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Sharks 2, Canucks 4: Sharks can’t find footing in Vancouver

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At least the games don’t really matter anymore.

Apr 2, 2019; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes (43) and goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) defend the goal against San Jose Sharks forward Barclay Goodrow (23) during the first period at Rogers Arena.  Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

With the Pacific Division race all wrapped up, there’s nothing really else for the Sharks to do but play out the last three games on their schedule. The first of these three games saw the Sharks go up to Vancouver to finish off their four-game season series against the Vancouver Canucks.

The game got off to an abrupt start for the Canucks when Bo Horvat made a nifty pass to a trailing Tanner Pearson, who stuffed one past Martin Jones to give the Canucks an early lead. The Sharks tied things up a few minutes later with a point-shot from Brenden Dillon was redirected by the stick of Kevin Labanc and bounced past Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko for the equalizer.

When Adam Gaudette took a penalty for hooking, the Sharks’ first power play unit came out, complete with a returning Joe Pavelski. With just under a minute to go in the power play, Joe Thornton fed Tomas Hertl a pass in the front of the net, but Hertl couldn’t get it to go in. Luckily, Pavelski was there to clean up the rebound, slamming it past Thatcher Demko for the 2-1 lead.

The score held until the third period, when a shot from Loui Eriksson was stopped by Martin Jones, but ultimately not frozen, leading to Tanner Pearson scoring his second goal of the night by poking it into the net. Peter Deboer tried to challenge the goal for possible goaltender interference, but there was none to be found.

Not long after that goal, the Canucks capitalized off of a very interesting goal. A weird bounce was not well-read by Jones, who was scrambling to find the puck, only for it to be poked in by Markus Granlund to give the Canucks the lead.

With just about 90 seconds left in the game, Troy Stecher scored on the empty net from nearly 200 feet away to ice the game.

The Sharks will take to Edmonton next, where they'll face off against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.


Greetings, one and all! My name is Bryan, and I am looking forward to covering this hopefully un-stressful game of hockey tonight. Let’s hope the boys get a good result!

20:00: Away we go!

18:46: Pavelski camping out in front of the net. I’ve missed this.

18:32: That was a nicely set-up goal by the Canucks. Jones absolutely needs to stop stuff like that, though, if he wants to help the Sharks take care of the Golden Knights in round one.

18:08: Micheal Haley and Luke Schenn drop the gloves. This is the quietest I’ve ever heard a crowd for a fight.

14:52: SCORE! Kevin Labanc tips a shot by Brenden Dillon that takes a bounce, but ends up behind Thatcher Demko, and we have a tied game!

13:35: Timo Meier with a nice shot that’s stopped by Demko, and that’s the loudest I’ve heard Rogers so far tonight.

10:26: We’ve got a penalty to the Canucks. Adam Gaudette takes a seat for hooking. Certainly looked like one to me.

9:14: SCORE! Welcome back, Captain! Joe Pavelski’s right there on the doorstep to put home a rebound from Tomas Hertl, his 38th goal of the season, and it’s a 2-1 lead!

With Joe Thornton getting the secondary assist, he has officially tied Steve Yzerman in all-time assists! We are watching a Hall of Famer, folks!

5:16: Justin Braun with a neat little zone entry.

4:58: Sheesh, Donskoi, don’t do ‘em like that! Donskoi dangles around the rookie Quinn Hughes, then makes Alex Biega take a seat while driving in on Thatcher Demko! Unfortunately, Demko made the save, but that’s a tremendous individual effort.

3:46: Jamie is right, Jake Middleton has been doing a good job defensively this period.

2:58: Jumbo Joe waits just too long to pull the trigger, but when he did, it went straight over the net.

1:32: Alex Edler takes a seat for slashing, and the Sharks will head to the power play for the second time this period.

END FIRST: Sharks 2, Canucks 1

The final edition of the four-part FTF vs. Lachlan rivalry is getting off to a good start. Sharks dominated that period in terms of Corsi for percent, 70.4 to 29.6.

Second Period

19:32: Canucks penalty expires.

19:07: A bad line change by the Sharks nearly comes back to bite them, as Loui Eriksson surges on in on a lead pass, but Jones stops him.

18:28: Joe Pavelski nearly capitalizes on a one-timer, but Demko flashes the glove.

17:15: That’s a cannon of a shot from Tim Heed, but it bounces off Quinn Hughes’ skate. No trouble for Thatcher Demko.

15:09: Couture can’t tuck it home on the backhand off of a great pass by Joe Pavelski.

14:57: Jake Middleton does not have his first NHL goal or point, YET, but he does have his first penalty minutes as he gets sent off for tripping. Welcome to the league, buddy. Canucks head to the power play.

12:57: Penalty killed.

7:45: Seems as if the puck has been in the Sharks end for a while now.

6:53: Randy Hahn has just referenced Ron Burgundy while talking about San Diego. I am glad he didn’t tell us what San Diego meant in German.

5:30: Jones gets out of the crease to break up a chance.

4:56: The Canucks still only have ten — well, now eleven shots on goal?

