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Sharks blank Canucks to stay perfect in preseason @NHLdotcom
The San Jose Sharks look like they're ready to go.

San Jose won its fifth preseason game without a loss by blanking Vancouver 3-0 on Thursday, completing a two-game sweep of the team that kept the Sharks out of the Stanley Cup Final last spring.

Joe Pavelski, Dan Boyle and Jamie McGinn scored, and Thomas Greiss stopped all 25 shots he faced for the Sharks, who beat the Canucks 4-3 in Vancouver on Sunday.

"It was a good game, and we continue to get better," said Sharks captain Joe Thornton, who had two assists. "That's been our goal since the first day of training camp."

The Canucks (2-5-0), who lost in Anaheim on Wednesday night, again chose to keep many of their stars off the ice. Backup goaltender Cory Schneider stopped 33 shots but didn't get much help from a lineup in which only Mikael Samuelsson and Manny Malhotra reached double figures in goals last season.


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"It's nothing in our control," Samuelsson said. "We play where we're told, that's the bottom line. You can't think about anything else. We want to play good as a team no matter who's in the lineup. You have to fit the system and be ready for Oct. 6."

Pavelski opened the scoring with a power-play goal midway through the second period. Boyle and McGinn added insurance goals in the third period. The Sharks were a perfect 5-for-5 killing penalties and have allowed just two extra-man goals in 24 tries.

Lightning 4, Canadiens 0

2010 first-round pick Brett Connolly continues to make his case for a spot on the opening night roster. Connolly and Steven Stamkos each scored twice and Dwayne Roloson stopped all 24 shots he faced as the Lightning blanked the Canadiens in Montreal.

"He's worked extremely hard in the offseason and it's paying off," Stamkos said of Connolly, the sixth player chosen in the 2010 Entry Draft. "His skating has really improved and he's making decision as hard as possible for management and the coaching staff on this team that he wants to stick here. He's given it his all and we're happy for him."

Stamkos scored his first two goals of the preseason in the first period. Connolly scored at 16:43 of the second and with 1:17 left in regulation.

"(Connolly)'s making the adjustment every time we place him in a more difficult situation with added pressure," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. "If that progression continues, he may very well force our hand."

Connolly's reward was to have some "tailoring" done to his slacks.

"Even better prank the boys pulled -- cut the legs right off my dress pants," he said via Twitter. "Nothing you can do but laugh."

Defenseman Chris Campoli, who signed with the Canadiens earlier this week, made his debut for Montreal in the loss.

"It would have been nice to win the game," said the 27-year-old, who became an unrestricted free agent after the Chicago Blackhawks walked away from an arbitrator's settlement in July. "Unfortunately we've got a lot to work on as a team I felt supporting the puck tonight we could have done a better job. That's something that will come but we've got to work on some things."

The teams meet again Saturday night in Quebec City.

Stars 7, Panthers 1

Unfortunately for Dallas, the regular season doesn't start until next week.

The Stars were in midseason form at American Airlines Center as Mike Ribeiro scored once and set up five goals in a rout of Florida. Alex Goligoski had a goal and three assists to help the Stars complete a home-and-home sweep.

Mike Ribeiro
Center - DAL
GOALS: 19 | ASST: 52 | PTS: 71
SOG: 161 | +/-: -4
In all, seven players scored goals and six had multi-point nights.

"It's always nice to get production from everybody," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. "It's exhibition, but when you have some level of success, I think you get a level of confidence, so those two go hand-in-hand, so it's nice to get victories."

The Stars, who won 4-3 in Florida on Tuesday, turned a 3-1 game into a rout with four third-period goals. Dallas outshot the Panthers 17-4 in the final 20 minutes while improving to 5-1-0.

"You kind of build as you go, and you want to be playing your best at the end of camp, for sure," said Goligoski, who had one assist in his first three preseason appearances. "I think, still finding some things and getting used to the way we're playing and all that, but it's good to put a few points up and get a big win and move along."

The Panthers finished their preseason with a 1-5-0 record. They are idle until they open the season on Long Island next Saturday.

"We looked tired. We looked like we didn't have a lot of will," coach Kevin Dineen said. "When you put those together, I think it adds up to what happened -- a pretty good tail-kicking. We didn't have a lot of pushback, and that's what we have to find."

Blue Jackets 4, Wild 2

The Jackets got second-period goals by Fedor Tyutin, Rick Nash and Jeff Carter to beat Minnesota at Nationwide Arena.

