Sharks enjoy home-cooking, edge Canucks, extend win streak

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The San Jose Sharks are picking the right time to play well and leaving the distractions in the locker room.

Joe Thornton recorded a goal and an assist and the San Jose Sharks notched their fifth consecutive victory, beating the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 Monday night.

Andrew Desjardins and Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks, who have lost in regulation once at home in 17 games.

Chris Higgins scored a goal and had an assist for the Canucks, who lost their second straight following a six-game winning streak. Alexandre Burrows also scored for Vancouver.

After starting the season 7-0-1, the Sharks went into a tailspin, compiling a 5-10-6 mark until their recent stretch of six wins in seven games have them on the rise.

"We're trying to catch some teams now," Thornton said. "I think Vancouver (is) now two points ahead of us; we wanna catch teams.

"Winning feels pretty good right now. It's contagious and as long as we put a good effort, we feel like we can win every night."

The Canucks remained in a tie for first with Minnesota in the Northwest Division. The Wild lost at home to the St. Louis Blues.

"We did a pretty good job of keeping them off the scoresheet for a while," Higgins said. "We were looking for a spark in the first period and we didn't get it and then they score three quick goals."

The Sharks drew within two points of the Wild and Canucks, and drew within one point of the Los Angeles Kings for the fifth playoff spot. San Jose hosts Minnesota on Wednesday.

Currently in the midst of a seven-game homestand, the Sharks have taken advantage by inching upward in the standings. They were tied for the eighth spot after losing at Minnesota on March 23.

The Sharks have three games remaining on their current homestand before heading out on a four-game road trip.

San Jose scored all three of its goals within a 2:13 span of the second period.

The Canucks made things interesting when Burrows scored midway through the third period. Higgins took a shot that bounced free in front of the net and Burrows was right there to push it in.

Sharks goalie Antii Niemi stopped 23 of 25 shots while Vancouver goalie Cory Schneider saved 32 of 35 shots.

"We're still working hard and we responded better this time," Higgins said. "You have to give Niemi some credit. He made big saves on a couple of 1-on-1 opportunities."

Thornton has recorded 19 points in his last 24 games. He has 48 points in 41 games against the Canucks.

The Sharks' fourth line got things going against Schneider midway through the second period.

"In this winning streak, it seems like every line is doing something to keep this thing alive," Thornton said. "They did their part tonight."

Desjardins scored his first goal of the season, and recorded his first point in 19 games, sneaking one past Schneider's glove side after taking a pass from Adam Burish, who netted his first point in 11 games.

Thornton scored his sixth goal of the season 41 seconds later, getting a pass from Matt Tennyson, who got credit for an assist on his NHL debut.

Thornton tried to pass the puck to Brent Burns but Christopher Tanev got his stick on it, deflecting it back to Thornton, who went top shelf on the right side.

Couture scored 92 seconds later, giving San Jose a 3-0 advantage. Thornton recorded one of the assists and now has 781 for his career, moving him into a tie for 34th, with Brian Leetch, on the all-time list.

"I had enough good chances before that," Couture said. "The pass was pretty hard and went off my stick, off my left foot and I think maybe off my right foot."

Higgins got one of the goals back late in the period, getting a clear shot to Niemi's stick side after taking a pass from Jannik Hansen.

Higgins has scored twice in his last three games following an eight-game goal-less streak.

"You look at all the good teams and they are scoring three goals a game," Higgins said. "We can't expect to win scoring twice."

Schneider seemed up to the task of slowing down a potent Sharks attack through the first 27 minutes. After allowing two goals in the first three shots he faced in a loss to the Edmonton Oilers, he stopped the first 20 shots he faced Monday.

There was a particular sequence in the first period where he was under siege, deflecting a handful of close-up shots before finally covering the puck.

The Canucks also successfully killed off the first power play of the contest, but couldn't stop the league's top home team on the power play the next time around.

Earlier in the day, the Sharks acquired a fourth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for veteran center Michal Handzus.

The Sharks and Blackhawks do not meet again during the regular season.

NOTES: Tennyson, who moved to the Bay Area when he was 15, became the first Sharks' player to participate in the Junior Sharks program as a youth. Tennyson was recalled from Worcester to replace the injured Jason Demers. ... Sharks left winger Ryane Clowe, the subject of trade rumors over the weekend, was a scratch, along with Demers. ... The Canucks recalled forwards Nicklas Jensen and Bill Sweatt from Chicago on Sunday in an attempt to invigorate their offense. Zach Kassic and Andrew Groton were reassigned. ... Mason Raymond and Andrew Alberts were scratches for the Canucks. ... San Jose's only penalty was Andrew Desjardin's five minute fighting major for his tilt with Steven Pinizzotto.