San Jose Sharks players celebrate after beating the Nashville Predators 2-1 in overtime in an NHL hockey game on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Marleau scored at 3:53 of overtime to lift the San Jose Sharks to a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.
He jumped off the bench and skated behind the Predators’ defense and beat Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne, who finished with 48 saves.
“Rinne stopped a lot of rubber,” Marleau said. “We wanted to throw a lot of rubber at him and he stood in there tall. He is definitely one of the top goalies in the league.”
“We didn’t manage the puck in traffic at their blue line,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said.
“There was a lot of room. Marleau came off of the bench and we had ‘D’ up on the play, probably a little too tight. But it starts with the guy managing the puck at the blue line.”
The game was the fifth time this season the Predators have lost a game during overtime. They have not won a game this season during the overtime period.
“I can’t really remember every overtime period,” Trotz said. “Sometimes you’ve got to keep it simple. You have to self-chip it and go on the other side and get it. You have to get it deep, keep possession, wear them down, open up some seams and see if you can break down coverage.”
San Jose ended a two-game losing streak and closed its road trip with a 5-2 record.
“We lost the first 10 minutes of the game,” San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. “We weren’t really in it. I think I looked up at one point and the shots were 8-1 for Nashville. They were much faster and quicker than we were.
“But we found a way to work back into it in the last 54 minutes. That’s the way it is when you play against a team like this. Nashville is a team that is going to come out hard early. You have to find a way to weather the storm.”
Cody Franson opened the scoring on a first-period power play at 6:48 with a wrist shot from the center of the right circle that beat San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi, who finished with 30 saves.
Devin Setoguchi tied the game at 1-1 at 9:13 of the second period. He skated down the right side and beat Rinne with a wrist shot high over his left shoulder from the lower edge of the right circle.
“I thought Setoguchi played one of his better games in a long time,” McLellan said. “Give him the goal because it was a great shot.
“But he was on his toes. He was dangerous every time he was on the ice. He used his speed to his advantage. He was definitely a factor.”
Setoguchi had nine shots and thought he could have scored another goal or two.
“The puck was kind of following our line around,” Setoguchi said. “I probably should have a couple more goals than I actually did.”