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Sharks aim to build momentum in Vancouver
(Sports Network) - The San Jose Sharks will try to put together their first winning streak in over a month when they visit the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday evening.
The Sharks won all seven of their games in January to post their best ever start to a season, but followed up by going just 2-6-4 in February. That skid dropped San Jose out of the top eight in the Western Conference, but it has jumped up to the sixth spot thanks to Saturday's 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators.
Dan Boyle and Joe Pavelski notched power-play goals, while Joe Thornton and Logan Couture each assisted on both markers. Thornton's two helpers gave him 1,100 career points.
The Sharks turned to an aggressive approach to win for the second time in three games. They had 39 shots in the game, including 16 in the first period and another 14 in the second.
"We had been struggling. We got to find a way to get back into this thing," Boyle said.
Antti Niemi stopped 18-of-19 shots in the win, one that did see forward Martin Havlat exit early with a lower body injury. He is not expected to travel with the club for a quick two-game swing through Vancouver and Calgary.
The loss of Havlat ahead of a pair of road games isn't great news for the Sharks, who are just 3-5-1 as the guest this season compared to 7-1-3 at home.
The Canucks are also looking to put some struggles behind them as they have lost three of four and six of their past nine (3-4-2). They needed some extra rest after Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Flames as they did not fly into Calgary until a few hours before the game due to a snow storm.
Still, Chris Higgins scored 7:49 into the game and Jannik Hansen's goal in the second period gave his club a one-goal lead before the Flames ripped off three straight to close the game.
"We're not going to make any excuses," said Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows. "We can't control everything in life. We just showed up, put our work boots on and played hard. ... Those are the things that are going to happen. We're going to move on and forget about this one."
Hansen also assisted on Higgins' goal, while Roberto Luongo made 21 saves.
The Canucks have won six of their last nine versus the Sharks, but did suffer a 4-1 setback in San Jose on Jan. 27.
Pavelski had two goals, while Patrick Marleau and Thornton had a goal and an assist each to back Niemi's 23 saves.
Burrows had Vancouver's only goal and Cory Schneider gave up all four goals on 27 shots faced.
The game was testy early as Burrows and San Jose's Ryan Clowe got into a shoving match off the opening faceoff and Clowe later picked up a fighting major in the opening period.
That wasn't all out of Clowe, who was later handed a game misconduct in the second period to highlight a game that featured a number of fights and rough stuff.
"Every time we play Vancouver it's like that. They don't like us, we don't like them," Couture said after that January meeting. "We expect a battle, and sometimes games get out of hand a little bit."
03/05 11:21:37 ET