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Sharks seek third straight win at Vancouver

by Brian Compton /
SHARKS (23-19-5) at CANUCKS (29-10-7)


Last 10: San Jose 4-6-0; Vancouver 6-2-2.

Season Series: This is the third of four meetings between the teams. Vancouver will be seeking its third straight win against the Sharks, as the Canucks have outscored San Jose by a 10-4 margin in two victories.

Big Story: San Jose adjusted its roster this week, as GM Doug Wilson claimed Kyle Wellwood off waivers and acquired Ben Eager from Atlanta in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick. The Sharks are hopeful both newcomers will be able to play against the Canucks.

"We didn't give up anything off our team, so the addition just adds to the pool of players," Sharks GM Doug Wilson said on Tuesday morning. "This is a playoff-type mode and having guys that have been through it and experienced it gives us extra depth. Without going into what our injury situation may or may not be, it is a time to add players like this. It gives our coaches the tools they need at this point." 

Team Scope:

Sharks: It's been somewhat of an inconsistent season for San Jose, but it will be in search of its third straight win Thursday night. After earning 4-2 victory against St. Louis at HP Pavilion last Saturday, the Sharks beat Phoenix by a 4-2 score at Arena on Monday. The two wins followed a six-game skid.

"If you're best players aren't your best players, you probably don't have a chance to win most nights," Sharks captain Joe Thornton said after Monday's win. "We've been doing a better job lately of showing up every night. Patty (Patrick Marleau) had a great game, Logan (Couture) had a great game, Dany (Heatley) had a great game and Boiler (Dan Boyle) had a great game and Nemo (Antti Niemi) played fantastic. So that's a good sign."

Canucks: Perhaps it's merely a bump in the road, but Vancouver -- which sits atop the Western Conference with 65 points -- has lost three of its last four games. After getting shut out at Minnesota on Sunday, the Canucks suffered a 4-3 overtime loss at Colorado on Tuesday night. Three of the Avalanche's four goals came via the power play.

"Rare for our team to give up that many goals on our (penalty kill)," said captain Henrik Sedin, who had an assist to run his League lead to 47. "They have a good team. ... It's a tough team to play."

Who's Hot: Heatley had a goal and an assist against the Coyotes and has three straight multi-point games. San Jose is 11-2-0 this season when Heatley has two or more points in a game.

Injury Report: Sharks forwards Benn Ferriero (eye) and Ryane Clowe (ankle) are day-to-day, while Torrey Mitchell (groin) and John McCarthy (upper body) are out. … For the Canucks, Sami Salo (ACL) and Rick Rypien (undisclosed personal leave) are out. Andrew Alberts (shoulder), Aaron Rome (knee) and Alexandre Bolduc (shoulder) all missed Tuesday's game.

Stat Pack: Patrick Marleau, the No. 2 overall pick by the Sharks in 1997 and franchise's all-time leader in goals (338) and points (726), played his 1,000th career game on Monday. He scored the team's first goal in the victory. … The Sedin twins have a chance to become the first brothers since Bill and Bun Cook way back in the 1932-33 season to finish in the top 10 in NHL scoring. Daniel has 59 points (27 goals, 32 assists), while Henrik has 56 (9 goals, 47 assists).

Puck Drop: "We expect more than a .500 road trip, but you also have to look at the process and how our guys compete and from that standpoint I was real happy." -- Canucks coach Alain Vigneault after team went 2-2-1 on five-game trip

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