Sharks clock Canucks, remain unbeaten
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Matt Pelech didn't waste any time making an impression after he rejoined the San Jose Sharks from the minor leagues Thursday.
Pelech recorded the decisive score, his first career NHL goal, in the closing seconds of the first period as the Sharks topped the Vancouver Canucks 4-1.
"I just kind of one-touched it, and it went over (Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo's) shoulder," said Pelech, a 26-year-old Toronto native who was recalled for his second stint in the NHL this season from Worcester of the American Hockey League.
The rest of the Sharks (4-0-0) made a pretty good impression, too, getting goals from four players. San Jose posted its second victory in a week over the Canucks and ninth in a row including the 2012-13 regular season and playoffs, when they swept Vancouver in the first round.
"Vancouver has been on a good streak, too, and their (penalty-killing) has been unbelievable," said Pelech. "So to come in here in this building, they have a lot of energy in here. It's great to get a big road win."
Vancouver (3-2-0) saw its winning streak end at three games. Both of the Canucks' losses were against the Sharks.
Pelech's goal at 19:02 of the first period gave the Sharks an insurmountable 2-0 lead. The milestone moment didn't do any favors for his uncle, who happens to be Canucks general manager Mike Gillis.
"It felt awesome," Pelech said. "It was a really good feeling to see that go in. Obviously, they would like to have the win, but hopefully he's happy for me, too."
Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Patrick Marleau and Brent Burns also scored for the Sharks, who outshot Vancouver 29-26. Burns had an empty-net goal in the final three minutes. Joe Thornton and Logan Couture both contributed two assists to the win.
Mike Santorelli scored the lone goal for the Canucks.
"I thought the first period we were little bit tentative, and against a team like that, you've gotta play 60 minutes to give yourself a chance," Luongo said.
Santorelli cut Vancouver's deficit in half as he deflected in a Ryan Stanton shot midway through the second period. Marleau gave the Sharks a 3-1 lead less than two minutes later as he one-timed Tyler Kennedy's pass from the corner.
The Sharks could have built a bigger advantage before and after that goal, but Luongo made a number of timely saves to prevent the Canucks from getting blown out. Luongo finished with 25 saves.
Tempers flared moments before the end of the second period as Edler's shoulder connected with Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl's head, knocking Hertl's helmet off in front of the San Jose bench. A scuffle ensued in Luongo's crease, but nothing came of it.
However, Sharks coach Todd McLellan hopes the league takes action.
"No doubt there is contact to the head," McLellan said. "That is obvious. It's how it will be interpreted."
Determined which team controlled play in the third was simple, as the Canucks failed to mount a comeback as they had in their previous two games en route to wins over the Calgary Flames and New Jersey Devils.
Canucks winger Daniel Sedin was disappointed that his club did not do more on offense in the third period.
"It's a good team over there," he said. "Give them credit. If we play the way we can, I think we'll have a good chance against these guys. But for some reason, you can't get your forecheck going like you have to against this team. That's frustrating."
Canucks coach John Tortorella, who suffered his first loss at home, chastised his club for not doing more when it cut its deficit in half.
"We certainly didn't have enough players going to make a difference," Tortorella said.
NOTES: Canucks RW Zack Kassian served the fifth and final game of his suspension for a preseason slashing incident. He will be eligible to play Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens. ... Santorelli was officially credited with the winning goal against New Jersey in overtime Tuesday night. The goal originally went to Jason Garrison, but a review showed that his shot hit Santorelli on the way into the net. Santorelli became the first player in Canucks history to register back-to-back overtime winners. ... The Sharks took exception to the Vancouver Province publishing off-color jibes Thursday from Sharks captain Joe Thornton. The San Jose center waded into a scrum as Marleau was answering a TV reporter's questions on rookie Hertl's four-goal night Tuesday against the New York Rangers. "I don't think it would be a surprise to anyone in the industry that 'locker room talk' exists," Sharks director of media relations Scott Emmert said in a prepared statement. "Professional reporters understand that concept and respect it." One of Hertl's goals came on a shot through his legs, prompting continual discussion around the league. ... The Sharks played their first road game of the season.