Canucks 4, Sharks 2

Ross McKeon, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Receiving goals from four skaters, the Vancouver Canucks ended a nine-game, head-to-head losing streak against the San Jose Sharks with a 4-2 win Thursday.
In handing the hosts their first regulation loss on home ice in nine tries, the Canucks beat the Sharks for the first time since Jan. 21, 2012. Since then, San Jose earned five regular-season wins and four in the playoffs.
The Sharks played their worst 20 minutes at home this season in the second period, getting outshot 17-5 while watching a first-period, one-goal deficit double to two.
When Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa's shot from the right point caromed off the skate of right winger Zack Kassian and over Antti Niemi at 5:22 of the second, that signaled the end of the night for San Jose's starting goalie. Niemi allowed four goals on 13 shots.
San Jose backup goalie Alex Stalock stopped the next 14 shots he faced throughout the period, and he finished with 21 saves while blanking the Canucks. Meanwhile, putting any rubber on Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo was a challenge for the usually potent Sharks.
San Jose managed only eight shots by midgame and didn't crack double figures until center Andrew Desjardins fired short-handed at 15:16 of the second. In addition, the Sharks managed only two shots and couldn't convert on two power plays during the first 40 minutes.
The Sharks limited the Canucks to two goals total in a pair of early-season 4-1 wins, but it took Vancouver only one period Tuesday to eclipse that total. The visitors took advantage of sloppy defensive-zone play by the hosts to lead 3-2 at the first intermission.
Vancouver rallied from San Jose center Joe Thornton's crazy bank-off-the-end-boards goal that struck Luongo and trickled over the goal line 77 seconds after the opening faceoff, as the Canucks scored twice before mid-period.
Center Brad Richardson scored in close on a turnaround shot at 4:28 following a San Jose turnover, and center Mike Santorelli slipped behind Thornton to knock a rebound past Niemi at 9:25.
San Jose tied it when right winger Mike Brown punched home a feed from left winger James Sheppard as the pair of fourth-liners got behind Vancouver defensemen Ryan Stanton and Bieksa.
The Canucks closed the wild period with a go-ahead goal at 18:55 as left winger Chris Higgins roofed a shot after San Jose defenseman Jason Demers turned the puck over and collided with partner Scott Hannan trying to recover.
NOTES: RW Tommy Wingels is the latest forward to fill in on the C Joe Thornton line as San Jose searches for a consistent performer while RW Brent Burns nurses an injury. With a career-best, five-game point streak after recording an assist Thursday, Wingels is only one points shy of his career-high 13. Rookie RW Feddie Hamilton, since assigned to the minors, RW James Sheppard and RW Tyler Kennedy have all had turns lining up alongside Thornton and rookie LW Tomas Hertl. ... Both teams are fighting the injury bug. San Jose was without RW Raffi Torres (ACL surgery) and RW Adam Burish (back surgery) and Burns while Vancouver was missing LW David Booth (lower body), C Jordan Schroeder (ankle), RW Dale Weise (lower body) and RW Jannik Hansen (upper body). D Yannik Weber and D Andrew Alberts were healthy scratches for the Canucks while LW John McCarthy and D Matt Irwin did not dress for the Sharks. ... Vancouver caps a four-game trip with games in Los Angeles against the Kings (Saturday) and Anaheim against the Ducks (Sunday). ... San Jose embarks on a season-long five-game trip, which starts Sunday in Winnipeg against the Jets.

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