The Sharks traveled to the Pacific Northwest for a Tuesday night preseason contest with the Vancouver Canucks. With Vesa Toskala manning the nets, San Jose earned a 2-0 victory and ran their preseason record to 4-1.
The first half of the opening period went scoreless, but not for a lack of opportunities. Toskala had to be sharp in stopping an early Vancouver power play and Roberto Luongo came up large in stopping a give-and-go with Grant Stevenson and Patrick Marleau
With the period winding to a close, the Sharks drew first blood. With Team Teal on the power play, a Vancouver clearing attempt was snagged at the point by Scott Hannan. The Richmond, B.C. native quickly found Marcel Goc in the slot. While the German’s backhander was stopped, Luongo left a rebound that Mike Greir quickly deposited across the goal line, providing San Jose with a 1-0 intermission lead.
As the second stanza neared its midway point, the Sharks and Toskala were still pitching a shutout on the home team and protecting their one-goal lead.
Late in the second, Mark Smith looked to make it a two-goal lead when he led a two-on-one rush, but Luongo made a spectacular first stop and then gobbled up the follow-up to keep the Canucks close. That would be the closest the Sharks would come to padding their lead in the first 40 minutes.
Scoring opportunities remained few and far between in the third as Team Teal kept clinging to their 1-0 lead through the first portion of the third and into the latter stages of the contest.
With a minute left in regulation, the Canucks pulled Luongo in an effort to force overtime, but it was the Sharks who scored as Ville Nieminen sent home the empty-netter to finish off the home team 2-0.
Forwards – Stevenson, Valette, Plihal, Rissmiller, Parker, Clowe, Greir, Nieminen, Smith, Marleau, Goc, Michalek.
Defensemen – Gorges, Murray, McLaren, Hannan, Vlasic, Biron.
Goaltenders – Toskala, Schaefer.
San Jose will pack up and fly tonight to Calgary for the second game in as many nights. Faceoff is at 6 p.m.