Sorensen's first NHL goal helps Sharks top Canucks

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[March 03, 2017]  SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Marcus Sorensen didn't see his first career goal go into the net, but he knew something good happened when he saw teammate Tomas Hertl celebrating.

Sorensen and two other Sharks skaters scored, and backup goalie Aaron Dell made 17 saves during San Jose's 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.

"That was a dream," Sorensen said. "It was a great shift by our line, and I was just trying to crash the net. I felt great today, good last game, too."

First-place San Jose opened a seven-point lead in the Pacific Division over the idle Edmonton Oilers by winning for the third game in a row and for the fourth time in five games.

The victory at SAP Center also snapped an oddity when the Sharks and Canucks play: It marked the first time in 16 meetings the home team won. Vancouver, losers of four straight and five of six, had won six straight at San Jose.

"Our start was pretty good, but our second and third weren't good enough," said Bo Horvat, Vancouver's lone goal-scorer. "The second period we just came out flat."

The Sharks broke the game open in the middle period.

Sorensen cashed in at 9:28 after displaying all kinds of skill along the way. San Jose's rookie left winger blocked a shot to start the sequence, then knocked down and controlled the puck twice in the offensive zone before kicking a Hertl feed to his stick and sliding it past Vancouver goaltender Ryan Miller at the near post.

"He did a lot of good stuff, got rewarded with the goal, and he deserved it," San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said of Sorensen, who appeared in only his fourth NHL game. "He's making a case to stick around."

The Sharks continued to pressure, and Logan Couture cashed in for his 21st goal as his line continued to give the Canucks fits.

Patrick Marleau outbattled two Canucks to make a nice touch pass to Couture, who used Vancouver defenseman Luca Sbisa as a screen to beat Miller at 13:49.

"That second period was a good period for us," Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. "We spent a lot of time in the offensive zone. You feel that momentum."

Meanwhile, the Canucks just couldn't generate anything in the middle period.

"Second period, we were terrible, and that cost us the game," Canucks defenseman Christopher Tanev said. "We didn't battle hard enough. We were in our end the whole second period."

Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins added, "They were hard on the puck in the second period. I thought they won all the battles. They got to the puck first. That put us in a bad spot."

Mikkel Boedker's second goal in three games, which followed a 19-game drought, enabled the Sharks to escape the first period in a 1-1 tie.

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Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) and Vancouver Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher (51) vie for possession in the first period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Boedker scored his eighth of the season with a wrist shot from the bottom of the right circle that clipped the top of Miller's goal stick on the way in at 15:45. Couture make a nice play to keep control of the puck with his skates to feed Boedker after defenseman San Jose Paul Martin held the puck in at the line.

Vancouver broke on top. Despite being ranked 28th in the league on the power play, the Canucks converted on the man advantage at 7:38 as Horvat got inside position in the crease to redirect Ben Hutton's pass through Dell's legs for his 19th goal of the season.

Chris Tierney was denied on a penalty shot at 18:02 of the first after Vancouver defenseman Alexander Edler hooked the San Jose penalty-killing forward from behind. Tierney stole the puck from Daniel Sedin to set up the play that led to the penalty shot.

"Thought we fought it a little bit in the first period, but we got better as the game went along," DeBoer said.

NOTES: San Jose C Joe Thornton remains stuck on 999 career assists. ... C Michael Chaput, LW Sven Baertschi and D Christopher Tanev all returned to the Canucks' lineup. Chaput and Tanev were out two games with the mumps, and Baertschi missed nine games due to a concussion. ... LW Jannik Hansen, acquired by San Jose from Vancouver at the trade deadline, did not make his Sharks debut as he continues to work through immigration issues. It was for the same reason that LW Nikolay Goldobin, dealt from San Jose to Vancouver in the Hansen swap, did not play for the Canucks. He is expected to debut on Saturday against the Kings. ... C Joseph Cramarossa played his first game for the Canucks after getting dealt from Anaheim. Cramarossa fought San Jose's Micheal Haley late in the first period and retired to the locker room for repairs before returning for the rest of the game. ... F Nikita Tryamkin remained in Vancouver due to showing symptoms of the mumps. ... San Jose next plays at Minnesota on Sunday. ... San Jose went to five defensemen at the start of the second period as D David Schlemko sustained an unspecified injury late in the first.

[ 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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