4:11: Martin Jones with a tremendous save, stopping Brock Boeser at the doorstep!

3:21: Markus Granlund with an obvious slash that he’s upset about for some reason, and the Sharks head back to the power play.

1:21: And that penalty expires.

END SECOND: Sharks 2, Canucks 1

For the most part, that was an uneventful period, but hats off to Martin Jones for coming up with some big saves, especially the highway robbery of Brock Boeser. Hopefully he can keep making stops like those in these final games and throughout the playoffs.

The Canucks flipped the script on the Sharks, having the advantage in CF% in the second- 60.7 for the Canucks, and 39.3 for the Sharks.

Third Period

19:42: Evander Kane tries a one-handed stab, but it’s too easy for Demko.

16:56: Haley seems hurt. It looks like he injured his hand, and he’s going straight to the locker room.

15:37: Pavelski’s right there between the hash-marks, but Demko makes the save.

15:05: Heed rings one off the post!

14:18: They’re playing Crab Rave, hahahahaha.

13:33: Yikes, Jones made a bad decision to pass and it almost cost him.

12:53: Evander Kane is sitting for hooking, but he’s disputing the call, saying his stick got caught. Either way, the Canucks head back to the power play.

12:20: Hertl with a good opportunity on the penalty kill, turning and shooting.

8:42: Martin Jones makes a stop on Loui Eriksson, but Tanner Pearson stuffs it home ... or does he?

The call is overturned, it’s a good goal, and we have a tied game. Peter DeBoer is not happy.

And now he has challenged for goaltender interference.

Call stands, good goal, DeBoer loses his timeout.

Ugh.

6:21: That is certainly a miscue by Martin Jones and the Canucks take the lead. Markus Granlund will be credited with the goal.

4:30: I don’t know why I am this angry at a meaningless game, but I am. Maybe it’s because I just feel dread.

2:26: Sharks going back to the power play, Bo Horvat gets sent off for slashing.

1:30: Troy Stecher just scored an empty-netter from the other side of the rink.

Goodnight, the lights.

FINAL SCORE: Sharks 2, Canucks 4


Pregame

Any time the San Jose Sharks face off against the Vancouver Canucks, it tends to be a fun affair and tonight should be no exception. This will be the final game of the season series between these two teams at Rogers Arena tonight.

The last time these two teams collided was Warriors Night at SAP Center on Feb. 16, where the Sharks squeezed past the Canucks, 3-2. Aside from that game, it has been all-Sharks so far in the season series, not only in the standings, but on the scoreboard. The Sharks have outscored the Canucks 12-4 in the three games they’ve played each other so far.

Since the Sharks have their playoff matchup with the Vegas Golden Knights set in stone, it seems that they will tweak their lineup a bit tonight. Captain Joe Pavelski is projected to make his return tonight, having been held out of the lineup for the past eight games due to an undisclosed injury. Jacob Middleton will also draw in for Joakim Ryan tonight.

The Canucks, on the other hand, haven’t had great luck with injuries. They did get Sven Baertschi back from another bout of concussion-related symptoms that has been troubling him this season, but will be without the services of Antoine Roussel and Brandon Sutter for the rest of the season. Jake Virtanen’s availability for tonight is uncertain.

Even though the Canucks’ season will officially be over in a few days, Canucks fans have a good reason to be excited about the few remaining games they have on their schedule, and that reason is a player by the name of Quinn Hughes. After the Michigan men’s hockey season ended, Hughes, the seventh overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, signed a three-year entry level contract with the Canucks, making his debut last Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings. The Sharks will get their first look at him tonight, as he is expected to play on the third defensive pairing with Luke Schenn.

Lines

Sharks

Expected scratches: Joakim Ryan, Melker Karlsson, Lukas Radil (healthy)

Injured Reserve: Radim Simek (knee), Erik Karlsson (groin)

Canucks (via NHL.com)

Josh LeivoBo HorvatLoui Eriksson
Tanner PearsonElias PetterssonBrock Boeser
Sven BaertschiAdam GaudetteRyan Spooner
Tim SchallerJay BeagleMarkus Granlund

Alexander EdlerAlex Biega
Ben HuttonTroy Stecher
Quinn HughesLuke Schenn

Thatcher Demko
Jacob Markstrom

Expected scratches: Ashton Sautner, Josh Teves, Nikolay Goldobin, Derrick Pouliot (healthy)

Injured Reserve: Jake Virtanen (lower body), Guillaime Brisebois (hip), Tyler Motte (upper body), Chris Tanev (fractured ankle), Antoine Roussel (knee), Brandon Sutter (upper body)

Where to Watch

Puck drop from the Rogers Arena is at 7 p.m. Pacific/10 p.m. Eastern and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Plus in the Bay Area market, Sportsnet Pacific in the Vancouver market and is the NHL.tv Free Game of the Day, coinciding with a promotion that allows you to watch any game on NHL.tv for free this week. The radio call is carried by 98.5 KFOX or can be streamed through the Sharks app.