There are nights in hockey when everything goes your way, and there are nights when you just can't catch a break. The latter of the two was the case for the Canucks on Thursday night in a 5-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks at Rogers Arena.
Three of San Jose's four goals were tipped in off a stick, including a frustrating goal on a 5-on-3 power play for the Sharks where, after Vancouver did a great job killing off the penalty, the Sharks got a lucky deflection off the stick of Nick Bonino.
Antti Niemi delivered a brilliant performance in net for the Sharks, with 33 saves, allowing just a late goal to Radim Vrbata with the win already secured.
The Canucks struggled once again on the power play, coming up empty on all three advantages, something that has plagued the team recently.
5 home games since #NHL all-star break, #Canucks special teams: PP 2/20 (10%) PK 12/18 (66.7%)— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) February 6, 2015
We were almost treated to another vintage first line goal in the opening minutes of the game when Daniel Sedin tried to hit Alex Burrows in the slot with a centering pass, but Vlasic was there to break up the shot attempt, probably saving a goal as Burrows had an open net.
The Sharks would be the first to go to the power play as Ryan Stanton was sent off for interference six minutes into the game. With the way the game had started, you would've thought the Sharks were on the power play the whole time.
Shark infested ice around Ryan Miller so far. Because the #Canucks are playing the Sharks..... #Booooo pic.twitter.com/joNyiU9d1A— Cam Tucker (@CamTucker_Metro) February 6, 2015
The Canucks had a successful penalty kill and even had the best scoring chance when Jannik Hansen came up with the puck in San Jose's zone, sending a pass back behind him to Chris Higgins who blasted a shot on net.
Late in the first period, the Sharks opened the scoring when Matt Irwin sent in a shot from a tough angle. It was the sixth straight game the Canucks have surrendered the game's opening goal. But hey, it could've been worse.
Let's face it: San Jose should actually be up two, maybe even three goals right now. #Canucks— Cam Tucker (@CamTucker_Metro) February 6, 2015
The Canucks headed to the power play less than a minute into the second period as Andrew Desjardins was sent off for boarding. Of course, Vancouver's power play has been a much needed area of improvement. This first power play would be no different however as the Canucks managed just one shot on goal during the advantage.
The Canucks nearly evened things up when Dan Hamhuis sent in a wrist shot towards net that was deflected by Nick Bonino. After the puck took a wicked bounce, Niemi somehow came up with the save to keep his team in the lead.
Moments later, the Sharks added to their lead when Brent Burns sent in a shot from the blue line that was deflected by the stick of Melker Karlsson. Miller thought the stick might've been above the crossbar, but after a quick review the goal stood, giving the Sharks a 2-0 lead.
Vancouver looked to have initially cut into San Jose's lead when Alex Burrows tipped in a puck past Niemi, but after a quick review it was determined that Burrows punched the puck in with his glove, so the goal was waved off. As a matter of fact, it wasn't even close.
Burrows celebrating that goal is like handing in your term paper completely blank, and celebrating in front of the professor.— Wyatt Arndt (@TheStanchion) February 6, 2015
Late in the period, the Sharks got a 5-on-3 for a full two minutes when Dan Hamhuis was sent off for tripping to go along with an unsportsmanlike conduct call against Henrik Sedin. After killing off the first minute and a half of the penalty with bodies diving left and right, Joe Pavelski tried to get off another pass, but the puck was deflected off the stick of Nick Bonino to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead. Bonino was clearly frustrated afterwards,slamming his stick against the boards and throwing his water bottle to the floor at the end of the period.
Canucks do every single thing in their power, killing the penalty like god damn heroes, and that's how one goes in??— Wyatt Arndt (@TheStanchion) February 6, 2015
Early in the third period, Radim Vrbata had a great chance to get the Canucks on the board, but couldn't get the backhand shot up and over the pad of Niemi as the game remained 3-0 in favor of the Sharks.
Moments later, the Sharks tacked on another goal to their lead. Once again, Brent Burns sent in a wrist shot towards net. This time, it was deflected off the stick of Chris Tierney, the first goal of his career. Sometimes, it's just not your night, and this was the case for the Canucks on Thursday.
Bonino deflection in 2nd stopped. Karlsson scored a minute later. Vrbata in alone. Tierney scored moments later. #Canucks way right now— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) February 6, 2015
Radim Vrbata blasted a goal past Niemi in the game's final minutes to spoil the shutout bid. It was too little, too late, but it was a nice looking slap shot nonetheless. The goal was Vrbata's 20th of the season.
With five seconds left, Andrew Desjardins added salt into the wound for the Canucks with a last-second goal to cap off an ugly night in Vancouver.
The Canucks will look to rebound from the loss when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at Rogers Arena on Saturday night, capping off a six-game homestand.