Sharks stay unbeaten with victory over CanucksBy Ross McKeon, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Sun, Jan 27, 2013 11:30 PM EST
SAN JOSE -- The Sharks' revamped penalty kill was put to a stern test on Sunday night and passed with flying colors. San Jose killed all seven Vancouver power plays and got a nightly goal from Patrick Marleau en route to a 4-1 victory at HP Pavilion. The Sharks extended their franchise-best start to 5-0 in the process. "All four lines are rolling, everyone is rolling and that's why we're 5-0 right now," Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic said. The key was stopping the Canucks, who were tied for seventh in the league on the power play coming into the game. Much has been made of San Jose's penalty kill, which finished second-to-last in the league last year. Vancouver managed only five shots during 13:48 of man-advantage time in the loss. "We've got to score, that's the bottom line," Vancouver's Henrik Sedin said. "To come close is not good enough." The Sharks took advantage of Vancouver's slow start to grab a 2-0 lead less than four minutes after the opening faceoff. "Obviously that's not what we want to do, give those guys an early start," Canucks defenseman Jason Garrison said. "It's tough playing catch-up hockey in general, but against those guys it's even tougher." Joe Thornton scored his third goal of the season after picking off a poor clearing attempt by Garrison and beating Canucks goalie Cory Schneider just 43 seconds into the game with the teams skating four aside. Alex Edler's attempted clear landed right on the stick of Joe Pavelski, who ripped a forehand from the slot off of Schneider's glove for a 2-0 lead at 3:26. "That's not how we wanted to come out," Garrison said. The Canucks cut the deficit in half when Alex Burrow's drive from the right side was first stopped by Antti Niemi, but slipped past the San Jose netminder at 11:05 of the second period when the rebound caromed off the skate of Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle. San Jose answered quickly however when Marleau extended his goal-scoring streak at the outset of the season with his ninth on the power play at 14:27. A Logan Couture drive ricocheted off of Garrison to the skate of Marleau and past Schneider. Pavelski scored his second of the game at 8:14 of the third period on the power play. "Everybody's committed, they're all doing what they're supposed to do," Vlasic said of the San Jose's special teams. "Our up-ice pressure is great. That was our penalty kill right there. Pressure up-ice, pressure at our blue line, pressure on their rim-arounds. We were able to shut down one of the top power plays in the league." NOTES: Sharks LW Ryane Clowe and Vancouver's C Alex Burrows were sent off before the opening faceoff for unsportsmanlike minors after coming together at the faceoff dot. Clowe and RW Zack Kassian had an extended fight just before mid-period. ... After logging 15:03 of ice time in his Sharks' debut one day earlier, recently-signed veteran F Scott Gomez was in the lineup again on Sunday, centering a Sharks' checking line with LW Andrew Desjardins and RW Adam Burish. Gomez also continued to see ice time on special teams. ... F James Sheppard, F Frazer McLaren and D Nick Petrecki were healthy scratches for San Jose while C Manny Malhotra, D Cam Barker and D Andrew Alberts did not dress for Vancouver.
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