Marleau nets 400th point as Sharks edge Avalanche

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Evgeni Nabokov cared about points in the
standings, not in style.

"The most important thing is to get the win," the San Jose
goalie said. "Sometimes it will be ugly. And tonight it was."

Alyn McCauley's wrist shot with 4:13 left in the third proved
snapped a tie, and the Sharks beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-5 on
Sunday night.

Nabokov had missed five games with an abdomen strain and made
the start ahead of Vesa Toskala, who lost to Dallas in a shootout
on Saturday. Nabokov gave up five goals on 29 shots but still
earned his first win since Feb. 1.

"I felt OK," he said. "It took about five or 10 minutes for
me to get into the game."

San Jose coach Ron Wilson agreed with Nabokov about the ugliness
of the game.

"It was that way," he said. "Nabby was a little bit rusty out
there. But at the end, he made some big saves for us and really
earned the win."

The Sharks earned 11 of 12 points on their six-game homestand
and got back into the Western Conference playoff race.

Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj allowed four goals in the first
21:44 of the game. He ended up with 27 saves.

"It was one of those nights," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville
said. "A lot of goals went in for both teams. Every chance seemed
to go in. Eleven goals is a lot of goals."

Colorado had tied the game at 5-5 when John-Michael Liles sent a
shot from just inside the blue line between Nabokov's pads with
9:31 remaining.

Patrick Marleau scored two power-play goals for the Sharks and
recorded his 400th NHL point on the first. He netted his second off
a behind-the-back pass from rookie Steve Bernier.

The Avalanche trailed 4-1 in the second period, but two goals by
Ian Laperriere and another from Milan Hejduk put Colorado right
back in the game.

Joe Sakic earned his 901st assist on Laperriere's second goal to
tie Bryan Trottier for 15th on the NHL career list. Sakic, who has
1,467 points, is now tied with Stan Mikita for 11th on NHL all-time
points list.

In the first period, Jonathan Cheechoo added his 42nd goal of
the season and Scott Hannan scored his first goal since Jan. 10. as
the Sharks built a 4-1 lead.

Pierre Turgeon had gotten Colorado even at 8:18, only 2:16 after
Tom Preissing opened the scoring. Turgeon's 20th goal against the
Sharks was the 507th of his career, tying him with Jean Beliveau
for 31st place on the NHL list.

Joe Thornton had an assist on Cheechoo's goal to give him 99
points this season, one behind NHL-leader Jaromir Jagr of the New
York Rangers.

Game notes
Colorado's leading scorer LW Alex Tanguay injured a knee in
the first period and didn't return. ... The Sharks scored 26 goals
during the homestand. ... Karlis Skrastins of Colorado owns the
NHL's longest active playing streak at 419 games. He hasn't missed
a game since Feb. 21, 2000.