NHL Game Summary - San Jose at Vancouver |
(Thursday, February 26th)
Final Score: Vancouver 3, San Jose 2 (OT)
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Brent Sopel scored his second goal of the
game on a power play in overtime to lift the Vancouver Canucks to a 3-2
victory over the San Jose Sharks at GM Place.
Sopel also scored in the second period and assisted on Mattias Ohlund's tying
goal late in the third, as Vancouver won its second straight game. Dan
Cloutier made 19 saves in the victory.
Scott Thornton and Marco Sturm scored for the Sharks, who had a two-game win
streak stopped but recorded a point for the fifth time in six games (4-1-0-1).
Vesa Toskala was strong in the San Jose net with 33 saves, but left a number
of long rebounds that came back to haunt him.
The Canucks tied it at 2-2 with 3:06 left in third period. Artem Chubarov won
a draw in the left circle and drew the puck back to Sopel, who fired a shot
from the center point. Toskala made the save and the long rebound caromed into
the left circle for Ohlund, who blasted a high shot past the screened
netminder into the top right corner for his ninth goal of the season.
"We were under some huge pressure for 10 or 15 minutes and I think Ohlund's
goal, if you gave him 10 pucks there, he'd never make that shot again," said
Toskala. "It was perfect, upstairs."
Each team had a great scoring chance in the first 30 seconds of overtime. The
Canucks failed to convert a wide open net on the opening rush and Sturm was
denied on a partial breakaway moments later.
The Sharks were then whistled for a questionable too many men on the ice
penalty and the Canucks were able to cash in.
Early in the power play, Toskala made a great save on a point shot and stacked
the pads to deny Markus Naslund's rebound chance.
The Canucks kept buzzing in the San Jose zone and worked the puck around the
perimeter, as Sopel sent it back to the center point for Sami Salo, who then
fired a pass into the right circle for Naslund. Toskala stopped Naslund's
shot, but again the long rebound went directly into the left circle for Sopel,
who fired the puck into the empty side of the cage to win it.
"It was huge," Sopel said of how open the net was. "But it was a good play by
everybody else. We moved the puck around, Sami got it around and Nazzy was
there. And Bert [Todd Bertuzzi] was there in front. I just had a yawning
Vancouver was 2-for-5 on the power play after entering the contest 1-for-29 in
its previous six games.
Sturm's incredible individual effort gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead at 4:22 of the
third. He picked up the puck in his own zone near the right boards, skated it
out to center and over the Vancouver blue line, then split two defenders while
moving through the left circle and shot the rolling puck past Cloutier.
The goal was Sturm's 20th of the season and extended his point streak to six
games. He reached 20 goals for the third time in his career.
The Sharks took a 1-0 lead at 12:17 of the first period on Thornton's 13th
goal of the season. Jonathan Cheechoo worked the puck into the left circle
from behind the net and lost control. Thornton picked up the puck in the low
slot, dragged it around a fallen Cloutier and deposited a shot into the empty
The Canucks tied it on a power play with 6:53 to play in the second period.
Sopel took a pass from Nolan Baumgartner and fired a high shot from the outer
edge of the left circle that squeezed past Toskala.
"Vancouver is a tough team to beat," Toskala added. "You have to be happy with
the one point, but also with five minutes to go in the third we were leading
by one goal. I was a little disappointed, but one point from here is good."
Sopel has eight goals this season...Naslund was back in the Vancouver lineup
after missing three games with a mild concussion sustained on February 16
against Colorado...The Canucks improved to 9-4-7 in overtime, tying St. Louis
for the most overtime wins this season...San Jose fell to 1-6-11 in the extra
period...The Sharks lost defenseman Kyle McLaren and forward Mike Ricci in the
first period to injury. McLaren was hit in the head with a puck and Ricci
appeared to injure his right shoulder on a hit along the boards...The Sharks
had won the first two meetings of the season and four straight dating back to
02/27 01:31:07 ET