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Sharks Tame Panthers

The San Jose Sharks seem to be coming on at just the right time.

"(It's not) bad timing at all," said Patrick Marleau, who had two goals as the Sharks defeated the Florida Panthers 4-2 Wednesday night for their fourth straight victory.

The Sharks have won six of their last seven.

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Game summary

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  • "This is a great time of year to be playing well," agreed defenseman Jeff Norton.

    Goalie Steve Shields, who has his own career-best four-game winning streak, is part of that success. He has competently stepped in for No. 1 goalie Mike Vernon, who is struggling with a groin injury and is listed as day-to-day.

    Shields stopped 32 Florida shots to help keep the Sharks in seventh place in the Western Conference. The Panthers stayed in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, three points behind Boston for the final playoff spot.

    Marleau's first goal was a shot from just inside the left circle that got past Florida goalie Sean Burke midway through the first period.

    Marleau's second came just under six minutes later, when he took a pass from Alex Korolyuk and beat Burke from just outside the crease. It was his 19th goal of the season, moving him past Jeff Friesen's 18 goals for the team lead.

    "The first 20 minutes were as badly as we've played in a long time," Florida coach Terry Murray said. "We gave up too many uncontested turnovers in our defensive end. We made too many mental mistakes."

    The Sharks went up 3-0 just 2:01 into the second period when a falling Burke couldn't stop Steve Guolla's shot. Owen Nolan added a short-handed goal at 8:45.

    The Panthers avoided the shutout with former Shark Viktor Kozlov's goal past a screened Shields at 15:51 in the second. It was Kozlov's 14th.

    Radek Dvorak added Florida's second goal of the night with 8:15 gone in the final period.

    "They put some pressure on us in the end, and I think once again, Stevie was solid for us,"/b> Sharks assistant coach Bob Berry said.

    Burke stopped 18 shots.

    The Sharks are now 21-2-5 in games when they have three or more goals.

    Sharks forward Marco Sturm left the ice with what appeared to be an injured shoulder just 22 seconds into the game when he was knocked onto the ice by defenseman Robert Svehla and smashed into the boards. He later returned to the game.

    Later in the first, right wing Korolyuk ended up with a bloody nose and Nolan ended up in the penalty box after a skirmish with Panthers defenseman Terry Carkner.

    In the second period, San Jose defenseman Bryan Marchment ended up in the penalty box for high-sticking Peter Worrell, who was cut above the eye.

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