Steve Mason made 32 saves, allowing a first-period goal by Guillaume Latendresse and a third-period goal by Mikko Koivu that made it 3-2. Rookie Cam Atkinson added an insurance goal with 5:44 remaining.

"The second period, we came out flying again and created a bunch of good opportunities and we finally put some home," Atkinson said.

Jackets coach Scott Arniel was encouraged by some of the youngsters battling for roster spots.

"A lot of real good efforts from our young guys," he said. "The young guys battling for spots did a good job being noticed."

The Wild played well in the first period, partly thanks to three power plays, but were dominated after that.

"That was disappointing. That was my fault," first-year coach Mike Yeo said. "I went in and said how well we played in the first period. I'll learn from that."

Senators 2, Bruins 1

The Bruins outshot Ottawa 2-1, but the Senators got third-period goals by Daniel Alfredsson and David  Rundblad to escape TD Garden with the win.

Milan Lucic
Left Wing - BOS
GOALS: 30 | ASST: 32 | PTS: 62
SOG: 173 | +/-: 28
Milan Lucic's first-period power-play goal was the only score through 40 minutes. Alfredsson tied the score at 5:09 of the third and Rundblad got the winner with 4:01 left in regulation while Boston's Rich Peverley was serving a high-sticking double minor.

Craig Anderson stopped 39 shots, including 19 in the first period when the Senators were outshot 20-5.

"It keeps you in the game when you get all those shots off the bat," said Anderson, who faced 18 shots in the first period. "We traveled, had a tough schedule, but that's not an excuse. We found a way to keep it close after the first and found our legs in the third.

"That's the way things go. You can dominate for two or three periods and not win. It works both ways. There's going to be games where we dominate and don't win. It will all even itself out at the end of the year."

Bruins defenseman Steve Kampfer left the game with a left knee injury and will have an MRI on Friday.

Flames 4, Coyotes 2 | HIGHLIGHTS

Calgary wrapped up its preseason with a win at home as David Moss scored twice and added an assist.

Moss and Anton Babchuk had second-period power-play goals for Calgary, and Curtis Glencross scored with 3:57 left in regulation. Phoenix got within one on late goals by Boyd Gordon and Ray Whitney before Moss hit the empty net with 43 seconds remaining.

"The first period we didn't play well," Moss said. "We were trying to do a bit too much. But the last two, we kept it simple and it was much better."

The power-play goals came despite the absence of top forwards Alex Tanguay, who had the night off, and Jarome Iginla, who missed all of the preseason with a back injury suffered on the opening day of training camp. Iginla skated Thursday, the first time he's been on the ice since the injury.

Jason LaBarbera, battling Mike Smith for playing time in goal, stopped 29 shots for Phoenix.

"It's a fun opportunity for me, for sure," LaBarbera said. "I haven't really got a full opportunity before other than in L.A. for a little bit. Other than that, for the last four years I've been pretty much a back-up."

With no more games between now and their season-opener against Pittsburgh on Oct. 8, the Flames will have plenty of time to make their final roster decisions -- they still have 30 players in camp.

"What happens, happens," said 31-year-old center Niklas Hagman, who finished the preseason with two goals and an assist in four games. "Hopefully, I've played well enough that if for some reason they don't want me here, someone else wants me."

Blues 3, Avalanche 1

T.J. Oshie's goal with 11 minutes left in regulation broke a 1-1 tie as the Blues beat the visiting Avs.

T.J. Oshie
Center - STL
GOALS: 12 | ASST: 22 | PTS: 34
SOG: 103 | +/-: 10
Oshie beat Jean-Sebastien Giguere by taking the carom of Andy McDonald's shot off the backboards to the other side of the net. Patrik Berglund added an insurance goal with 7:32 left on a shot from the left circle that went through Giguere's pads.

David Backes gave St. Louis a 1-0 by beating Giguere with 2:32 left in the second period. Joakim Lindstrom tied it 1:42 into the third period on a one-timer from the right circle, beating Ben Bishop, who finished with 19 saves.

"As a group, I thought we paid attention to the things that have been stressed over the past few days," Blues coach Davis Payne said. "We played a real solid team game."

Payne said Bishop and Brian Elliott, each of whom has played twice, are running neck-and-neck for the backup job behind Jaroslav Halak.

"Both guys have performed well and made some key saves," he said. "There's a lot of evaluation that goes into it as to the role, and now we've got a decision to make."

Blues defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo left in the first period with an upper-body injury.

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