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Associated Press
1/19/2007 1:17:59 AM


SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Patrick Marleau and Ryane Clowe each had a goal and two assists, and the San Jose Sharks beat the Phoenix Coyotes 5-2 Thursday night for their seventh victory in eight games.

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.

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