The San Jose Sharks (18-11-6) defeated the Vancouver Canucks (19-11-6) by the final score of 3-2 and end their season series against the Canucks by winning all three contests completing the season sweep.
The win also gives San Jose five straight victories and so far have won all four games during this home stand.
One thing to note for tonight’s game was the absence of Ryane Clowe from the lineup because he was a late scratch although he is not injured and has not yet been traded. However, the move was most likely a preemptive one to prevent him from getting injured right before the trade deadline and the Sharks losing his trade value.
The game started out slowly with neither team getting a goal in the first period although the San Jose Sharks definitely dominated play. They outshot the Canucks 14-6 and won the face off battle 12-5 yet the game was scoreless after 2o minutes of play thanks to a stellar performance in the period by Vancouver goaltender Cory Schneider.
Then, in a span of 2:13 iin the second period the Sharks proceeded to score three goals and broke the game open.
The scoring was opened by the fourth line when Andrew Desjardins scored his first goal of the season when he picked up an errand pass from Scott Gomez in the slot and fired the puck passed a screend Schneider. Also credit Adam Burish for creating the screen in front of the net and making it very difficult for Schneider to locate the puck.
On their very next shot the Sharks scored again. This time it was Joe Thornton who showed off his shooting ability by picking the top corner against the Vancouver netminder and just like that it was 2-0 San Jose. On the goal rookie Matt Tennyson also recorded his first career NHL point by getting credit for an assist on the play, so congratulations to him on that.
Right after the goals the Sharks earned the first power play of the game and looked pretty decent. The best save of the power play was in fact by Antti Niemi who stopped a short-handed breakaway midway through the man advantage. The save proved to be a key one as right back down the ice after the save the Sharks scored again. This time it was Logan Couture who proved sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. The puck was passed to him across the crease and he lost it in his feet as he fell down. He spun around looking for it and he ended up inadvertently kicking the puck into his own net giving San Jose the 3-0 lead.
However, late in the third, Vancouver finally scored their first goal of the game when Chris Higgins was found open in the slot and put the puck by Niemi on a quick wrister that beat him five-hole.
They continued their comeback by scoring their second unanswered goal, this time midway through the third period, when Alex Burrows got a gift from Niemi who dropped a puck in his crease and Burrows was able to poke the puck into the open net before it could be cleared by any Sharks players.
At that point, with Vancouver only down one goal, the pace of the game picked up which was to the Canucks’ favor. Fortunately for San Jose, even after the Canucks pulled Schnieder with about a minute and a half left in the game, there were no more goals to be scored and the Sharks took the game by the final score of 3-2.
The win keeps them one point of Detroit and in sixth place in the conference and also pulls the Sharks to within one point of the L.A. Kings for fifth place.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Joe Thornton (1 goal, 1 assist, won 15 of 20 faceoffs)
2. Chris Higgins (1 goal, 1 assist)
3. Matt Tennyson (1st career NHL point with an assist)