Tue, 25 Feb 2020

Canucks handle Sharks, leap into Pacific lead

Field Level Media
19 Jan 2020, 15:55 GMT+10

Tanner Pearson collected one goal and one assist, while goaltender Thatcher Demko made 17 saves as the host Vancouver Canucks beat the San Jose Sharks 4-1 Saturday night and moved atop the Pacific Division standings.

The Canucks, who have won four of five games overall and eight straight at home, sit one point ahead of the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Vegas Golden Knights and Arizona Coyotes in the standings. It's the first time the top five teams in a division have been separated by one point since it was the case with the Norris Division on Jan. 1, 1987.

The Canucks dominated the first two periods and were finally rewarded when Loui Eriksson opened the scoring with 5:55 remaining in the middle frame. While the Canucks buzzed around the offensive zone, a loose puck came to Eriksson at the doorstep, and he deposited a backhander for his fifth goal of the season.

Pearson's power-play goal doubled the Vancouver lead 5:01 into the third period. As the Canucks raced into the offensive zone, Pearson drove to the net and redirected the crossing pass from Jake Virtanen for his 14th goal of the season.

San Jose, which managed only three shots in the first period, received a jolt when Barclay Goodrow made it a one-goal game a couple of minutes later -- with just his team's 11th shot on goal. Goodrow was at the crease and, with his second swipe at a loose puck, managed to collect his eighth goal of the season.

However, Quinn Hughes restored Vancouver's two-goal edge 37 seconds later. Hughes was set at his point position when the puck came to him, and his long wrist shot found the mark for his fifth goal of the campaign.

J.T. Miller rounded out the scoring when he converted the cross-ice pass from Virtanen with 4:33 remaining, his 17th tally of the season.

Goalie Aaron Dell made 35 saves for the Sharks, who have dropped three straight games and have fallen 11 points off the playoff pace.

The game marked the 1,616th career regular-season game for San Jose's Joe Thornton, which moved him into 10th place on the NHL's all-time list.

--Field Level Media

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