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.