San Jose sent their fans home for the Christmas break with a 5-0 rout of the Vancouver Canucks and moved their home record mind boggling 18-0-2. That is one game short of half the home contests for the year without a loss in regulation.
Against the Canucks San Jose jumped out to a 2-0 lead just as they did the previous contest against the New York Rangers, however, this time the Sharks were the refreshed club and scored the fastest five goals to start a game in franchise history (20:43). Vancouver was playing their third game in four nights, just as the Sharks were in Detroit the other night.
“We wanted to hop on them quickly,” said Joe Thornton
, one of five goal scorers on the night.
“We got off to an early start and it’s tough to come back from a 3-0 deficit,” said Devin Setoguchi who also posted a tally. “We knew they played three games in four nights.”
Part of the successful game plan were two first period power play goals.
“We were moving the puck really well on the power play,” said Thornton.
“The power play did it again,” said Captain Patrick Marleau
who posted a goal and two helpers. With his three points, he now has 24 points in the past 18 games (11-13=24).
The killer goals came just 24 seconds into the second on a Thornton wraparound which was quickly followed by an unassisted Tomas Plihal tally only 19 seconds later.
“It’s tough to come back after that,” said Thornton.
Evgeni Nabokov faced 33 Vancouver shots and turned away each one to earn the shutout.
“Nabby was great,” said Rob Blake, who potted the game-winner.
The shutout was Nabokov’s third of the season and moved him into third place in the league in the category.
San Jose kept the Canucks off the power play and only faced two shorthanded situations.
“We limited their power play chances,” said Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan.
They did not score a goal, but McLellan was particularly happy with one line’s effort.
“I thought the Pavs, Cheech and Clowe line did a really good job tonight,” said McLellan.
The win let the fans, players and coaching staff go into the break in a good mood.
“Those (wins) are nice to get and let everyone feel good at Christmas,” said Thornton.
“It’s nice to win going into the break,” said Marleau.
The Sharks will have Dec. 24 and 25 off before practicing on Dec. 26 and flying to St. Louis.
“We’ll get some rest and come back ready to go,” said Setoguchi.
CANUCKS HEAD COACH, ALAIN VIGNEAULT
“For us to come in here tonight, I think three things needed to happen. One, you can’t turn the puck over against a team that has that much offensive skill. The second thing that needed to happen was we needed to stay out of penalty trouble. The third thing we needed was a couple of saves early. They were good goals on their part, but sometimes you just need a couple of saves.”
“We made two mistakes on turnovers right off the hop in the second period, and they made us pay for them.”
“It’s not just our team. They’ve lost four games this year. They are the cream of the crop right now, and they showed it tonight.
The Sharks will resume action on Saturday when they visit St. Louis in a 5:30 p.m. PST contest that will be available on CSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.