Rookie Tomas Hertl takes his show on the road Thursday, when his San Jose Sharks visit the Vancouver Canucks. Hertl was tremendous during San Jose's perfect season-opening three-game homestand, recording a league-leading six goals and an assist. The 19-year-old Czech, who was selected 17th overall in the 2012 draft, followed a two-goal performance against Phoenix on Saturday with a four-goal outburst in Tuesday's 9-2 rout of the New York Rangers.
The Canucks also enter Thursday with a three-game winning streak. After dropping a 4-1 decision at San Jose in the season opener for both teams, Vancouver trounced Edmonton at home before posting overtime victories at Calgary and versus New Jersey. Defenseman Jason Garrison scored his team-leading third goal at 2:18 of the extra session to give Roberto Luongo the win over former creasemate Cory Schneider, who was traded to the Devils on draft day in June.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, CSN California (San Jose), RSN (Vancouver)
ABOUT THE SHARKS (3-0-0): With his four goals, Hertl matched the franchise record for a single game set by Owen Nolan on Dec. 19, 1995. He also became the first player in club history to register at least six tallies in his first three contests. "It's crazy," Hertl said of Tuesday's effort. "This is a dream, four goals. I never (scored four) in the Czech league, I never had three." Overshadowed by his fellow rookie, Matt Nieto recorded a goal and two assists for his first career points.
ABOUT THE CANUCKS (3-1-0): Despite competing with Schneider for the starting goaltender job last season, Luongo never made the battle personal and had nothing but praise for his former teammate. "He was able to get a point for his team," Luongo said. "He played extremely well. He was a big reason why they got it to overtime." Garrison has three goals in four games after netting eight in 47 contests last season. He scored a career-best 16 goals in 77 games with Florida in 2011-12.
1. San Jose captain Joe Thornton notched his 789th career assist Tuesday, tying him with Peter Stastny for 32nd place on the all-time list.
2. Vancouver is a perfect 15-for-15 on the penalty kill.
3. Canucks captain Henrik Sedin has six assists in the first four games, while LW Daniel Sedin also has begun the season with a four-game point streak during which he's collected two goals and four assists.
PREDICTION: Sharks 4, Canucks 2