SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Coach Ron Wilson was borderline disgusted with the San Jose Sharks' intensity and effort less than a week before the playoffs.
Matt Cooke scored the go-ahead goal and the Vancouver Canucks remained in first place in the Northwest Division with a 4-1 victory against the surging Sharks on Friday night.
``They were obviously a little bit hungrier than we were,'' Wilson said. ``You always win as a team and lose as a team, but we had a couple guys who didn't battle the way we needed them to and it cost us early in the game. The lesson learned here is you can't turn it on and turn it off when you feel like it.
``If you don't want to play in a game like this where you give 100 percent, then we've got other people.''
Vancouver won its fifth straight, while snapping San Jose's five-game winning streak.
After second-place Colorado beat Columbus 4-2 earlier Friday, the Canucks had to win to maintain their positioning.
Vancouver ends the regular season at home against Edmonton on Saturday, and Colorado finishes Sunday at home against Nashville. With a victory, the Canucks will clinch the division and secure the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs. The Canucks hold the tiebreaker over the Avalanche for the division title.
``We control it and we want to go out and play well,'' Vancouver forward Mike Keane said. ``We want to go to the playoffs feeling good about ourselves. We worked hard to get where we are. We were scoreboard watching before the game. We just have to go out and win our games.''
San Jose clinched the Pacific Division on Wednesday and will be the No. 2 seed in the West behind Detroit.
Wilson planned to talk with his team about lack of effort before Sunday's regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Kings.
``There's nothing for L.A. to play for,'' Wilson said. ``This should have been viewed as a test to keep the momentum. We'll move on.''
Mattias Ohlund gave the Canucks the quick lead, scoring his 13th goal when he skated around the back of the goal and wristed a shot into the upper part of the net 1:29 in. Brendan Morrison had the assist.
Todd Harvey tied it later in the period.
Following a faceoff, Harvey collected the puck after Niko Dimitrakos' shot rebounded off Dan Cloutier. Harvey skated around the sprawling goaltender and wristed a shot into the open net.
But Cooke answered for the Canucks 31 seconds later, scoring his 11th goal on Morrison's second assist of the night at 11:58. Morrison stole the puck along the left boards outside the San Jose zone and skated the puck down and passed to Cooke.
Henrik Sedin scored his 11th goal at 1:52 of the second period to make it 3-1. His twin brother, Daniel, and Brad May assisted.
Artem Chubarov added a short-handed, empty-net goal with 25 seconds left.
``We had a lot of opportunities,'' Sharks center Wayne Primeau said. ``When they score so quickly, it puts a damper on things.''
The Canucks appeared headed for a second-place division finish when star forward Todd Bertuzzi was suspended for the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs for his hit on Colorado's Steve Moore last month.
After winning just one of its first seven games (1-3-2-1) without Bertuzzi, Vancouver has won five straight.
``You want to be going into the playoffs playing well, so there are positives we can take out of here,'' said Cloutier, who had 33 saves. ``It is always tough to come in here and get two points. For us to do that, coming into this building against that team, it is always a bonus.''
Vesa Toskala was in goal for San Jose, which gave regular starter Evgeni Nabokov the night off. Nabokov likely will start Sunday for a final tuneup before the playoffs.
Toskala, who had 25 saves, won his previous two games. He faced Vancouver two other times this season, both on the road, losing one and winning one.
|Mattias Ohlund (13) ASST: Brendan Morrison (36), Markus Naslund (49)|
1 - 0 VAN
|Todd Harvey (4) ASST: Niko Dimitrakos (15), Wayne Primeau (20)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Matt Cooke (11) ASST: Brendan Morrison (37)|
2 - 1 VAN
|Henrik Sedin (11) ASST: Daniel Sedin (36), Brad May (5)|
3 - 1 VAN
|SHG - EN - Artem Chubarov (12) ASST: Mike Keane (9), Sami Salo (19)|
4 - 1 VAN
|Ryan Kesler Holding against Alyn McCauley|
|Brad May Too many men on the ice|
|Patrick Marleau Hooking against Brendan Morrison|
|Brad May Slashing against Tom Preissing|
|Marek Malik Hi-sticking against Nisse Ekman|
|Wayne Primeau Holding the stick against Brent Sopel|
|Markus Naslund Hi-sticking against Alexander Korolyuk|
|Markus Naslund Tripping against Jonathan Cheechoo|