation that resulted in power play time for San Jose. Patrick Marleau's two power play goals led the hosts to a 4-0 win over the Avalanche as San Jose won for a fourth straight time to start the lockout-shortened season. “Welcome back to San Jose, Brad Stuart," teammate Joe Thornton said. "It was one of the best I’ve ever seen." San Jose backup goalie Thomas Greiss made his first appearance of the season a memorable one as he stopped all 24 Colorado shots for the first shutout of his 39-game career. Landeskog, the league's Calder Trophy winner last season, had just let go of the puck when Stuart stepped into him with a jolt that sent the talented young Avs forward to the ice at 15:35. Ryan O'Byrne engaged Stuart immediately but drew a pair of minors for instigation and fighting with a face shield. “You hit the captain, a young kid you have to expect it’s coming," Stuart said. "I have no problem with that. It was over and done with for the rest of the game." Stuart said he was watching Landeskog trail with the puck behind Thornton. Landeskog was aware of Stuart, but reacted too late. “I fully expected for him to pick his head up," Stuart said. "At that point I tried to keep everything low and make a good, solid hit, not trying to hurt him or anything." Added Landeskog, “I was reaching for the puck and didn’t brace myself enough. I saw him at the last second, but not early enough. That’s hockey, you give some, you get some.” Limited to only three shots beforehand, the Sharks exploded to score twice on four shots in the resulting consecutive power plays. Marleau scored at 16:09 and again at 17:27. “They’re good on the power play and unfortunately they capitalized on it,” Landeskog said. With a league-leading eight goals, Marleau becomes the first player since Cy Denneny of the 1917-18 Ottawa Senators to open a season with four straight multi-goal games. “I’ve had a few wide-open, empty cages," Marleau said. "It’s good that we’re winning and that things are going well right now.” The Sharks' momentum continued in the middle period as the hosts scored two more goals and held Colorado to only five shots on net. Colorado's P.A. Parenteau tripped Ryane Clowe 42 seconds into the period, and it took San Jose's lethal power play 1:50 to go 3-for-3 on the afternoon as Thornton filled an open net with a rebound shot. Then it was rookie defenseman Matt Irwin scoring his first career goal with a slap shot from the left boards that beat Semyon Varlamov high at 17:05 just 11 seconds after San Jose's first failed power play of the game. NOTES: Landeskog returned at the outset of the second period after leaving late in the first because of the hit he absorbed from Stuart. ... F Scott Gomez made his debut for the Sharks. ... The Avalanche made their first stop of a season-long four-game trip on Saturday ... San Jose's scratches included F James Sheppard, F Frazer McLaren and D Nick Petrecki, while C Brad Malone, D Tyson Barrie and D Shane O'Brien did not dress for Colorado. ... San Jose plays for the fifth time in eight nights on Sunday.
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