WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- The Patrick Marleau show rolls into the MTS Centre on Tuesday, fresh off the most impressive single-game performance in his 19-year career.
The 37-year-old center and his San Jose Sharks teammates will be looking to pick up where they left off as they face the Winnipeg Jets, just 24 hours after Marleau scored four third-period goals in a 5-2 road win over the Colorado Avalanche.
Marleau is just the 12th player in NHL history to score four times in a period and the first since Mario Lemieux did it back in 1997.
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"It's an exceptional feat when you're 22 never mind 37 in the middle of seven games in 11 nights," San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said. "He's a great player. It was great to be part of it."
Marleau said, "Never had a four-goal game before, especially in one period. It was a good period to have."
Lost in Marleau's magic Monday night was the fact San Jose (30-16-2) earned its fifth consecutive win. The only downside was that right winger Joonas Donskoi left the game with an apparent injury and didn't return.
Winnipeg (22-24-4) played Monday night as well, dropping a tough 3-2 decision to the visiting Anaheim Ducks. It was a physical, chippy affair which saw Jets forward Mathieu Perreault get injured in the opening period following a slash by Corey Perry that went undetected by officials. Perreault didn't return to the game and is not expected to play against San Jose.
"It was a battle right from the get-go," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "A physical game, not really a lot of easy ice for either team."
The Jets had their winning streak snapped at two games -- the ninth different time that happened this season. Winnipeg has yet to put together three consecutive victories but will be trying to start a new streak against the Sharks.
Both teams should be familiar with each other, having played in San Jose just eight days ago. The Sharks skated away with a 5-2 win in that contest.
Winnipeg may get a boost with the expected return of 18-year-old sniper Patrik Laine, who missed the past eight games after sustaining a concussion.
According to Maurice, Laine practiced so hard on Sunday that the young Finn nearly threw up. The coach said Laine could have played Monday but he didn't want the rookie returning against the rough-playing Ducks. Laine has 21 goals and 16 assists in 42 NHL games.
The Jets have struggled to find consistency this season, and they need to get hot soon if they want to make a push for the playoffs. Forward Nik Ehlers, who scored his 17th goal of the season on Monday night, said the game against the Ducks showed what it takes to be successful.
"I haven't played playoffs up here yet, but it definitely felt different than the other games," he said. "(The Ducks) were coming out hard, they were physical. We knew that was coming."
Expect more of the same from the Sharks on Tuesday.