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By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Patrick Marleau
The Detroit Red Wings won their 23rd straight home game, setting an NHL multiple-season mark and holding on to beat the San Jose Sharks 3-2 Sunday.
History might not matter to these Washington Capitals: 18 years without a victory in San Jose.
As difficult as it is for visiting teams to play at HP Pavilion against the San Jose Sharks, the Washington Capitals were feeling pretty good Saturday night. They had just tied the score early in the third period and silenced a sellout crowd.
Patrick Marleau scored once and assisted on San Jose's other two second-period goals and the Sharks won for the seventh time in nine games, beating the Los Angeles Kings 4-2 on Monday night.
The San Jose Sharks once again signed a key player before he could test the free agent market, agreeing Thursday to a $9 million, three-year deal with forward Devin Setoguchi.
With the core of a team that has made consecutive trips to the conference finals in place, the San Jose Sharks head into this offseason looking for tweaks more than an overhaul.
Kevin Bieksa scored 10:18 into the second overtime and the VancouverCanucks advanced to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 17 years with a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.
Patrick Marleau got San Jose off to a fast start, Antti Niemi preserved the lead with spectacular short-handed play in the second period, and the Sharks hung on for the win they desperately needed after losing the first two games in Vancouver.
The San Jose Sharks lost more than the first two games in the Western Conference final during a lost trip to Vancouver. They also lost their composure.
Daniel Sedin scored his second power-play goal of the game, and Chris Higgins and Mason Raymond added man-advantage goals in the third period for the Vancouver Canucks, who routed the San Jose Sharks 7-3 on Wednesday night and took a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.
Fairly or not, Vancouver and San Jose face off in the Western Conference finals as perennial playoff underachievers. Fairly or not, it's a label only one team _ and several star players _ will shed with a long awaited chance to play for the Stanley Cup.
As soon as the San Jose Sharks were swept out of the Western Conference final a year ago, coach Todd McLellan's message was the importance of growth.
Depending on how the numbers are crunched, a compelling case can be made that the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks both have the edge going into their improbable Game 7.
Capsules of NHL Western Conference first-round series:
"You want it more than anything," said Patrick Marleau, who has played all of his 13 seasons in San Jose. "It is hard to put into words, but it means everything basically."
"Things are just starting to go in," Marleau said. "I'm playing with some pretty good players, obviously. Just getting into some good areas. The puck is starting to go in."