New night, same old result. The Vancouver Canucks had their three-game winning streak snapped on Thursday night in a 4-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. The Sharks have now won the past nine games, including last year's playoff series, against Vancouver dating back to 2012.
The Canucks defense was tested early on as the Sharks controlled the puck early and often. Eventually, Vancouver managed to sustain longer scoring opportunities in the San Jose's zone, including great chances on net by Alex Edler and Chris Higgins. After killing of their 16th straight power play to start the season, Marc-Edouard Vlasic opened the scoring for the Sharks with a wrist shot past Roberto Luongo at 12:16.
The Sharks were given their first power play at 14:21 as Daniel Sedin was sent off for hi-sticking. Unfortunately for San Jose, Vancouver's power play has been nothing short of perfect as the Canucks killed off their 16th straight power play to start the year.
At 9:34, the Canucks were given their first power play, and while no goals came of it, Vancouver still came up with some quality scoring chances. Sometimes, the little things can count too.
Halfway through the second period, the Canucks got on the board with a tip-in goal from Mike Santorelli, his fourth of the year. Santorelli has been a pleasant surprise early on this year. With a team that has seen its fair share of struggles scoring goals, a spark from a guy like Santorelli, while unexpected, is exactly what Vancouver is in need of.
Less than two minutes later, Patrick Marleau responded back with a blistering slap shot giving the Sharks back their two goal lead at 11:55.
The period would end with a blistering hit from Alex Edler on Thomas Hertl, making contact with Hertl's head, sending the helmet flying. Edler did have his elbow tucked in, however. You could say the hit looked like it Hertl. I had to get one Hertl pun in the recap somewhere, it was inevitable.
The Canucks effort in the third period was lackluster for the most part. Quality scoring chances were few and far between for most of the final 20 minutes. Roberto Luongo would spend the final three minutes on the bench to give the Canucks the extra skater, but the Sharks would score quickly as Brent Burns put the final nail in the coffin on the night, wrapping up a 4-1 win.
If there's a magical blueprint for beating the Canucks, the Sharks seem to possess it, most likely locked away in the basement of HP Pavilion. So unless Torts has a plan to go on a quest to find it, it looks like the Canucks are still a long way from finding a way to beat San Jose. This proves to be more problematic this year with the new divisions as Vancouver and San Jose now both play in the Pacific division. Torts can go on his quest to find that blueprint the next time these teams meet on November 7th in San Jose.
The Canucks will face Montreal on Saturday night in Vancouver before heading off on a seven game road trip east over the course of two weeks.
Check out full stats from tonight's game here, courtesy of ExtraSkater.com.