SAN JOSE, Calif. --
San Jose looked for their third consecutive victory against Vancouver after taking the first two games north of the border earlier this season. Five Sharks scored in the contest and San Jose defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 at HP Pavilion.
Vancouver was without Roberto Luongo and went with Curtis Sanford opposite Evgeni Nabokov.
When Christian Ehrhoff drew a power play midway through the first period, the Sharks quickly made the Canucks pay. Joe Thornton
gained the puck deep in the defensive zone and found Milan Michalek streaking up the ice. Taking the pass at full speed, Michalek blew by defenseman Willie Mitchell and cut into the slot. The speedy Czech winger then kept moving and roofed the puck to the upper left corner for the 1-0 lead.
With 30 seconds remaining in the first, San Jose used their speed again to strike. This time it was Patrick Marleau
blazing in behind the defense for a showdown with Sanford. Once Marleau was behind the defense, he continued across the slot and went to the far side, providing a 2-0 lead at the break.
The two clubs exchanged scoring chances during the second with neither converting in the first 10 minutes. Nabokov’s top stop came when a turnover gave Matt Cooke an open shot from 12 feet out, but the Sharks netminder turned it away and then removed any angle for a rebound effort.
San Jose lost Alexei Semenov for the remainder of the game in the second period due to a hand injury.
With 7:18 remaining in the second, Joe Pavelski
scored for the second consecutive game. This time Thornton was parked in the crease visually hampering Sanford and Pavelski’s quick shot from the high slot made the score 3-0.
Vancouver Head Coach Alain Vigneault pulled Sanford for rookie Drew MacIntyre at that point, using the rookie’s first NHL action in hopes of spurring his club.
It did not change much in that period as Team Teal finished the second with the 3-0 lead in tact.
The odds looked good for San Jose entering the third as they were 13-0-1 this season entering the third with a lead and Vancouver was 0-10-1 when trailing after 40 minutes.
Vancouver would finally get on the board five minutes into the third. A Lukas Krajicek shot deflected off Sandis Ozolinsh directly to the wide open Henrik Sedin who popped it into the open side of the net.
|Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin scores a goal past San Jose Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov in the third period on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007 (AP Photo/Tony Avelar). |
Things tightened up a bit more for the Sharks when Vancouver scored their second goal five minutes later. This time a defensive zone turnover near the blueline allowed Vancouver to regain the puck and Trevor Linden helped push it past Nabokov.
San Jose would not wait to respond. As the Canucks were looking to break out of the zone, strong backchecking by Devin Setoguchi forced a turnover. The vulcanized rubber went straight to Joe Thornton
. Jumbo Joe quickly skated directly into the zone and as a blueliner closed the angle, launched a canon that beat MacIntyre to the right post.
In the next minute of action, Steve Bernier made it 5-2. Working the forecheck, Bernier jumped on a turnover by Krajicek near the net and quickly fired it across the goal line before MacIntyre could regain his position.
The Sharks and Canucks exchanged power plays within the final three minutes of the game, but neither team would score and San Jose defeated Vancouver 5-2 for their second consecutive home victory. LINEUP
San Jose will play hosts to the Dallas Stars on Saturday in a game scheduled to begin at 1:00 PM (Pacific). Limited tickets are still available at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The contest will be available on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and SJSHARKS.com.