|VAN||3||2||1||(0 - 0)||6|
|SJS||0||0||2||(0 - 0)||2|
Similar to choosing winning lottery numbers without buying a ticket, picking up a victory in pre-season play is nice, but ultimately meaningless.
The Vancouver Canucks shellacked the San Jose Sharks 6-2 Friday night at the HP Pavilion and although it’ll mean bupkis once the regular season rolls around, this win meant a lot to the visitors.
The Canucks have fallen prey to the Sharks on quite a few occasions over the past few seasons, so beating them, and I mean really skating circles round them, was quite the sight.
The experimental line of Sergei Shirokov with Daniel and Henrik Sedin did almost all the damage for Vancouver with the trio amassing three goals, including two power play markers, and nine total points.
After Willie Mitchell and Dave Scatchard netted goals 67 seconds apart midway through the first period to put the Canucks up 2-0, Vancouver went to work on the power play looking to end this game early.
Shirokov, displaying uncanny Sedin-like vision, hit Henrik with a nifty cross-crease pass, he swiftly tapped the puck to Daniel in front and all Sharks netminder Thomas Greiss could do was pray he missed the shot.
He didn’t. Not even close.
That put the Canucks ahead 3-0 and after Henrik scored back-to-back goals before the second period was six minutes deep, Vancouver led 5-0 and all that was left to decide was whether or not netminder Andrew Raycroft would pick up the shutout.
The Sharks managed to beat Raycroft twice in the final frame, but it was too little too late with the Canucks keeper making 27 saves to backstop Vancouver to its third exhibition win in as many games.
Regardless of who the Canucks ice these days, the team can apparently do no wrong as they remain undefeated in pre-season action.
This was easily the most impressive of the three wins and it was largely because of the S-S-S Sedin-Sedin-Shirokov line that had the Sharks screaming S-O-S.
With Alex Burrows counting as the exception, no one has had much success playing with the Sedins right off the hop, but Shirokov held his ground.
Unfazed by skating with two of the NHL’s best offensive playmakers, Shirokov simply did his thing, much to the delight of Canucks coach Alain Vigneault.
“Training camp is a time of the year to try different experiences and without a doubt this young player has really caught our attention,” said Vigneault of Shirokov.
“It's a combination of a lot of things [that's impressing the coaching staff] - him being real confident with the puck, wanting the puck and wanting to shoot the puck.
“A lot of times a knock on Russian players is that they don't like to shoot the puck but this guy likes to shoot. Just overall his game, he's really upbeat and has a lot of energy.”
Shirokov has been in the spotlight since he arrived in Vancouver before the start of prospects camp and after convincing just about everyone in the lower mainland that he’s not your average Russian, the 23-year-old was promoted to Vancouver’s top line.
His first outing alongside the Sedins was impressive to say the least.
The same can be said for former San Jose defenceman Christian Ehrhoff in his first game back at the Shark Tank since being traded to Vancouver.
The speedy German blueliner, known for his strength as a passer, put that on display with the Canucks leading 4-0 when he sent a crisp cross-ice pass to Daniel Sedin on the power play. Daniel went right to Henrik and the puck went in the net.
With Vancouver leading 5-1 and the game winding down, Ehrhoff demonstrated his sharp shooting with a laser from the point that found the bottom left-hand corner.
Ehrhoff had two points on the night and helped lead a rugged Canucks defensive unit that held the Sharks to under 30 shots, many of which Raycroft handled with ease.
Vancouver was 2-for-6 on the power play and flawless on the penalty kill stopping San Jose on all four of its attempts.
Vancouver returns home Saturday night to face the Edmonton Oilers, another team sitting at 3-0 in exhibition play.
|Cody Hodgson (1) Slapshot - ASST: Alexandre Burrows (1), Michael Grabner (1)|
2 - 0 VAN
|PPG - Daniel Sedin (1) Deflected shot - ASST: Henrik Sedin (1), Sergei Shirokov (1)|
3 - 0 VAN
|Henrik Sedin (1) Slapshot - ASST: NONE|
5 - 0 VAN
|PPG - Henrik Sedin (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Daniel Sedin (1), Christian Ehrhoff (1)|
5 - 0 VAN
|Jed Ortmeyer (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Nick Petrecki (1), Patrick Marleau (1)|
5 - 1 VAN
|Jamie McGinn (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Patrick Marleau (2), Rob Blake (1)|
6 - 2 VAN