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Positive response in Vancouver
Sharks rebound from opening night blues
10/5/07 - by Mike Lee

After a sluggish performance in Edmonton just 24 hours earlier, the Sharks kicked the offense into gear on Friday night in Vancouver. San Jose scored three times in the opening period, then leaned on Evgeni Nabokov for a 3-1 win at GM Place over the host Canucks. Hart Trophy finalist Roberto Luongo was peppered in the opening period, stunning the opening night crowd.

Joe Thornton added his second goal of the season in as many nights, and the old man, Jeremy Roenick, scored two goals to pace the Sharks.

Thornton's poise helped to convert the game's first score 5:30 into the contest. Thornton carried a Christian Ehrhoff pass into the zone then let the defensive pursuit shift out of his shooting lane in the slot. Thornton ripped another wrist shot past Luongo from about 20 feet out.

The old and the new helped the Sharks ash in again 6 minutes later, when Roenick cleaned up on a Torrey Mitchell shot from the right corner. Mitchell, the Sharks rookie forward, recorded his first NHL point with the assist. Roenick punched in the rebound as he hovered around the left post for his first goal as a Shark and the 496th of his career.

Roenick would add goal number 497 with just under five minutes to play in the period, after he redirected a Douglas Murray shot while trying to create some traffic in front of Luongo. Murray rifled a shot from the left point, and Roenick got his stick blade on the puck, changing the trajectory of Murray's shot.

And just like that, the Canucks were down by three goals. That would be more then the Sharks needed to earn their first win of the season. Nabokov would keep the Canucks at bay for three-quarters of the game, before finally allowing a Vancouver goal.

Ryan Shannon missed on a point blank blast to start the 2nd period, one timing a shot from the slot, but Nabokov played the sequence with text book positioning.

The Sharks had a chance to pad their lead, when Shannon and Mathias Ohlund were sent off for separate infractions 39 seconds apart. San Jose missed on the ensuing 5-on-3, generating few quality scoring chances. Joe Pavelski came closest to scoring with a shot that Luongo snared at the end of the 2-man advantage.

Brendan Morrison finally got the Canucks on the board at the 5:56 mark of the 3rd period on a wrap around attempt that bounced off Nabokov's pad and into the goal. Mason Raymond setup the goal by keeping the puck deep in the Sharks zone, while the Sharks tried clearing it by winding it around the right wing boards.

Shannon appeared to score his first career NHL after a bank shot from behind the net pin-balled off a Sharks defender and skipped along the goal line. Video replays could not provide conclusive proof that the puck crossed the goal line, so it was waved off.

Morrison missed on a golden opportunity with 3:30 left in regulation, shooting at a wide open net. Patrick Rissmiller hustled back and deflected the shot by extending his stick, helping the Sharks preserve a two-goal lead.

Game Notes:

Murray finished with a team high +3 rating and a career high 2-point night. Murray was rewarded or his play, with 29 shifts, second only to Marc-Edouard Vlasic who led the Sharks in ice-time for the second consecutive game. Vlasic, the second year defenseman, logged 24:21 ice time, down from the 27 minute game in Edmonton. Devon Setoguchi will have to wait until Sunday to make his NHL debut. The rookie forward is still nursing a bum ankle. Curits Brown was a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game.

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1 2 3 T
SJ 3 0 0 3
VAN 0 0 1 1
1st period - 1, SJ, Thornton 2 (Ehrhoff, McLaren), 5:30. 2, SJ, Roenick.1 (Mitchell, Murray), 11:48. 3, SJ, Roenick 2 (Murray, Michalek), 15:20.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 4, VAN, Morrison 1 (Raymond), 5:56.
1st period - Mitchell, VAN (hooking), 1:07; Bieksa, VAN (high sticking - double minor), 7:45; Cheechoo, SJ (hooking), 17:07; D. Sedin, VAN (hooking), 19:22.
2nd period - McLaren, SJ (roughing), 3:44; Ehrhoff, SJ (hooking), 12:14; Shannon, VAN (high sticking), 16:28; Ohlund, VAN (tripping), 17:07.
3rd period - Shannon, VAN (hooking), 8:14; McLaren, SJ (tripping), 14:34.
  Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 23 22
VAN - Luongo 31 28
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 13 9 9 31
VAN 8 8 7 23
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 6
VAN 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Jeremy Roenick
Douglas Murray
Joe Thornton
Referees: Stephane Auger, Paul Devorski. Linesmen: Mike Cvik, Ryan Galloway.

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