|National Hockey League|
· Current Odds
· Live Odds
· Daily Schedule
· Yearly Schedule
· Standings - East
· Standings - West
Niemi, Sharks take out Canucks
San Jose, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Brent Burns scored the first of San Jose's four unanswered goals, as the Sharks surged past the Vancouver Canucks, 4-1, on Thursday in the season opener for both teams at SAP Center.
Patrick Marleau, Tommy Wingels and Justin Braun each scored once, while Antti Niemi stopped 21-of-22 shots for the Sharks, who made the postseason for a ninth straight year last season before bowing to the Los Angeles Kings in seven games in the semifinals.
The Sharks were 0-for-8 on the power play.
"I'm not concerned about that at all," Sharks captain Joe Thornton said. "It just was nice to get four goals 5-on-5 for a change and let our 5-on-5 game win us the game."
After being swept by San Jose in the first round of the playoffs last year, Vancouver fired head coach Alain Vigneault and brought in former Rangers bench boss John Tortorella.
The Canucks failed to make Tortorella's debut a successful one, with Roberto Luongo giving up all four goals on 35 shots in defeat.
"The first 10 minutes we played the way we should," Tortorella said. "Then after we scored, we turned a couple over and we lost the momentum."
Jason Garrison gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead with a power-play marker near the midpoint of the first, but the Sharks scored twice in each of the next two periods to take control.
Burns, who was whistled for slashing to set up Garrison's goal, atoned for the penalty in the second, as he charged down the right wing and rifled a wrister from the circle that sailed past Luongo to tie the game at 5:53 of the stanza.
Braun put the Sharks in front with under two minutes left in the period when he flipped a shot on net from the right point that snuck through a screen and beat Luongo to the short-side to make it 2-1 with 1:53 remaining.
San Jose put the game away with a pair of goals in a 1:18-span late in third period.
The first came off a turnover, as Logan Couture stole the puck from Chris Higgins deep in the Vancouver zone and slid a cross-ice feed to Patrick Marleau, who buried the disc into the back of the net from the low left circle to make it 3-1 at 14:39.
Just over a minute later, the Sharks charged in on an odd-man rush and Wingels tapped the puck in from in close for a 4-1 lead with 3:11 left.
Including the postseason, the Sharks have won eight straight meetings with the Canucks ... San Jose and Vancouver are division rivals this season, with Vancouver having joined San Jose in the new-look Pacific Division following realignment ... San Jose finished 0-for-8 on the power play ... The Canucks went 1-for-6 on the power play.
10/04 02:35:27 ET
Powered by The Sports Network.