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Game 18: Nine is enough

by Daniel Fung / Vancouver Canucks
The Shark Tank in San Jose has been a house of horrors for the Canucks in recent visits but on Thursday it was Vancouver that turned home sweet home into a sour spot for the Sharks.

Four different Canucks found the back of the net as Vancouver handed San Jose their first regulation home loss of the season in a 4-2 win at the SAP Center.

The win was the Canucks' first in San Jose since December 28, 2011 and also snapped their overall nine-game winless streak against the Sharks counting regular season and playoffs dating back to January 21, 2012.

Facing the prospect of having their winless skid against the Sharks reach double digits, the Canucks started the game in the worst possible way after Joe Thornton's dump-in took a freak bounce off the end boards and hopped over the net, hit netminder Roberto Luongo in the shoulder and fell into the Vancouver cage to give San Jose a 1-0 lead just 1:17 into the contest.

Undaunted, however, the Canucks managed to bounce back quickly with Brad Richardson and Mike Santorelli scoring less than five minutes apart to give Vancouver their first lead of the game just shy of the midway mark of the first period.

After Mike Brown squared the contest for the Sharks 80 seconds after Santorelli's marker, Chris Higgins would give the Canucks a lead they would not relinquish capitalizing on a turnover generated by Alex Burrows and snapping a hard wrist shot high glove side past Sharks' starter Antti Niemi for the eventual game-winner.

Zack Kassian also scored for the Canucks, who improved to 11-5-2 on the season and 1-0-1 on their current four-game road trip.

Luongo had another strong outing for his club turning aside 22 of 24 shots, including all 13 shots he faced in the final frame, for the victory. Niemi made just nine saves on 13 shots before he was given the hook. Alex Stalock stopped all 21 shots he faced in relief for the Sharks, who have now lost four in a row.

The Canucks resume their road trip on Saturday in Los Angeles.

DOUBLE ZERO: Thursday marked just the second time this season that both Daniel and Henrik Sedin have failed to record a point in the same game. The first time came back on October 10 not-so-coincidentally against these same Sharks. Henrik had his career-high 12-game point streak snapped in the win.

FAMILIAR TASTE OF SHARK: Mike Santorelli's 12-game goal-less drought came to an end with his first period tally. Santorelli had not scored since October 10 against the Sharks. Alex Burrows recorded his first points of the season with his two-assist effort snapping his five-game point drought to start the season. Prior to tonight's game, his last points came against – you guessed it – the Sharks when he scored in back-to-back games against them in the final two games of Vancouver's ill-fated first round playoff series.

EVEN MORE NUMBERS: The Canucks are undefeated in regulation in five consecutive road games (4-0-1) and have a 7-2-2 record away from Rogers Arena this season...San Jose is winless in four straight games since March 6 to 12, 2013...The Canucks are a perfect 8-0-0 this season when they hold their opponents to 25 shots or less...The Canucks are a perfect 14-for-14 on the PK against the Sharks this season. Their PK has also killed off 18 straight opposition power plays. They haven't surrendered a power play goal since St. Louis' Alex Steen scored on a 5-on-3 man-advantage back on October 25.

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