Quick Bites: Healthy Sharks inch past Canucks

The Sharks take the season series from Vancouver in a tight-scoring game.

The Sharks once again defeated the Vancouver Canucks this season, albeit in a much tighter game than they were expecting.

Things trended the way of the Canucks from the opening faceoff, and it didn’t seem to stop until halfway through the first period. Of course, their early momentum was halted when Derrick Pouliot took a delay of game penalty early into the game.

Playing deep within the zone with under 30 seconds left on the power play, Erik Karlsson caught a pass from Evander Kane in the trapezoid and snapped it as soon as he got it to Timo Meier, who wristed it past Jacob Markstrom to give the Sharks an early lead.

In his first game back in the lineup since Jan. 16, Karlsson was paired with Marc-Edouard Vlasic for the first time since October and the two logged 24:43 and 22:37 minutes respectively — about average for both of them, despite their recent injuries. The pair didn't immediately enjoy their previous successes. though, with a score- and venue-adjusted Corsi For percent of 48.31 and 42.68, respectively.

The Canucks were able to answer back on the Timo Meier goal quickly. After Barclay Goodrow lost the puck along the boards, Alex Biega made a stretch pass to noted goal-scorer Antoine Roussel, taking advantage of a bad change by the Sharks and getting one past Jones to tie the game.

All things considered, Martin Jones probably should’ve made that save, but he had a good game for the most part. His Goals Saved Above Average stood at 2.09.

The Sharks maintained their edge over the Canucks in the first period, despite not scoring. When the period wrapped, the Sharks had a 57.72 percent Corsi For.

The Canucks were definitely getting their chances in the second period, but not by much.  More unfortunately for the Canucks, the Sharks were the ones to land on the scoresheet.

Brent Burns hit Joe Pavelski with a cross-ice pass, who gave it off to Logan Couture. Couture took advantage of Erik Gudbranson falling down to take it to the left side of the net and beat Markstrom with a wrist shot for the 2-1 advantage.

Immediately after the goal, Zack MacEwen and Barclay Goodrow dropped the gloves for some reason, sending them both off for five minutes.

Unlike the first two periods, the Sharks stormed out of the gate in the third period, dominating play for the most part early. It felt like that might change after Brock Boeser scored early in the final frame, but it did not.

The line of Josh Leivo, Elias Pettersson and the aforementioned Boeser was the combination that the Sharks had the most trouble with. The trio had a score-adjusted CF% of 50.82 percent while playing nearly 11 minutes together, the most of any Canucks line.

Back to Boeser’s goal: a gaffe by Marc-Edouard Vlasic where he pinched on Elias Pettersson at the same time that Erik Karlsson did left Boeser open on the other side of the trapezoid, giving him room to back out before popping it past Jones' blocker-side to tie it again.

The goal was ultimately for naught, because that’s when the Sharks really started to take control. They controlled possession throughout the period, leading up to a perfect opportunity.

Alex Biega missed a chance to clear the puck from the Canucks’ defensive zone. Timo Meier took it out and had a little one-touch game with Logan Couture before getting a shot off on Jacob Markstrom that was stopped, but not controlled — and that’s where Joe Pavelski came in. He took advantage of the rebound and slotted home the eventual game-winning goal for the Sharks.

The Sharks have now won seven of their last 10 games, and look to make it eight when they play the Boston Bruins on Monday night to close out the homestand.