Not only did the Vancouver Canucks get a rare win against the San Jose Sharks -- they got an even rarer blowout.
The Canucks ran off five unanswered goals on the way to a 6-1 victory on Friday night, delighting the sellout crowd at Rogers Arena. Mikael Samuelsson scored twice and Roberto Luongo stopped 32 shots as the Canucks beat San Jose for only the third time in their last 13 meetings.
The offensive eruption was even more unusual. The six goals were the most scored by the Canucks against the Sharks since Dec. 30, 2000, and the margin of victory was the largest since a 6-1 win on Dec. 8, 2000.
The Canucks also got goals by Jeff Tambellini, Raffi Torres, Alex Burrows and Keith Ballard as they won for the second time in three nights after a four-game losing streak.
"I think the last two games we took some good steps in the right direction." Luongo said. "We're trying to do things the right way. "We're taking advantage of other teams' mistakes," Luongo said. "That's the type of hockey you want to be playing."
The Sharks, coming off a 5-2 home win against Chicago on Wednesday, lost for the fourth time in five games. Dany Heatley scored their lone goal.
"Just when you think you've turned the corner, you see the group show up -- the exact same group that played the other night and did it right most of the night -- we just had no success tonight playing the way we executed," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said.
The Canucks opened the scoring 9:32 into the game when Alex Edler's point shot hit Ryan Kesler and came to Tambellini, who beat Antti Niemi from the slot. Heatley tied it at 15:22 when he picked up the puck in the slot, skated to one side of the net and fire a shot past Luongo, who made several good stops in the final five minutes of the first period with the Sharks pressing.
The Canucks then turned the game in their favor thanks to their bottom two forward lines.
Torres, with his first goal in 10 games, and Samuelsson scored 1:48 apart early in the second period to put the Canucks up 3-1. Torres, demoted to the fourth line, fired home a slick cross-ice backward pass from Jannik Hansen at 2:36. A turnover enabled Samuelsson to break down the right wing, fake a slap shot and then beat a screened Niemi with a wrist shot at 4:24.
"You win as a team; you win with all four lines," Samuelsson said.
Vancouver blew the game open in the third period.
Samuelsson got his second of the night as Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle accidentally passed him the puck in the slot. He quickly fired the puck past Niemi, giving the Canucks a 4-1 advantage at the 7-minute mark.
"We were starting to put some pressure on their defense, and the turnover that led to the fourth goal was a costly one," McLellan said. "You don't see many of those from Danny Boyle.
Burrows and Ballard completed the scoring with goals just over two minutes apart.