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Columbus
Blue Jackets
33-42-7
San Jose
Sharks
51-26-5

19 SOG
33 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
CBJ
SJS
game recap

Sharks 5, Blue Jackets 2

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 1:50 AM

Associated Press

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Sharks 5, Blue Jackets 2
Columbus Blue Jackets 2, San Jose Sharks 5

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -One part of the scoresheet showed five power-play goals for the San Jose Sharks. Another part showed only four, thanks to a still-unresolved officiating error that had Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock steaming.

Whether the final number turns out to be jaw-dropping or just plain impressive, the Sharks' potent power play was much too good for yet another opponent.

Ryane Clowe had his first three-goal game, Joe Thornton got three assists and the Sharks powered to their third straight victory, 5-2 over the Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

Assuming the first number stands after an NHL review Sunday, all five of San Jose's goals came on a power play that just keeps getting better. The Sharks have scored a league-best 57 man-advantage goals while converting more than 25 percent of their chances.

Patrick Marleau had a goal and two assists, and Christian Ehrhoff had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who have scored 13 power-play goals in their three wins. Those are lofty numbers for a team that struggled on the power play before the arrival of Thornton, who has 145 points in his first 100 games with San Jose.

Thornton, who leads the NHL in power-play assists and points, quarterbacked another outstanding effort after the Sharks scored a franchise-record six power-play goals against Detroit on Thursday night.

"Our work ethic is much better, and our power play is just clicking," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said.

And as if San Jose's power play wasn't formidable enough, the Sharks took advantage of an officiating blunder to get another chance with the man advantage.

After Marleau scored on a tight shot during a 4-on-3 advantage just 4 1/2 minutes into the first period, the referees mistakenly released both Clowe and Columbus' Manny Malhotra from the penalty box instead of Rostislav Klesla, the second Blue Jackets player off the ice.

In the ensuing 5-on-4, Clowe scored on a rebound. The officials acknowledged the error to Columbus' bench before the start of the second period, according to a statement from NHL vice president Stephen Walkom - but even the three-goal final deficit didn't assuage the sting from the mistake.

Hitchcock said he hadn't seen such a call "in all my years in hockey, nor in all my years in the league, especially since we argued it. We were told it was a new rule. ... The whole game was nothing but special teams anyway. That was the game."

Wilson also didn't understand the ruling at the time.

"I told them I'd better go look at the rule book myself," he said. "It was a mistake, and I guess we took advantage."

Gilbert Brule and Nikolai Zherdev scored power-play goals for the Blue Jackets, who finished a three-game California road trip with two losses and a victory over Western Conference-leading Anaheim. Fredrik Norrena made 28 saves, but Columbus' penalty-killers couldn't keep up - and the Blue Jackets played without two injured stars.

Columbus forward Rick Nash and San Jose forward Milan Michalek both sat out with injuries, but the Sharks had more than enough offense to make up for the absence of a leading scorer. The Blue Jackets didn't - and then they lost center Sergei Fedorov to an upper-body injury in the first period.

Hitchcock said Nash and Fedorov will be evaluated back in Ohio on Sunday.

"They have the best power play in the league, and they showed why," Norrena said. "They didn't miss a single chance. We have to stay out of the box."

Clowe's diving goal with 3:42 to play set off a spray of hats at the Shark Tank. Clowe, a depth forward who has struggled to crack the Sharks' lineup over the last few seasons, had just three goals in his career before scoring five times in the Sharks' two games.

Four of those goals came on the power play - mostly thanks to the Newfoundland native's knack for staying tough in front of the net.

"Obviously, they're not pretty, but they count," Clowe said. "I don't think we're relying on the power play like we did at the start of the year. Now we're using our 5-on-5 play to create power plays."

Vesa Toskala made 17 saves in his third straight win for the Sharks.

Notes: Sharks D Josh Gorges didn't return after going down in a rough collision near the boards in the first period. Columbus also lost D Duvie Westcott to an undisclosed injury. ... Brule snapped a 14-game goal drought. ... Marleau became the career franchise scoring leader during the win over the Red Wings, and the San Jose captain tied Owen Nolan's franchise goals record with his 206th in the first period.

scoring summary
1st Period
04:22
SJS
PPG - Patrick Marleau (19) ASST: Joe Thornton (40), Christian Ehrhoff (10)
1 - 0 SJS
05:00
SJS
PPG - Ryane Clowe (6) ASST: Patrick Marleau (24), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (10)
2 - 0 SJS
2nd Period
03:47
CBJ
PPG - Gilbert Brule (4) ASST: Adam Foote (6), Ron Hainsey (15)
2 - 1 SJS
18:03
SJS
PPG - Christian Ehrhoff (9) ASST: Joe Thornton (41), Patrick Marleau (25)
3 - 1 SJS
3rd Period
05:24
SJS
PPG - Ryane Clowe (7) ASST: Marc-Edouard Vlasic (11), Joe Thornton (42)
4 - 1 SJS
15:05
CBJ
PPG - Nikolay Zherdev (7) ASST: Gilbert Brule (4), Rostislav Klesla (6)
4 - 2 SJS
16:18
SJS
PPG - Ryane Clowe (8) ASST: Jonathan Cheechoo (14), Scott Hannan (12)
5 - 2 SJS
penalty summary
1st Period
02:39
CBJ
Manny Malhotra  Slashing against  Ryane Clowe
02:39
SJS
Ryane Clowe  Roughing against  Manny Malhotra
03:12
CBJ
Rostislav Klesla  Hi-sticking
07:46
CBJ
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen  Fighting against  Christian Ehrhoff
07:46
SJS
Christian Ehrhoff  Fighting against  Ole-Kristian Tollefsen
13:54
SJS
Scott Hannan  Holding
16:28
CBJ
Jason Chimera  Hooking against  Patrick Marleau
2nd Period
01:58
SJS
Mark Smith  Hooking against  Duvie Westcott
05:55
SJS
Christian Ehrhoff  Holding against  Gilbert Brule
08:03
SJS
Curtis Brown  Hooking against  Rostislav Klesla
10:43
CBJ
Jason Chimera  Hooking against  Christian Ehrhoff
17:12
CBJ
Freddy Modin  Hooking against  Curtis Brown
3rd Period
03:46
CBJ
Nikolay Zherdev  Tripping against  Patrick Marleau
05:24
CBJ
Anders Eriksson  Hooking against  Joe Thornton
09:10
CBJ
Anders Eriksson  Unsportsmanlike conduct
09:30
SJS
Patrick Marleau  Interference - Goalkeeper against  Fredrik Norrena
14:26
SJS
Curtis Brown  Tripping against  Manny Malhotra
15:23
CBJ
David Vyborny  Hi-sticking against  Christian Ehrhoff
15:23
CBJ
David Vyborny  Hi-sticking against  Christian Ehrhoff
16:37
SJS
Mark Smith  Hooking
goalie stats
Fredrik Norrena
Fredrik Norrena
SA: 33TOI: 60:00
Saves: 28EV: 14 - 14
PIM: 0PP: 13 - 18
SV%: .848SH: 1 - 1
Vesa Toskala
SA: 19TOI: 59:47
Saves: 17EV: 15 - 15
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 4
SV%: .895SH: 0 - 0