The San Jose Sharks (38-18-7) fell behind early, but battled back for their third win in a row, as they finished off the Vancouver Canucks (26-30-7) by a final score of 3-1 on Thursday night at the SAP Center.
The Canucks were given their first power play of the game when Brent Burns tossed a puck over the boards and out of play for a delay of game penalty and, unlike the Sharks, the Canucks were able to cash in. Bo Horvat put a shot right in front of the net past Aaron Dell, starting in place of Martin Jones, to take a 1-0 lead.
With 9:09 left in the first, Michael Haley and Joseph Cramarossa dropped the gloves to fight. Cramarossa had to be taken to the Vancouver locker room after taking a massive punch from the Sharks’ enforcer. It was Haley’s eighth fight of the season for the Sharks.
The Sharks finally had their first tally on the scoreboard with 4:15 remaining in the first period as Mikkel Boedker executed a perfect shot to beat Canucks’ goalie Ryan Miller. Paul Martin batted the puck down after Vancouver tried to clear the zone, and he got the puck to Logan Couture. Couture proceeded to plant a perfect pass right onto Boedker’s tape, who would go on to net the puck.
With 3:25 left in the period, David Schlemko picked up the Sharks’ second penalty of the evening when he was called for holding. On the penalty kill, Chris Tierney had a breakaway attempt and was hooked from behind, resulting in a penalty shot. Tierney was unable to convert on the penalty shot. San Jose was able to kill off the remainder of the penalty.
San Jose outshot the Canucks 11-7, including five shots by Tierney, through the first 20 minutes of play, with the score knotted at 1-1. Early in the second period, Kevin Labanc was called for holding, as the Sharks went shorthanded for the third time of the game. The Sharks were able to easily kill off the penalty.
With 10:32 remaining in the third period, Marcus Sorensen scored the first goal of his NHL career for the Sharks, to give San Jose a 2-1 lead.
The Sharks doubled their lead when Logan Couture beat Miller high on the glove side about 10 feet away from the net. It was his 21st goal of the season, as he is one of four Sharks players with at least 20 goals on the year.
The Sharks began the third period with a lot of pressure, and Joe Pavelski nearly enlarged the lead to 4-1, but Miller denied his attempt. With 14:23 left in the third, Alexander Edler was called for interference, giving the Sharks their second power play of the contest. However, for the second time of the night the Sharks were unable to put a shot on goal with the man advantage.
With under a minute remaining the Canucks pulled the goalie, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic had a chance for an empty net goal that would have resulted in Joe Thornton’s 1000th career assist, but Vlasic passed to Tomas Hertl, who was unable to corral the puck.
- Entering Thursday’s game, the road team in the Sharks v. Canucks matchup had won 15 consecutive games. It was the longest such streak in NHL history.
- With Tierney not converting on the penalty shot, the Sharks fell to 1-for-6 on the season on penalty shots.
- Thornton will have his next attempt at getting to 1000 assists on Sunday when the Sharks take on the Minnesota Wild.
- San Jose pushed their Pacific Division lead to seven points over the Edmonton Oilers, and the Sharks still have a game in hand over the Oilers.
- San Jose extended their point streak to eight straight games, and have now notched a point in 18 of their last 20 games.
Fear the Fin Three Stars:
- Logan Couture
- Marcus Sorensen
- Aaron Dell