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Sharks edge Canucks to stay perfect in preseason

NHL.com @NHL
Tommy Wingels wasn't part of the Western Conference Finals that pitted the San Jose Sharks against the Vancouver Canucks last spring, but he made a key contribution Sunday night when those teams met for the first time since the Canucks ousted the Sharks to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

Wingels scored a pair of goals and Thomas Greiss stopped 26 shots as the Sharks held on for a 4-3 win over the Canucks at GM Place and improved to a perfect 4-0-0 this preseason.

Brad Winchester had San Jose's first goal and Andrew Desjardins scored midway through the third for what turned out to be the game-winner.

Vancouver received goals from Alexander Sulzer, Cody Hodgson and Nolan Baumgartner, the latter coming on a 5-on-3 with 2:57 remaining to pull the Canucks within one. They would enjoy another brief two-man advantage after that and then a 6-on-4 for the final minute after pulling netminder Eddie Lack, but they couldn't come up with the tying score.

It was the first loss in three preseason games for the Canucks, who hope the 2011-12 season will erase bad memories of a Game 7 loss to the Bruins in the Final back in June.

Sulzer opened the scoring for Vancouver with a wrister that beat Greiss 5:01 into the opening period, but it took all of 20 seconds for Winchester to draw San Jose even, and then Wingels put them ahead at the 11:17 mark.

Hodgson evened things back up at 11:12 of the second, but Wingels put the Sharks in front to stay by beating Lack again at the 13:56 mark. Wingels made his NHL debut last season, getting into five regular-season games without registering a point.

Desjardins extended the lead to 4-2 with a slap shot at 10:43 of the third, but penalty trouble down the stretch by San Jose let Vancouver back into the game. Winchester went off for roughing with 4:24 left and Brent Burns was penalized for boarding 54 seconds later. That led to Baumgartner blasting one from the point past Greiss, and a Wingels high-sticking penalty with 1:36 remaining created a frantic finish.
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