VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The Sharks defeated the Canucks 3-1 at General Motors Place in Vancouver on Friday for their first victory of the regular season.
Click here to see photos from the game.
San Jose was led by Jeremy Roenick who had two goals on the night and Joe Thornton who scored his second in consecutive games. Torrey Mitchell, a 22-year-old rookie from UVM, assisted on Roenick's initial goal for his first NHL point in his second NHL game.
Although Roenick, an 18-year NHL veteran, felt great about scoring his first goal in teal, he was more excited for Mitchell.
"That's what I thought about," said Roenick following the Sharks victory. "That was the kid's first assist. That made me feel really good."
The first period of play was physical and lucrative for the Sharks as they netted all three of their goals in the first 15 minutes. Roenick notched his first and second goal as a Shark, which also registered as the 496th and 497th of his career.
"It was awesome just to help the team," added Roenick. "I was in the right place at the right time. Those are the ones you want more of."
Thornton started the scoring for the Sharks at 5:31 of the first. The play began when Big Joe got a tipped pass from Marcel Goc and the 6-foot-4 forward brought the puck from center ice on a two-on-two with Jonathan Cheechoo to the left point of Vancouver's offensive zone. As Cheechoo streaked for the net, Thornton held the puck with patience and when his defender lost his footing, Thornton fired a shot past Roberto Luongo to give the Sharks the 1-0 lead.
A little over six minutes later, San Jose struck again when Roenick netted his first goal at 11:48.
The scoring drive began while San Jose was on the four-minute man advantage for Kevin Bieksa’s high sticking double minor at 7:45. Douglas Murray found Mitchell deep in the Canucks zone and the rookie corralled the pass as the teams returned to full strength. From Luongo’s left side, Mitchell took the initial shot and the goaltender failed to control it. At the top of the crease, Roenick pounced on the loose puck and put it in the back of the net for the Sharks second goal of the game.
Roenick would add another on an assist from Murray at 15:20. This was the second time Roenick and Murray had connected for a score. That would be the final goal of the period and the Sharks entered the dressing room with a 3-0 lead.
Efficient penalty killing by San Jose kept the Canucks scoreless in the second. When Vancouver earned the man advantage on a Kyle McLaren roughing penalty at 3:44, Evgeni Nabokov shut down a Canucks scoring chance as a shot ricocheted off Marc Edouard Vlasic and fell dangerously inside the crease. The Sharks netminder jumped on the loose puck and the Sharks killed the remainder of the penalty.
Vancouver went on the power play once more at 12:44, and again Nabokov stood on his head. After working the puck around the Sharks defensive zone, Canucks right wing Ryan Shannon took a slap shot from between the circles. Nabokov flashed out his right leg and made the pad save to preserve the Sharks shutout.
The Sharks had chances of their own in the second, in the form of a five-on-three power play for 1:20 seconds near the end of the period. Although they had multiple scoring opportunities, San Jose was unable to add to their three goal lead.
The period closed with the Sharks up 3-0.
The Canucks ended their drought when Brendan Morrison scored at 5:56 of the third to cut the Sharks lead to two. Vancouver's alternate captain netted his first goal of the season on a wrap around attempt that trickled through Nabokov's pads. The score was 3-1 with less than 15 minutes to go.
Controversy stirred half-way through the third period when a Canucks scoring chance had to be reviewed by the video goal judge. When a shot came from off the boards and hit Craig Rivet's skate in front of the Sharks net, Nabokov gloved the loose puck on the goal line. Canucks players and fans began to celebrate, but no call was made on the ice. Upon review, the play was declared "no goal".
Two minutes later, Patrick Marleau beat his defenseman Aaron Miller and chased down a loose puck deep in Vancouver's zone. The Sharks captain got control of the puck, but ran out of room as he was unable to put a shot on goal. After the play, Miller crashed into the net and was slow to get up.
The Canucks pulled their goalie with 1:20 seconds remaining in the third, but were unable to score and the game ended 3-1 in favor of San Jose.
Sharks rookie Devin Setoguchi was placed on the Injured Reserve List on Friday before the game. Setoguchi was sidelined after suffering an ankle injury in the preseason.
The Sharks will travel to Colorado for their third straight road game and face the Avs on Sunday, October 7. Fans should be reminded that the game has been moved to 4:00 pm (Pacific) and will be broadcast on FSN Bay Area, KFOX 98.5 FM and SJSHARKS.com.