The Vancouver Canucks were looking at playing the role of spoilers tonight as they hosted Pacific division rivals San Jose Sharks snapping the 9-game winning streak of the Sharks at Rogers Arena dating back to March 5, 2013 (7 regular season + 2 playoffs), at Rogers Place, and in doing so, ending their 8-game losing streak.
San Jose was looking to improve its postseason positioning this week with two games against the Canucks, after clinching a berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs on Monday night against the Los Angeles Kings with a 5-2 win.
Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom wanted to bring an end to his 4-game losing streak, and was looking for his teammates to support him with a few goals or more in a winning effort.
However, the Canucks meltdown and futility would continue as Chris Higgins had an unassisted shorthanded goal for Vancouver’s lone offensive output, and Jacob Markstrom stopped 27 of 30 shots in the 4-1 loss that extended San Jose’s superiority on Canucks ice to 10 straight wins.
Canucks opened up the period with four unanswered shots on the Sharks, demonstrating that they came to play and were determined to make a good effort to change their fortunes of late.
Canucks were dominating the play in the opening period when they received the first power play of the game when Roman Polak received a penalty for interfering with Canucks forward Emerson Etem at 6:45.
The Canucks power play came up empty, continuing their futility with the man advantage:
- one power play goal in their last thirty-one opportunities for 3.23 percent, going back to March 7 against the Los Angeles Kings. Their only power play goal coming against the Nashville Predators on March 25.
With 8:15 left to play in the first period, Canucks were not only up in shots 8 to 3, but were 9 for 12 on face-offs with Markus Granland 3 for 3 and Bo Horvat 2 for 3.
Sharks had a couple of glorious opportunities to score late in the period but Markstrom came up big to keep the game scoreless.
Canucks and Sharks 0-0 after one period.
In the first period:
- Vancouver out shot San Jose 13-7 and won 14 of 25 face-offs.
- Canucks out hit Sharks 7 to 5.
- Vancouver face-off leaders: Markus Granlund-4 for 5; Bo Horvat-4 for 6; Brendan Gaunce-3 for 5; Henrik Sedin-3 for 9.
- Brendan Gaunce and Jared McCann-2 shots each.
- Vancouver power play 0 for 1
- Canucks TOI: Dan Hamhuis-8:20; Matt Bartkowski-8:13; Ben Hutton-7:52
- Teams Corsi For:
- Even Strength: Vancouver-20; Sharks-9
- All Strengths: Canucks-21; San Jose-10
- Top Canucks:
- All Situations: Yannick Weber +9; Brendan Gaunce +8; Jared McCann +7; Alex Burrows +6
- Even Strength: Yannick Weber +9; Brendan Gaunce +8; Jared McCann +7; Alex Burrows +6
San Jose came out hard in the first 20 seconds of the second period, scoring the opening goal of the game to go up 1-0. A very disappointing start to the middle frame after the Canucks dominated the initial period of the game.
Joe Pavelski, his 37th of the season, on a wrist shot, assisted by Brent Burns (44) and Joe Thornton (56).
Things would not get any better for Vancouver, as Jake Virtanen would receive a game misconduct and five minutes for interference on Sharks player Roman Polak at 2:01, leaving the Canucks in quite a bind; giving San Jose a chance to break the game wide open.
Instead it would be the Canucks, who would score, Vancouver’s 4rth shorthanded goal of the season, by Chris Higgins, his 3rd goal of the season, at 6:21, unassisted, to even the game at 1-1.
As a bonus on the shorthanded goal, the Canucks killed off the five minute major penalty to Virtanen, making it 22 kills in their last 23 times shorthanded for 95.7 percent, going back to March 12.
With 3:22 left in the period, the game was a reversal of the first period, with San Jose dominating the period, leading in shots, hits and face-off wins, with the Canucks special teams and goaltending being the difference in the game up to this point.
In the final minute the Sharks persistence would payoff, as they would make it a 2-1 game at 19:49 with a goal by Logan Couture, his 11th of the season, assisted by Nick Spaling (9).
