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Big 3rd period paces win in B.C.
Sharks take first of 5 with Canucks
2/28/15 - By Mike Lee -

It wasn't pretty, but the Sharks dispatched the Vancouver Canucks in British Columbia with a big 3rd period fueled by 4 San Jose goals. The Sharks snapped out of a 40 minute funk that was nothing but lifeless hockey, pounding Ryan Miller with a flurry of goals that help the San Jose keep pace with the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks in the Pacific Division race. Four different Sharks scored in the big 3rd period.

The game marked the first time the division foes faced each other this season, and was the opening salvo of a 5-game series between the teams. In a scheduling quirk, the teams have their games all packed into a five week period. The two teams play a pair of home and home series next week and at the end of March.

If the first two periods of Sunday afternoon's contest was any indication, they may turn out to be 15 periods of utter agonizingly boring hockey. Neither team seemed motivated to try and win Sunday night's contest in the first two periods. Vancouver is trying to salvage their season as they sat 8 points out of the last wild card spot in the Western Conference entering play.

The Canucks opened the game's scoring after a Justin Braun penalty expired early in the 2nd period. Daniel Sedin was the beneficiary of a setup feed from his brother Henrik as Bruan was existing the penalty box.

The Sharks enjoyed a pair of penalties in that middle period, but had neither life or flow in their game. They would muster a mere 4 shots in the period, even though they enjoyed 4 minutes of man-advantage time.

Things finally turned in San Jose's favor with the 3rd and final period of the contest.

Sharks captain Joe Pavelski jump started his teammates with a hard-nosed goal 4:21 into the period. Pavelski followed Luca Sbisa into the right corner, picking his pocket as the pair skated around the bend toward the back of the Canucks net. The Sharks centerman scooped up the puck, headed for the front of the net, and flipped a backhand shot past Miller, tying the game at 1-1.

Tomas Hertl gave the Sharks the lead 2 minutes later when he tipped a Braun shot from the right point past Miller. The young Czech forward skated across Miller's line of sight getting a piece of the puck and changing the trajectory enough to find a hole.

Markus Granlund took a slashing penalty 13:06, which was followed by a Dan Hamhuis slashing infraction 27 seconds later to setup a lengthy 5-on-3 power play. Patrick Marleau cranked a Howitzer blast from the slot during the 2-man advantage, one timing a Joe Thornton feed for his 18th goal of the season.

The Canucks were forced to pull Miller with 4 minutes to play in an effort to claw back from their 2-goal deficit.

The Sharks simply played keep away, dumping the puck out of their zone at every opportunity. Braun made the most of a Logan Couture feed, depositing the puck into the open Vancouver net for this 2nd goal of the season to ice the contest.

Things got chippy at the final horn, as players came together along the glass near the Sharks bench, setting the tone for the next meeting between the two teams, which comes in four days, when the Sharks return to British Columbia.

Game Notes:

* Logan Couture took a puck off the side of his shin pad, catching the anterior area of his left knee. The centerman limped to the locker room where he received treatment for a lengthy period of time before returning to the ice.

* Goaltender Aaron Dell made his Sharks debut, albeit as a backup, marking the first time he suited up in an NHL game. Newly acquired goaltender James Reimer could not get his immigration situation squared away to get to Vancouver. Reimer is expected to be in San Jose on Monday.





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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 4 4
VAN 0 1 0 1
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, VAN, D. Sedin 23 (H. Sedin, Hutton), 3:03.
3rd period - 2, SJ, Pavelski 27 (Vlasic), 4:21. 3, SJ, Hertl 15 (Braun, Vlasic), 6:49. 4, SJ, Marleau 18 (Thornton, Pavelski), 14:09, (pp). 5, SJ, Braun 2 (Couture), 18:50, (en).
Penalties
1st period - None.
2nd period - Braun, SJ (interference), 0:56; D. Sedin, VAN (hooking), 5:09; Horvat, VAN (hooking), 15:00.
3rd period - Granlund, VAN (slashing), 13:06; Hamhuis, VAN (slashing), 13:33.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 24 23
VAN - Miller 27 24
VAN - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 10 4 14 28
VAN 9 9 6 24
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 4
VAN 0 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Tomas Hertl
Dan Hamhuis
Joe Pavelski
Attendance
18,570
Officials
Referees: Walsh, Rooney. Linesmen: Lazarowich, Wheler.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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