Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sharks Prey on Canucks Monday

It was not the ideal way to head into the Christmas break for the Vancouver Canucks. A combonation of undisciplined play, careless turnovers, and average goaltending all were contributing factors in a San Jose Sharks 5-0 win at the HP Pavillion Tuesday night.

One night after the Canucks skated away with a 4-3 win at home against the Anaheim Ducks, they wound up being bombarded by the hottest team in the NHL. Cory Schneider wound up getting blitzed early on as Rob Blake deposited a rebound that had rattled off the end boards. For Blake, who hadn't scored in nine games, it was his 6th of the season at 4:22.

Vancouver's first shot on goal didn't come until the 5:30 mark of the period. Shortly after that, the Canucks got into serious penalty trouble. Patrick Marleau snapped home his 18th of the season from the right face off cirlce at 5:55. Then Devin Setoguchi redirected a point shot by Marleau from the slot for his 17th of the year at 7:09.

There would be no more scoring in the opening period, one that saw the Sharks out-shoot their opponents 13-4. It didn't take long though for San Jose to build on their lead in the middle frame. Just 24 seconds in, Joe Thorton wound up beating Schneider with a forehand-to-backhand move at the top of the crease for his 9th of the campaign. Then 19 seconds later, Ryan Kesler turned over the puck inside his own blue line to Thomas Plihal who whistled home his 4th of the season.

That would be the end of the night for Schneider, who left after allowing five goals on 15 shots. He wound up being replaced by Curtis Sanford, who was very strong in keeping the door shut the rest of the way.

At the other end of the rink, Sharks netminder Evgeni Nabokov had little work to do to collect his second shut-out of the season. The Canucks wound up out-shooting the Sharks 33-31. Vancouver went 0-for-2 on the power play while the Sharks finished the night going 2-for-6.

Next up for the Canucks (19-13-2) will be a Boxing Day match-up at GM Place against the Edmonton Oilers. Game time is 7:00pm PST.

Have a wonderful Christmas wherever you may be reading this!

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