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Hertl and red-hot Sharks visit Vancouver
(SportsNetwork.com) - In hindsight, Vancouver should be impressed it limited San Jose rookie Tomas Hertl to just an assist in a meeting a week ago.
Hertl has been on a tear to begin his career and looks to build off his four- goal performance from last time out as the Sharks visit the Canucks on Thursday night.
The 19-year-old Hertl has logged seven points over his first three games. He picked up his first NHL point with an assist in a 4-1 win over the Canucks last Thursday, then scored twice to help the Sharks beat the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday.
He followed up with four goals in Tuesday's 9-2 victory over the New York Rangers, matching a franchise record for most goals in a game and setting a San Jose mark for the most goals by a rookie in a game.
The 17th overall pick of the 2012 draft matched Owen Nolan's four-goal performance from Dec. 19, 2005 and became the youngest player since Jimmy Carson on March 20, 1988 to net four goals in a game.
"This is a dream," said Hertl. "Four goals, I never in the Czech League. I never had three. In the NHL, it's crazy."
"That was special. You don't see that very often. That was very, very special," said Sharks center Joe Thornton of Hertl, who turns 20 on Nov. 12.
"He likes to score goals. You see that by his celebrations. He likes to put pucks in the back of the net. It's been fun to watch him the first three games."
Justin Braun, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Matthew Nieto, Logan Couture and Dan Boyle also tallied for the Sharks, while Antti Niemi made 18 saves in the win.
The Sharks were perfect on their three-game homestand to begin the season after opening the lockout-shortened campaign with a club-record 7-0 start.
San Jose, though, will play its first road contest of the season without defenseman Brad Stuart, who picked up a three-game suspension for an elbow delivered to Rangers forward Rick Nash on Tuesday.
The Canucks, meanwhile, have won three in a row since their season-opening loss to the Sharks and picked up a 3-2 overtime win on Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils and former teammate Cory Schneider.
Schneider was traded to the Devils this past offseason and was beaten at the 2:18 mark of overtime when a shot through traffic hit off Mike Santorelli and in.
It was the second straight overtime winner for Santorelli and second straight game in which Vancouver rallied from two goals down to win in overtime.
"You don't want to spot them a 2-0 lead, but I appreciate how they just stayed with it," Vancouver coach John Tortorella said. "There was no panic on our bench. We just started playing a little quicker and a little bit simpler."
Daniel Sedin and Alexander Edler also scored for the Canucks, while Roberto Luongo made 21 saves to outduel his former teammate Schneider.
"We got the win, so that's what matters at the end of the day. I thought we both played a good game," said Luongo.
The Sharks have won four straight over the Canucks after their home victory a week ago. Niemi made 21 saves and San Jose got goals from four different skaters.
Niemi is 7-6-2 with a 2.67 goals against average and .912 save percentage in 15 career meetings versus the Canucks, while Luongo is 9-11-4 with a 2.75 GAA and .914 save percentage against the Sharks.
Luongo made 31 saves in last Thursday's meeting.
The Sharks have won eight of the last 14 encounters overall and three of its last four in Vancouver.
10/10 11:19:18 ET
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