Sharks beat Vancouver, improve to 4-0
Antti Niemi made 25 saves and Matt Pelech’s first NHL goal stood up as the winner and the San Jose Sharks stayed perfect on the season by topping the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 on Thursday.
The Associated Press
VANCOUVER, B.C. — Antti Niemi made 25 saves and Matt Pelech’s first NHL goal stood up as the winner as the San Jose Sharks stayed perfect on the season by topping the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 on Thursday.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Patrick Marleau and Brent Burns, into an empty net, also scored for the Sharks (4-0-0).
San Jose beat the Canucks 4-1 in both teams’ season opener after sweeping Vancouver four straight in the first round of last year’s playoffs. Joe Thornton and Logan Couture added two assists.
San Jose, which also won all three meetings during the 2013 regular season, has not lost to the Canucks since Jan. 21, 2012.
Sharks forward Tomas Hertl, who became the talk of the NHL after scoring four times in Tuesday’s 9-2 win over the New York Rangers, was held pointless.
Mike Santorelli scored for the Canucks (3-2-0), who got 25 saves from Roberto Luongo.
“It was a good feeling in here (in the dressing room) going out for the game,” Canucks captain Henrik Sedin told The Vancouver Sun. “But once we got out there, we turned the puck over. Maybe we were feeling too confident against a great team. They don’t give up a lot of chances. So against them, it is a battle. Those one-on-one battles, you have to win them. We didn’t do enough of that.”
San Jose led 3-1 after 40 minutes and had a good chance to extend the lead five minutes into the third, but Luongo kept Vancouver in it with a breakaway stop on Hertl.
The Canucks showed little life until midway through the period, when their new puck-pressure style started to gain them a bit of time in the Sharks’ zone, but they rarely threatened Niemi’s crease.
Vancouver pulled Luongo with 3:08 to go in the period, but Burns scored into an empty net with 2:19 to play.
Santorelli, with his fourth goal in three games, got the Canucks on the board at 10:20 of the second period when he redirected a shot-pass from Vancouver defenseman Ryan Stanton in the high slot past Niemi.
San Jose restored its two-goal lead just 1:35 later when Marleau beat Luongo with a one-timer from the faceoff dot.
BOSTON — Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 39 saves in his 37th NHL shutout, and the Colorado Avalanche stayed perfect with a 2-0 victory over the Boston Bruins.
The Avalanche are 4-0 under new coach Patrick Roy, their best mark since the franchise relocated from Quebec to Colorado for the 1995-96 season.
Giguere, making his first start, made several sparkling saves. His best came midway through the second period when he stoned Patrice Bergeron on a 2-on-1 rush.