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August 12, 2022

NHL: Sharks rally past Canucks in opener

Despite a 0 for 7 effort on the power play, the San Jose Sharks pulled out a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in the season opener for both clubs Thursday night at SAP Center at San Jose.
After spotting the Canucks one goal in the first period, San Jose struck for two goals in each of the final two periods.
“Five on five, we were really strong when we needed to be,” said San Jose coach Todd McLellan.
Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi made 21 saves against the new Pacific Division rival. The Canucks and Sharks had not been in the same division since 1997.
“Our goaltender was good in the second half when he needed to be,” added McLellan.
The only goal posted against Niemi came 9:04 into the first period on the visitors’ first power play opportunity. Defenseman Jason Garrison fired a low shot inside the right post from the high slot off a feed from Daniel Sedin.
After going scoreless in the first period — despite 16 shots on net against Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luonogo — San Jose pulled even 5:53 into second period with the first of four 5 on 5 goals for the home team.
Captain Joe Thornton jabbed the puck away from Garrison outside the Canuck blueline, then found a streaking Tomas Hertl headed into the Vancouver zone along the right boards. Hertl’s quick pass to linemate Brent Burns set up a Burns shot from the right circle than dipped inside the right post.
San Jose earned a 5 on 3 power play for a full two minutes after Canucks Ryan Kesler and Garrison earned penalties. San Jose managed four shots on net but left the power play with a 1-1 deadlock.
“When you don’t score 5 on 2 for two minutes, we had to take a deep breath and start all over,” McLellan said of the missed opportunity.
“We’re a veteran group,”  Logan Couture, who had two assists for the Sharks, said of the 5 on 3 chance. “We got over it.”
Defenseman Justin Braun notched the game-winning goal at 18:07 of the second period. Marc-Edouard Vlasic set Braun up with a cross-ice pass inside the blueline before Braun’s slapshot from the right point flew past Couture at the crease and behind Luongo.
“It was king of a disjointed game with all the penalties, especially in the second period,” said Vancouver coach John Tortorella. “We turned a couple over after we scored the first goal, then they surged and we lost momentum.”
Couture poached the puck from Canuck Chris Higgins in the Vancouver zone, then found an advancing Patrick Marleau at the left circle for a one-timer past Luongo at 14:39 of the third. Tommy Wingels completed the scoring at 15:57 when he tapped in a feed from Andrew Desjardins at the end of a 2 on 0 rush.

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