Sharks Defeat Canucks In Final Regular Season Meeting
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (CBS / AP) — Dan Boyle scored a power-play goal at 2:38 of overtime to give the San Jose Sharks a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.
Henrik Sedin was in the penalty box when Boyle’s shot from the slot stood after a video review.
Tomas Hertl scored in regulation and Antti Niemi made 34 saves for the Sharks (12-2-5), who had dropped five of six.
Roberto Luongo made 28 saves and Kevin Bieksa scored his first goal of the season for Vancouver.
In a scheduling quirk, it was the final meeting of the regular season between the Canucks and Sharks even though both are in the Pacific Division.
With the Sharks down 1-0 late in a game in which they rarely threatened, Hertl tied the score with 65 seconds to go in regulation on a broken play at the side of Luongo’s net.
Bieksa broke the scoreless tie on a power play at 13:40 of the second period when his shot from the point found its way through traffic past Niemi. Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows missed a great chance moments earlier before Sedin fed Bieksa for the one-timer.
The goal snapped a 2-for-28 drought for Vancouver with the man advantage and was just the Canucks’ third power-play goal at Rogers Arena all season.
Niemi kept the Canucks from doubling their lead with a big stop on Ryan Kesler with 5 minutes to go in the period.
Luongo had a relatively quiet night, but had to be sharp on a chance from Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic midway through the second with the teams playing 4-on-4.
Canucks forward Chris Higgins had a chance off the rush early in the third that Niemi was equal to before the Sharks, who had just 17 shots through two periods, started to come on.
After Sedin missed a wide-open net off a feed from his brother Daniel, Luongo made a big glove save on San Jose forward James Sheppard with under 8 minutes to go.
Hertl then sent the game to overtime with his 11th goal of the season.
The Canucks returned home after a 1-2-1 road trip against Pacific Division rivals, with the only victory coming against the Sharks 4-2 last Thursday. That win snapped Vancouver’s nine-game losing streak against the Sharks dating to last season.
The Sharks swept the Canucks four straight in the first round of last season’s playoffs, while Vancouver got the better of San Jose in five games in the 2011 Western Conference finals.
Playing their first home game since a 4-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 2, the Canucks had a couple of early chances in a first period that was short on action.
Niemi stopped defenseman Chris Tanev on a chance in the high slot 5 minutes in before shooting out his left pad to stop Mike Santorelli on the doorstep a few moments later.
Vancouver’s No. 1-ranked penalty kill was put to the test midway through the period when defenseman Alexander Edler was whistled for interference. The Sharks moved the puck around to Joe Thornton, but the San Jose captain’s heavy shot from the top of the faceoff circle rang off the crossbar behind Luongo and stayed out.
Luongo then smothered a chance off the stick of Logan Couture on a partial breakaway, and the first period ended scoreless.
NOTES: The Canucks’ power play entered ranked 28th overall. … NHL great Gordie Howe was in attendance and got an ovation midway through the second period. … Vancouver left wing David Booth returned to the lineup after completing a conditioning assignment in the American Hockey League. … The Sharks play Friday night in Edmonton. … The Canucks continue their season-high six-game homestand Sunday against Dallas.
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