About the only thing Patrick Marleau is struggling with so far this season is finding an explanation for his record start.
Marleau became the second player in NHL history to open a season with four straight multi-goal games, striking twice on the power play in the first period in the San Jose Sharks' 4-0 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.
"I'll keep taking them if they keep coming," he said. "That's for sure."
Marleau has scored exactly two goals in each game this season, joining Ottawa's Cy Denneny in 1917-18 as the only players to open a campaign with four multi-goal games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
"He obviously has a hot hand right now," defenceman Brad Stuart said. "We'll need contributions from everyone at some point. But right now Patty is playing amazing and putting the puck in the net every time he touches it, it seems like."
Both of Marleau's goals came after Ryan O'Byrne took two additional minor penalties for retaliating after Stuart flattened Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog with a vicious hit.
Joe Thornton added a power-play goal in the second period, giving San Jose 10 power-play goals in four games and a franchise-record 19 overall.
Thomas Greiss made 24 saves for his first career shutout and Matt Irwin got his first career goal as the Sharks are off to their best start since also winning the first four games in 2008-09.
The Avalanche lost their seventh straight game in San Jose since winning Game 1 of their first-round playoff series in 2010. After killing off 16 straight penalties coming into this game, Colorado allowed goals on San Jose's first three power plays, including two after the hit on Landeskog.
"You have a situation where a teammate is defending another teammate, which is the game of hockey, and in those situations we need to step up and get the job done for our teammate," Colorado coach Joe Sacco said. "We just didn't get it done. That was the difference in the game."
Patrick Marleau breaking records as Sharks blank Avalanche
Toronto Star | Jan 27