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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Thursday, February 26th (All times eastern)

San Jose Sharks (30-16-11-5) at Vancouver Canucks (33-19-7-4), 10 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A pair of squads looking to make a late run at the top seed in the Western Conference face-off this evening, when the Vancouver Canucks skate against the San Jose Sharks at GM Place.

San Jose, which leads the Pacific Division with 76 points and sits third in the Western Conference, has won two straight and six of its last nine contests. The Sharks are within five points of West-leading Detroit and just four back of second-place Colorado.

The Sharks continued their solid play Monday night, downing the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-2, at HP Pavilion. Jonathan Cheechoo scored twice in the third period to lift San Jose to the win.

Marco Sturm and Alyn McCauley also scored for the Sharks, who returned home after a six-game road trip to post their fifth straight win on home ice. Sturm now has a point in each of his last five games (4g, 4a).

Evgeni Nabokov made 24 saves in the victory. Nabokov is 20-15-7 between the pipes this season.

San Jose has dropped five of its last eight road tilts. For the year, the Sharks are 15-11-4-3 in foreign buildings.

Vancouver has registered at least a point in each of the last two contests (1-0-0-1). The Canucks posted an impressive 4-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night to move within three points of Northwest Division-leading Colorado. Vancouver is fourth in the West -- four points behind Detroit.

Daniel Sedin had a career game with four goals, including the go-ahead tally in the third period, as the Canucks picked up the win. It was the first-career hat trick for Sedin, who had 12 tallies entering the contest. Sedin has 12 goals and 12 assists in his last 22 games.

Canucks goaltender Dan Cloutier made 28 saves, as Vancouver won for just the second time in its last seven games (2-4-0-1).

Vancouver is just 4-8-2 in its last 14 games at GM Place. On the season, the Canucks have tallied a 15-10-5-0 record at home.

Vancouver centerman Trevor Linden needs one point to become the Canucks' all- time leading scorer. Linden and Stan Smyl are tied with 673 points.

The Sharks have won four straight meetings in this series. San Jose has posted an 8-2-1 mark in the last 11 meetings. The Sharks have recorded a 4-2-1 record in their last seven trips to Vancouver.

02/26 10:18:44 ET

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