VANCOUVER - Antti Niemi made 33 saves Thursday as the San Jose Sharks defeated the listless Vancouver Canucks 5-1.
Matt Irwin, Melker Karlsson, Joe Pavelski, Andrew Desjardins and Chris Tierney, with his first NHL goal, scored for San Jose (28-18-7), while Brent Burns and Logan Couture each added two assists. Tierney also tacked on an assist for a two-point outing.
Radim Vrbata had the only goal for Vancouver (28-19-3). Ryan Miller stopped 33 shots in taking the loss.
The Canucks came in having won the first two meetings against the Sharks this season, but were down 1-0 after the first period and things got worse in the second.
Burns jumped on a Canucks' turnover at the blue-line and fired a shot that Karlsson tipped past a helpless Miller for his ninth of the season at 6:24.
San Jose then put things out of reach late in the period when Vancouver defenceman Dan Hamhuis was assessed a tripping penalty before captain Henrik Sedin picked up an extra minor for unsportsmanlike conduct after protesting the original call.
The Sharks controlled the puck for 90 seconds on the two-man advantage before Pavelski's shot from the side of the net deflected off Vancouver forward Nick Bonino's stick and past Miller for his 28th of the season at 19:45.
Niemi didn't have much to do despite Vancouver's 21 shots through two periods, but he did make a nice save off a Bonino deflection five minutes into the second with the Sharks still up just 1-0.
Niemi made a great bad save on a Vrbata breakaway early in the third to keep Vancouver off the scoreboard and Tierney tipped home his first NHL goal moments later to make it 4-0 at 3:55.
Vrbata then broke Niemi's shutout bid with his 20th of the season with under two minutes to go before Desjardins rounded out the scoring with his third of the campaign with 4.7 seconds left.
Despite playing the second game of a back to back and their fourth game in six nights, the Sharks dominated the Canucks in the first period and led 1-0 after 20 minutes thanks to Irwin's fourth of the season that snuck into the top corner through a screen with 2:17 left on the clock.
San Jose outshot Vancouver 11-2 in the game's first six minutes, and if not for some great saves from Miller early the Canucks' deficit could have been much worse.
Notes: San Jose's Patrick Marleau played his 1,300th career NHL game. ... Vancouver's Zack Kassian was a healthy scratch for the third straight game. It marked the sixth time in the last 15 outings the forward watched from the press box.