Sharks 2-1 after two periods.
In the second period:
- Vancouver were out shot by San Jose 12 to 5 and won 5 of 15 face-offs.
- Canucks out hit by Sharks 8 to 6.
- Vancouver penalty kill was 1 for 1.
- Canucks face-off leaders: Brendan Gaunce-3 for 5; Markus Granlund-6 for 8.
- Andrey Pedan-2 hits; Daniel Sedin-2 shots
- Vancouver Time On Ice: Alex Biega-8:02; Dan Hamhuis-7:18; Yannick Weber-7:16
- Teams Corsi For:
- Even Strength: San Jose-13; Vancouver-13
- All Strengths: Sharks-19; Canucks-14
- Top Canucks After Two Periods:
- All Situations: Emerson Etem +10; Brendan Gaunce +8; Jared McCann +7
- Even Strength: Brendan Gaunce +10; Emerson Etem +10; Yannick Weber +7; Jared McCann +7
The Canucks entered the 3rd period having to come back from behind, get the lead, and hold it to end their 8-game losing streak, and end the Sharks dominance at Rogers Place in their last 9 meetings on Canucks ice.
Canucks would receive a power play in the first minute of the final frame, as Justin Braun was sent off for hooking Sven Baertschi at 46 seconds, but Canucks failed to score and became 0 for 2 in the game with the man advantage.
Vancouver just could not stay out of the penalty box, especially in the final period, as San Jose ended up with a two-man advantage, as the Canucks were penalized at 13:00 when Matt Bartkowski would go off for high sticking; and then 17 seconds later, Markus Granlund would receive a penalty for interference of Sharks goalie Jame Reimer, giving the Sharks a 5-on-3 for 1:47.
San Jose would capitalize with the two-man advantage, going up by two goals at 3-1. Logan Couture, his 12th goal of the season, second of the game, from Joe Pavelski (38) and Patrick Marleau (22) at 14:01. Canucks would kill off the penalty to Markus Granlund.
Canucks would continue marching to the Sin Bin, when Daniel Sedin would be sent off at 15:31 for boarding Tommy Wingels, as it was looking more likely than not, that Vancouver would be making it nine games on their winless streak.
Vancouver would pull Jacob Markstrom with 2:15 left and try to come within a goal of the Sharks.
And once again, the Canucks would be victimized by an empy net goal, as Logan Couture would complete his hat-trick at 19:44 with his 13th goal of the season, assisted by Brent Burns (45) and Dainius Zubrus (4); Sharks winning the game 4-1.
In the third period:
- Vancouver was out shot by San Jose 11 to 6 and only won 7 of 23 face-offs.
- Canucks out hit Sharks 5 to 4.
- Vancouver power play was 0 for 1; penalty kill was 2 for 3.
- Canucks Time On Ice: Dan Hamhuis-7:57; Daniel Sedin-7:21; Henrik Sedin- 7:07
- Teams Corsi For:
- Even Strength: Vancouver-9; San Jose-10
- All Strengths: Sharks-16; Canucks-13
End Of The Game:
- Vancouver finished with 24 shots, San Jose 30 shots, and Canucks won 26 of 62 face-offs.
- Vancouver had 20 hits to the Sharks 15 hits.
- Canucks penalty kill was 3 for 4; power play was 0 for 2.
- Vancouver Time On Ice: Yannick Weber-20:05; Ben Hutton-20:39; Dan Hamhuis-23:35; Matt Bartkowski-20:19
- Teams Corsi For:
- Even Strength: Sharks-32; Canucks-42
- All Strengths: San Jose-45; Vancouver-48
- Top Canucks in game:
- All Situations: Brendan Gaunce +10; Emerson Etem +9; Ben Hutton, Alex Biega and Jared McCann +7 each
- Even Strength: Brendan Gaunce +12; Jacob Markstrom +10; Alex Biega +9; Ben Hutton and Emerson Etem +8 each.