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Young hopefuls shine in Canucks rout
Hertl scores a pain in 5-0 win
9/24/13 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks used their second to last preseason game as an opportunity to tune up some of the regulars on Tuesday night, as well as give some of their bubble players a chance to show the coaching staff what they might bring to the table. Prospects Tomas Hertl and Matt Nieto used the opportunity to shine in front of coaches and fans, as San Jose stormed to a 5-0 victory.

Hertl scored a pair of goals and Nieto was all over the ice most of the evening. The two are vying for a spot on the opening night roster, which was made more realistic with the injury Raffi Torres sustained to his knee last Friday night. Forward Adam Burish is also on the mend, which increases Hertl and Nieto's chances of cracking the lineup.

Forwards Bracken Kearns and Matt Pelech were also in the lineup. Kearns won 11 of 16 faceoffs and Pelech dropped the gloves with Tom Sestito in a mild bout that ended in a draw.

With Brad Stuart's return still a bit cloudy, a blueline spot also could be open early in the season. Matt Irwin and Matt Tennyson were also on the ice Tuesday to show their wares. Irwin fared a bit better than Tennyson, recording a +2 on the evening.

Nieto shined early, narrowly missing on a chance 8 minutes into the game by rifling a shot off the post. The Sharks applied a steady stream of pressure on Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack from the 10 minute mark on, and never seemed to take their foot off the gas.

San Jose got on the board at 10:36 of the opening period when rookie forward Hertl deflected a Scott Hannan shot past Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack. Hannan fired the puck to the front of the net from the left corner, as Hertl skated in on the left post.

The Sharks turned up the heat on Lack on the very next shift, working the puck in to the Canucks zone before putting on a passing clinic. Dan Boyle took a Tyler Kennedy pass near the right dot before walking in on Lack and roofing a wrist shot past the Canucks netminder for his 1st goal of the preseason.

Tyler Kennedy made a few fans with his play throughout the evening. The former Penguins forward clanked a wicked shot off the post in the 1st period, then undressed a defender with a cut back in the 2nd period that setup a point blank shot that Lack gloved to Kennedy.

Nieto also stepped up his game in the middle frame and missed on a pretty chance midway through the period. The prospect took a feed at the blueline then raced around a defender and cut across the high slot. He flipped a backhand shot on net that was deflected y Lack.

The Canucks would pay dearly for a pair of penalties in the middle period, allowing San Jose to convert on both power play chances. Joe Thornton put a one-time shot past lack midway through the period after Patrick Marleau put a pass on his tape from the left corner.

Logan Couture put his own one-time chance past Lack from the slot with a minute to go in the frame after Joe Pavelski slid a short pass to him from the left dot.

Hertl added his 2nd goal of the game 2:25 into the 3rd period off a Brent Burns feed.


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1 2 3 T
VAN 0 0 0 0
SJ 2 2 1 5
1st period - 1, SJ Hertl 2 (Hannan, Thornton), 10:36. 2, SJ, Boyle 1 (Kennedy, Pavelski), 12:28.
2nd period - 3, SJ, Thornton 1 (Marleau, Couture), 11:21, (pp). 4, SJ, Couture 1 (Pavelski, Boyle), 19:00, (pp).
3rd period - 5, SJ, Hertl 2 (Burns, Thornton), 2:25.
1st period - None.
2nd period - Kessler, VAN (boarding), 9:51; Sestito, VAN (fighting major), 16:37; Sestito, VAN (unsporstmanlike conduct), 16:37; Pelach, SJ, (fighting major), 16:37; Pelach, SJ (unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:37; Alberts, VAN (roughing), 18:21.
3rd period - Horvat, VAN (hooking), 12:53.
Shots Saves
VAN - Lack 33 28
SJ - Niemi 24 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
VAN 9 5 10 24
SJ 12 14 7 33
Power Play Conversion
VAN 0 of 0
SJ 2 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Tomas Hertl
Joe Thornton
Antti Niemi
Referees: Kowal, Knorr. Linesmen: Heyer, Sharrers.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees


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