Sharks-Canucks: In the Crease

Sharks ride rookie to rout of Rangers

Sharks-Canucks: In the Crease
October 10, 2013, 9:30 am
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The Sharks went 0-for-8 on the power play in their 4-1 win over the Canucks in the season opener. (USATSI)

Programming note: Sharks-Canucks coverage gets underway today at 6:30 p.m., only on Comcast SportsNet California

Where they stand
Sharks: 3-0-0, 1st Pacific Division, 1st Western Conference
Canucks: 3-1-0, 2nd Pacific Division, 4th Western Conference

Vitals

Sharks
Goals per game: 5.67 (1st)
Goals-against per game: 1.33 (T, 4th)
Power play: 26.7 percent (10th)
Penalty kill: 80.0 percent (T, 15th)

Canucks
Goals per game: 3.75 (T, 5th)
Goals-against per game: 3.25 (T, 21st)
Power play: 13.3 percent (21st)
Penalty kill: 100.0 percent (T, 1st)

Probable lines

Sharks
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Brent Burns
Tyler Kennedy – Logan Couture – Patrick Marleau
Matt Nieto – Joe Pavelski – Tommy Wingels
James Sheppard – Andrew Desjardins – Matt Pelech

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Matt Irwin – Dan Boyle
Scott Hannan – Jason Demers

Antti Niemi
Alex Stalock

Canucks
Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Mike Santorelli
Jannik Hansen – Ryan Kesler – Chris Higgins
David Booth – Brad Richardson – Dale Weise
Tom Sestito – Zac Dalpe – Yannick Weber

Dan Hamhuis – Kevin Bieksa
Alex Edler – Jason Garrison
Chris Tanev – Ryan Stanton

Roberto Luongo
Eddie Lack

Last game

Sharks: The Sharks flattened the New York Rangers on Tuesday, 9-2, behind four goals from Tomas Hertl. In all, 15 different Sharks recorded at least one point in the team’s third straight win to open the season. Rookie Matt Nieto had a goal and two assists, and Antti Niemi made 18 saves.

[RECAP: Sharks 9, Rangers 2]

Canucks: Mike Santorelli scored his second straight OT winner in a 3-2 Canucks home win over Cory Schneider and the Devils. Daniel Sedin had a goal and an assist and Roberto Luongo stopped 21 shots in his 350th career win.

Keep an eye on…

Sharks: Tomas Hertl. Who else? The Sharks rookie sensation is taking the NHL by storm thanks to six goals in his last two games, including a between-the-legs job on Tuesday night. His six goals and seven points lead the NHL. He recorded his first NHL point, an assist, against Vancouver on Oct. 3.

[RELATED: Four-goal game a 'dream' for Hertl]

Canucks: Jason Garrison. The Canucks’ blueliner scored their only goal of the season opener against the Sharks on the power play, and he has two goals and three assists for five points. That ties him with St. Louis’ Alex Pietrangelo for the most among defensemen.

Injuries

Sharks: Raffi Torres (right ACL surgery), Marty Havlat (pelvic surgery), Adam Burish (lower body), and Brad Stuart (suspension) are out.

Canucks: Alex Burrows (bruised foot), Zack Kassian (suspension) and Jordan Schroeder (broken left foot) are out.

Season/All-Time series

The Sharks and Canucks met exactly one week ago in the season opener for both teams. San Jose erased an early 1-0 deficit and won, 4-1, despite going 0-for-8 on the power play.

[REWIND: Sharks ride even-strength play to first win]

There are two more head-to-head meetings after tonight, on Nov. 7 in San Jose and Nov. 14 in Vancouver.

The Sharks are 42-42-9-5 all-time against the Canucks.

Quoteable

“It’s inspiring for our group to have a spark come from a young player like that, a youthful player coming into our lineup. All too often, we look for a spark to come from the older players that have been around a long time. It’s nice to see it come from the young guys early in the year. It energizes a lot of people.” – Todd McLellan, on Tomas Hertl

Burning question

Other than Tomas Hertl, who has been the best Sharks player so far this season, and why? Leave your reply in the comments section below.