HIGHLIGHTS -- Sharks perfect on PK against rival Canucks
SAN JOSE – Officially, it took zero seconds for the bad blood between the Sharks and Canucks to resume, when Ryane Clowe and Alex Burrows were issued coincidental unsportsmanlike conduct penalties as the teams lined up for the opening faceoff.
After that, the Sharks' power play remained on fire, and San Jose beat Vancouver in a nasty, physical affair at HP Pavilion on Sunday, 4-1. The Sharks improved to a perfect 5-0-0, a franchise best, and have won every game by at least two goals.
The Sharks’ penalty kill also played a huge role. Vancouver converted three power play goals in its previous game, a 5-0 win in Anaheim, but finished 0-for-7 against San Jose despite nearly 14 minutes on a man advantage.
Joe Pavelski scored his first two goals of the season, and linemates Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton added one apiece. Marleau and Thornton are tied for the league lead in scoring with 13 points each.
Vancouver, which had Saturday off while the Sharks were beating Colorado at home, came on in the second period while trailing 2-0. The Canucks were rewarded with a goal on a fortunate bounce, when Burrows’ wrist shot deflected in off of Dan Boyle’s skate after a pad save by Antti Niemi at 11:05.
An ill-advised penalty by Maxim Lapierre, though, put the Sharks on the power play. After an extended shift by the top unit, which has been nearly unstoppable since opening night, Logan Couture’s wrist shot from the circle bounced around and nicked Marleau’s skate blade before crossing the goal line at 14:27.
The goal was Marleau’s ninth, adding to his league-leading total.
Clowe took a pair of bad penalties of his own at the end of the second. His stick glanced off of defenseman Keith Ballard’s helmet in the final minute of the frame, and after setting foot in the box, started screaming at the official while banging his stick loudly on the glass. He was handed another minor for unsportsmanlike conduct, a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct, ending his night.
The Sharks’ penalty killing kept the Canucks off of the board, though, surrendering just one shot on goal during the two minors to Clowe.
San Jose jumped ahead on a pair of bad Vancouver turnovers. First, Thornton tallied his third goal when Jason Garrison’s clearing attempt went right to the captain’s stick in the slot. Thornton lifted it in just 43 seconds into the game.
Alex Edler’s turnover was even worse, when he gave the puck away to Pavelski in the defensive zone. Cory Schneider got a piece of Pavelski’s shot, but not enough, as Pavelski got his first goal of the season at 3:26 to go with his eight assists.
There were three fights in the game. Clowe and Zack Kassian fought at 8:38 of the first, and each landed a couple blows. In the third, Douglas Murray and Aaron Volpatti went at it with Murray getting the clear decision, and Andrew Desjardins and Kevin Bieksa fought late in the game.
For head coach Todd McLellan, it was his 200th career victory.
Marleau failed to score more than one goal in a game for this first time, ending his historic run.
For the first time in nearly five years, an NHL game started four-on-four. The opening faceoff was delayed when Couture and Burrows got into it, and Clowe came in to defend his center. The last time that happened was on Jan. 29, 2008, in a game between the Rangers and Hurricanes.
The Sharks recorded their fifth straight game with multiple power play goals, finishing the night 2-for-8.
Schneider, coming off of a 30-save shutout on Friday, finished with 23 saves on 27 shots to suffer his second loss.
Niemi has won all four of his starts, making 23 saves. He won for just the fourth time in 12 career appearances against Vancouver (4-6-2).
The Sharks iced the same lineup as they did against the Avalanche, with the exception of Niemi’s return after a day off. Brent Burns (lower body) and Jason Demers (wrist) remain out.
Dan Boyle did not come out for the third period due to a bloody nose that wouldn't stop bleeding, according to McLellan.
Vancouver is still without David Booth and Ryan Kesler, while former Sharks forward Manny Malhotra was scratched.
The Sharks’ six-game homestand continues with another rival on Tuesday when the Anaheim Ducks make their first of two visits to HP Pavilion. San Jose hosts Edmonton on Thursday and Nashville on Saturday.