GAME: San Jose Sharks (30-16-11-5) at Vancouver Canucks (33-19-7-4).
TIME: Thursday, 10 p.m. EST.
Coming off the best game of his young career, Daniel Sedin looks to help
keep the Vancouver Canucks on track when they face the Pacific Division-leading
San Jose Sharks at GM Place.
Sedin scored four goals Tuesday night to power the Canucks to a 4-2 win over
the Detroit Red Wings. He scored his third goal with 6:58 remaining for his
first career hat trick, then added an empty netter with 34 seconds left.
The 23-year-old Swedish winger has nine goals and 14 points in his last nine
"If you don't get more confidence from this, I don't know when you'll get
confidence," said Sedin, in his fourth NHL season.
Sedin has provided a steady complement to All-Star forwards Markus Naslund
and Todd Bertuzzi. He has already reached career highs with 30 assists and 46
points, and is four goals shy of matching his season-best total of 20, set in
"When he's hot, he's hot," Canucks defenseman Marek Malik said after
setting up the first two goals. "He seemed to be in the right place at the
right time. Good things happen. He's got talent for sure. It looks like today
was his day."
The win was just the third in 10 games for the Canucks, who despite their
struggles are just three points behind first-place Colorado in the Northwest
Division and four behind the Red Wings for the top spot in the West.
All three of the victories have come against top teams - the Canucks also
beat the Avalanche and the New Jersey Devils - while five of the seven losses
have been against non-playoff clubs.
"Now we know we can win if we work hard against any team in the league,"
Sedin said. "I think that's the recipe now, to work hard."
Sedin and the Canucks may have their hands full with the Sharks, whose
goaltenders have been superb in two victories over Vancouver this season. Vesa
Toskala stopped 37 shots in a 2-1 win at GM Place on Jan. 5, and Evgeni Nabokov
made 34 saves in a 3-1 win in San Jose on Jan. 15.
The Sharks improved to 4-1 in their last five games with a 4-2 win over the
Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday.
Jonathan Cheechoo scored twice in the third period, including a penalty shot
after being pulled down on a breakaway, and Nabokov made 24 saves as the Sharks
returned from a 3-3 road trip to win their fifth straight home game.
Marco Sturm scored a first-period goal to extend his point streak to five
games. Sturm has six goals and five assists in San Jose's nine contests in
Following Thursday's matchup, the Sharks return to HP Pavilion for three
games against Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Montreal.
STANDINGS: Sharks - 76 points, 1st place, Pacific Division. Canucks - 77
points, 2nd place, 3 PB, Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Sharks - Patrick Marleau, 26 goals and 45 points; Vincent
Damphousse, 22 assists; Scott Parker, 91 PIM. Canucks - Naslund, 30 goals and
68 points; Naslund and Bertuzzi, 38 assists; Jarkko Ruutu, 116 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 24): Sharks - Power play: 15.3 percent (40 for
261), 19th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.3 percent (214 for 251), 7th. Canucks -
Power play: 15.7 percent (48 for 305), 18th. Penalty killing: 86 percent (234
for 272), 1st.
GOALTENDERS: Sharks - Nabokov (20-15-7, 7 SO, 2.05 GAA); Toskala (10-6-4,
2.07). Canucks - Dan Cloutier (25-18-3, 4, 2.27); Johan Hedberg (6-4-2, 1,
SEASON SERIES: Sharks, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Jan. 15; Sharks, 3-1. At San Jose, Calif., Alex Korolyuk, Alyn
McCauley and Cheechoo scored for the Sharks.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Sharks - 15-11-4-3 on the road; Canucks - 15-10-5-0 at