SAN JOSE, Calif. - Captain Patrick Marleau had a goal and two assists during the Sharks' five-goal barrage in the first 21 minutes, and Evgeni Nabokov made 33 saves to keep San Jose unbeaten in regulation at home this season with a 5-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.
Devin Setoguchi and Joe Thornton each had a goal and an assist while the Sharks tormented Vancouver goalie Cory Schneider, who gave up those five goals on 15 shots before getting yanked. Nabokov then earned his second shutout and league-leading 19th victory with 29 saves in the final two periods.
Rob Blake and Tomas Plihal also had goals for the overall NHL leaders, who improved to 27-4-3 while setting a franchise record for the quickest five goals to open a game.
Dan Boyle had two assists to increase his NHL scoring lead among defencemen for the Sharks, who have played nearly half their home schedule without losing in regulation (18-0-2). San Jose has earned at least one point in 29 straight games at the Shark Tank dating back to last Feb. 14.
Curtis Sanford stopped 16 shots in relief for Vancouver, which fell out of the Northwest Division lead with its fifth straight loss to the Sharks, coupled with Calgary's 4-3 win over Anaheim. The Ducks' loss also allowed San Jose to open a gaping 18-point lead over second-place Anaheim in the Pacific Division standings.
In the final game before the NHL's two-day holiday break, the Sharks shook off a tough three-game stretch to show why they've been the class of the league thus far. But with just one of their next seven games at home, the Sharks will face more challenges than Vancouver could muster in the Canucks' only game away from home in an eight-game stretch.
Blake got San Jose's first score just 4:22 in, banging home a rebound of Jonathan Cheechoo's shot for the sixth goal and 24th point of the 39-year-old's debut season in San Jose. Marleau added a power-play goal 93 seconds later, circling the net and firing a slick shot over Schneider's shoulder.
Setoguchi then redirected Marleau's shot for his 17th goal, putting San Jose up 3-0 just 7:09 in. Vancouver survived two stretches of 5-on-3 play shortly afterward, but Thornton and Plihal scored in the first 43 seconds of the second on horrendous mistakes by Schneider's teammates.
Plihal intercepted a pass and beat Schneider cleanly with a wrist shot, and the goalie threw his stick in frustration when he left the ice to be replaced by Sanford.
Notes: Sharks LW Milan Michalek missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury. ... Vancouver D Rob Davison and RW Steve Bernier played their first games against San Jose since leaving the club. Bernier was traded to Buffalo last season for D Brian Campbell. ... Canucks D Alexander Edler had to hold a towel to his face to close the gash on his nose after getting cut late in the first period. He returned after the intermission. ... San Jose already broke a 16-year-old club record for the fastest five goals to start a game earlier this season, doing it in 21:18 on Nov. 3 against Calgary.