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Handzus scores in shootout, Sharks finally get a win over Canucks

NHL.com @NHL

VANCOUVER - Michael Handzus scored the shootout winner Monday as the San Jose Sharks beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2.

Handzus, the only shooter to score, faked twice then beat Canuck goalie Roberto Luongo on the stick side.

Canucks forward Ryan Kesler hit the post earlier in the shootout, while Vancouver defenceman Dan Hamhuis saw his sharp-angled shot hit the far post in overtime.

Torrey Mitchell almost won it for the Sharks in regulation when he took Jamie McGinn's pass in the slot and beat Luongo just after the horn sounded.

Jannik Hansen and Cody Hodgson scored for the Canucks while Benn Ferriero and Patrick Marleau gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead midway through the game.

The Sharks (20-11-4) won for the first time against Vancouver (24-13-3) in three tries this season. The Canucks also beat the Sharks in five games in last season's Western Conference final.

Hansen got the only goal of the first period on a 3-on-1 break.

He almost mishandled Hodgson's return pass before firing a low shot under sliding defenceman Jason Demers and past goaltender Antti Niemi from the left face-off circle.

The goal was Hansen's career-high 12th of the season and ended a six-game drought.

The Sharks pushed back, outshooting Vancouver 17-7 in the second period and tied the game early in the middle frame after killing a high-sticking penalty to Demers.

Luongo got a pad on a Ryane Clowe shot but Ferriero backhanded the rebound over the Canuck netminder.

San Jose almost took the lead on a subsequent power play when Marleau and Joe Thornton found themselves alone in front of Luongo.

Marleau flipped the puck across the goalmouth but Luongo was quick enough to foil Thornton.

Marleau, playing his 201st consecutive game, then made it 2-1 at even strength by taking advantage of another Canuck coverage breakdown.

He scored his 14th goal and third in six games by backhanding a rebound behind Luongo after he stretched out his right pad to stop a Justin Braun shot from the side boards.

Both goalies stood out. Niemi preserved the lead entering the final period by getting an arm on a Hodgson shot when the Canuck centre created a turnover at the Shark blue-line.

The Shark netminder then sprawled to deny a Daniel Sedin break-in in the first minute of the third period.

But he couldn't hold off Vancouver when the NHL???s top power play went to work for the sixth time in the game.

Hodgson was alone in the slot for a quick release of Hamhuis???s pass to tie the game with 8:25 remaining in the third period.

A desperate Luongo tipped a Dan Boyle shot onto the top of his net late in the game while Niemi denied Ryan Kesler???s drive from the left wing.

NOTES: F Chris Higgins returned to the Vancouver lineup after missing three games with an infected hand . An infected foot kept him out of two games in December ... Canuck D David Booth is back on skates after injuring his knee on Dec. 6. He is expected to join the team for a four-game road trip beginning Saturday against Boston ... The Canucks won their previous two games against the Sharks by 3-2 scores.

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