NHL Game Summary - Vancouver at San Jose
(Thursday, April 13th)
Final Score: San Jose 5, Vancouver 3
San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Jonathan Cheechoo had two goals and an assist to clinch a playoff spot for San Jose in a 5-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks at the HP Pavilion.
Matthew Carle had a goal and an assist and Joe Thornton added three assists in the win for the Sharks, who moved into the fifth spot in the Western Conference with 97 points, one ahead of Anaheim, which lost to Edmonton.
Evgeni Nabokov stopped 17 shots and added an assist in the win for San Jose, which is on a season-high seven game winning streak.
Todd Bertuzzi had a goal and two assists and Ed Jovanovski added a goal and an assist for the Canucks, who have dropped their last three games and are now eliminated from playoff contention. Alexander Auld stopped 23 shots in the loss.
San Jose was trailing 3-2 going into the final period, but tied the game up 4:35 in. Ville Nieminen brought the puck into the zone along the left boards, cut into the center and from down low lifted the puck over the pads of Auld.
The Sharks took the lead about seven minutes later on the power play. Vancouver had dumped the puck into the Sharks end, but Nabokov gathered it and sent the disc to Thornton waiting at the blue line. Thornton skated into the zone and from the right circle sent the puck to the high slot where Carle one- timed it through a screen and into the left corner with 8:36 to play.
Vancouver knew it needed to get at least a point to keep its playoff hopes alive and threw everything it had against San Jose. However, with the goaltender pulled, Cheechoo slammed the puck into the empty net to seal the win for the Sharks.
The Canucks opened up the scoring 4:42 into the first period. Jovanovski let fly with a slap shot from the left point that went through a screen and into the net for his eighth goal of the season.
The Sharks, though, tied the game up halfway through the first with a power- play goal. Carle had the puck in the high slot and sent it to the low right side and it hit off of Nils Ekman's right skate and went into the net.
Vancouver grabbed a 2-1 lead when Bertuzzi's pass from the left circle was tipped in by Brendan Morrison for a power-play tally 4:57 into the second period.
San Jose tied the game back up when Tom Preissing's shot from the high slot bounced off of the back boards and Cheechoo banged the puck in from the left side with 9:28 left in the second.
However, the Canucks took a 3-2 lead into the second intermission with another power-play marker. Jovanovski let fly with a wrist shot from the right point that Nabokov made a pad save on. But, the rebound went right to Bertuzzi, who poked it between the goaltender's pads with 2:12 left in the second.
San Jose hosts Anaheim on Saturday...Thornton now has 122 points and is tied with the New York Rangers' Jaromir Jagr for the point-scoring lead. Jagr, though, holds the tie-breaker with 54 goals, Thornton has 28 goals...Cheechoo has 53 goals on the year and trails Jagr by one for the league-lead...The Canucks wrap up their season with a home game against Colorado on Saturday...San Jose has set a franchise-record with 260 goals so far this season.
04/14 01:36:44 ET