Marleau and Clowe each score, add two assists as Sharks defeat Coyotes 5-2

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Milan Michalek and Matt Carle also scored before Joe Thornton added an empty-net goal for the Sharks, whose current surge began after a humiliating 8-0 loss at Phoenix on Dec. 30. With four straight wins, San Jose is within four points of the first-place Anaheim Ducks in the Pacific Division standings for the first time since mid-November.

Vesa Toskala made 23 saves in his sixth consecutive victory for the Sharks, who didn't get a goal from the NHL's best power play for the first time in that eight-game surge. San Jose had 19 man-advantage goals in its previous seven games - the most in the NHL during a seven-game span in nearly 20 years.

Fredrik Sjostrom and Travis Roche scored in the Coyotes' fourth loss in five games following a seven-game win streak. Mikael Tellqvist stopped 28 shots, but Phoenix's six-game road winning streak was snapped.

Coach Ron Wilson described Phoenix's thrashing of the Sharks last month as a wakeup call that sent San Jose on its current run, which included a 4-1 victory at Phoenix five days ago. The Sharks' power play has been their biggest strength, but they didn't need any advantage in the division rivals' fifth meeting in 5½ weeks.

Sjostrom got his fifth goal of the season just six minutes in, but Marleau tied it by deflecting Marc-Edouard Vlasic's shot in front for the San Jose captain's team-leading 22nd goal. Marleau has 16 points during the eight-game surge, while Thornton has 17 after a two-point night.

Michalek put the Sharks ahead early in the second period, tipping home Jonathan Cheechoo's shot. Cheechoo, the once-struggling all-star game starter, now has five goals and seven assists during an eight-game points streak.

Clowe redirected a pass from Thornton eight minutes later.

Clowe has nine goals in seven games since returning to San Jose's lineup. His play Thursday was a special reward for his father, Troy, who made the trip from Fermeuse, N.L., for the game.

Notes: The Sharks have given up the first goal in nine of their last 11 home games. ... San Jose D Rob Davison knocked down Phoenix LW Josh Gratton twice during their first-period fight. A few moments later, Sharks D Doug Murray flattened Coyotes captain Shane Doan with an open-ice check. Murray landed another huge check in the third period. ... San Jose D Kyle McLaren sat out after undergoing minor arthroscopic surgery to clean up his knee.

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