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Handzus dealt, Sharks win
SJ sweeps season series from Vancouver
4/1/13 - By Mike Lee -

Following the new trade a player and the remaining team will play better philosophy, the Sharks extended their winning streak to five games on Monday night after forward Michal Handzus was shipped to Chicago earlier in the day. The Sharks scored three 2nd period goals, then held on for a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks at HP Pavilion. The win was the Sharks third over the Canucks this season, giving them a season sweep.

In trading Handzus, San Jose receives the fourth round selection in the 2013 NHL Draft that they sent to Chicago in a deal last June. The Slovakian forward played in 28 games for the Sharks this season, scoring a single goal.

Like the deal that sent Douglas Murray to Pittsburgh last week, the Handzus move was yet another sign to the existing lineup that change is inevitable and if players don't produce, they'll likely be shipped elsewhere. The shot over the bow on Monday may have indirectly motivated the Sharks into extending their winning streak and draw within two points of the Canucks for the 4th seed in the Western Conference.

San Jose erupted for a flurry of goals in a 133 second span that turned a mundane game into a scoring bonanza for the Sharks.

Andrew Desjardins opened the scoring at 7:41 of the 2nd period, lifting a deflection past Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider after Scott Gomez threw a puck to the front of the net from the left point. Adam Burish tried to collect it as it bounced in the slot, but he was checked off the puck. Desjardins followed up on the play and put a shot into the Canucks net for his 1st goal of the season.

Joe Thornton made it 2-0 less than a minute later by sending a wrist shot from the high slot past Schneider after rookie Matt Tennyson grabbed a turnover in the neutral zone and dumped it over the Canucks blueline. Thornton used his long reach to corral the puck and send his 40-foot shot on net for his 6th goal of the season.

Kevin Bieksa put the Sharks on a power play at 9:07 after drawing an interference penalty. San Jose almost flubbed the man-advantage by turning the puck over in the neutral zone, springing a 2-on-1 Canucks break. Antti Niemi saved the day, stopping Jannik Hansen on the breakaway chance.

The Sharks turned it around, skated up ice, then scored their 3rd goal of the season when Logan Couture deflected the puck into the Canucks net after driving to the net. Couture was knocked off his feet, and was spinning on his knees through the Canucks crease, when his skate whipped around and deflected the puck home for his 15th goal of the season.

Chris Higgins got the Canucks on the board with 2:34 left in the period, sliding a shot between Niemi's pads with a shot from the slot. The goal was Higgins 9th of the season.

Vancouver tried to get back into the game in the 3rd period, and were able to cut the Sharks lead to a single goal after Alex Burrows punched home a rebound from the doorstep after Niemi fumbled the puck. Higgins threw the puck on net from the blueline as Burrows was cutting in front of Niemi from left to right. Niemi made the stop on Higgins shot, but the puck bounced out of his glove, sitting in the crease for Burrows to jam home for his 10th of the season.

The Canucks pulled Schneider with 1:30 but the Sharks held on after Brent Burns pinched the puck along the side boards for an eternity as Vancouver tried to free it up.

Tennyson made his NHL debut, finishing the evening with his first NHL point in the assist that he earned on the Thornton goal. The Pleasanton native and first product of the Sharks Junior program to play for San Jose, finished with a -1 in 15:55 of ice time on 21 shifts. He partnered with Brad Stuart for much of the evening, recording a hot and a blocked shot.


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1 2 3 T
VAN 0 1 1 2
SJ 0 3 0 3
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, SJ, Desjardins 1 (Burish, Gomez), 7:41. 2, SJ, Thornton 6 (Tennyson), 8:22. 3, SJ, Couture 15 (Marleau, Thornton), 9:54, (pp). 4, VAN, Higgins 9 (Hansen, Bieksa), 17:26.
3rd period - 5, VAN, Burrows 10 (Higgins, Hansen), 10:20.
1st period - None.
2nd period - Higgins, VAN (hooking), 2:15; Bieksa, VAN (interference), 9:07; Pinnizotto, VAN (fighting major), 15:16; Desjardins, SJ (fighting major), 15:16.
3rd period - Burrows, VAN (slashing), 4:29.
Shots Saves
VAN - Schneider 35 32
SJ - Niemi 25 23
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
VAN 6 11 8 25
SJ 14 13 8 35
Power Play Conversion
VAN 0 of 0
SJ 1 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Thornton
Chris Higgins
Andrew Desjardins
Referees: Hasenfratz, Rooney. Linesmen: Cameron, Wheler.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees


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