Brad Richardson, Mike Santorelli and Zack Kassian also scored for the Canucks, who had lost all five regular season meetings between the teams the past two seasons and were swept by San Jose in the first round of the playoffs last spring.
Joe Thornton and Mike Brown scored for the Sharks, who lost their fourth straight game, but just the second in regulation all season.
Antti Niemi allowed four goals on 12 shots before being replaced early in the second period as the Canucks controlled the play for much of the first 40 minutes and weathered a strong push from San Jose in the third.
You forget how good [Nieuwendyk] was. You hear the points and stuff and you almost forget until they kind of walk you through his career, and that was really cool for me. I might have felt it a little more than some of the other guys because he was one of my favorites growing up, but that was very cool and I'm honored to have been a part of it. I had chills the entire ceremony.
— Calgary's Joe Colborne on the "Forever a Flame" ceremony for Joe Nieuwendyk