NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, March 5th
(All times Eastern)
San Jose Sharks (10-6-4) at Vancouver Canucks (11-6-4), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The San Jose Sharks will try to put together their first
winning streak in over a month when they visit the Vancouver Canucks on
The Sharks won all seven of their games in January to post their best ever
start to a season, but followed up by going just 2-6-4 in February. That skid
dropped San Jose out of the top eight in the Western Conference, but it has
jumped up to the sixth spot thanks to Saturday's 2-1 win over the Nashville
Dan Boyle and Joe Pavelski notched power-play goals, while Joe Thornton and
Logan Couture each assisted on both markers. Thornton's two helpers gave him
1,100 career points.
The Sharks turned to an aggressive approach to win for the second time in
three games. They had 39 shots in the game, including 16 in the first period
and another 14 in the second.
"We had been struggling. We got to find a way to get back into this thing,"
Antti Niemi stopped 18-of-19 shots in the win, one that did see forward Martin
Havlat exit early with a lower body injury. He is not expected to travel with
the club for a quick two-game swing through Vancouver and Calgary.
The loss of Havlat ahead of a pair of road games isn't great news for the
Sharks, who are just 3-5-1 as the guest this season compared to 7-1-3 at home.
The Canucks are also looking to put some struggles behind them as they have
lost three of four and six of their past nine (3-4-2). They needed some extra
rest after Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Flames as they did not fly into Calgary
until a few hours before the game due to a snow storm.
Still, Chris Higgins scored 7:49 into the game and Jannik Hansen's goal in the
second period gave his club a one-goal lead before the Flames ripped off three
straight to close the game.
"We're not going to make any excuses," said Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows.
"We can't control everything in life. We just showed up, put our work boots on
and played hard. ... Those are the things that are going to happen. We're
going to move on and forget about this one."
Hansen also assisted on Higgins' goal, while Roberto Luongo made 21 saves.
The Canucks have won six of their last nine versus the Sharks, but did suffer
a 4-1 setback in San Jose on Jan. 27.
Pavelski had two goals, while Patrick Marleau and Thornton had a goal and an
assist each to back Niemi's 23 saves.
Burrows had Vancouver's only goal and Cory Schneider gave up all four goals on
27 shots faced.
The game was testy early as Burrows and San Jose's Ryan Clowe got into a
shoving match off the opening faceoff and Clowe later picked up a fighting
major in the opening period.
That wasn't all out of Clowe, who was later handed a game misconduct in the
second period to highlight a game that featured a number of fights and rough
"Every time we play Vancouver it's like that. They don't like us, we don't
like them," Couture said after that January meeting. "We expect a battle, and
sometimes games get out of hand a little bit."
03/05 11:02:42 ET