VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- The Vancouver Canucks are a lot more worried about the loss of two teammates than the end of
the NHL's longest unbeaten streak.
Owen Nolan and Vincent Damphousse had a goal and an assist
apiece as the San Jose Sharks snapped Vancouver's 14-game unbeaten
streak 3-2 Thursday night. Patrick Marleau also scored, and Evgeni
Nabokov made 23 saves for the Sharks, who have won three straight
games for just the second time all season.
But the Canucks, who started without No.1 goaltender Dan
Cloutier (sprained knee), were more concerned about losing Todd
Bertuzzi and Mattias Ohlund.
"The injuries are bigger because you want to keep your key
players in the lineup,'' said captain Markus Naslund, who took over
the NHL scoring lead with a third-period assist. "I'm just hoping
and keeping my fingers crossed that it's going to be a short one
and they'll be back soon.''
The early indications appeared positive for Bertuzzi, who left
4:20 into the second period after he was hit flush near the left
eye by the tip of Nabokov's stick. But it was less clear for
Ohlund, who had to be helped off the ice less than 12 minutes later
with a left knee injury.
"Todd looks like he'll be fine to accompany us (on a road trip)
and should be all right to play the next game,'' said coach Marc
Crawford. "Mattias will be out a few days and we'll have to see
how it is and how it settles down.''
Bertuzzi, who started the game fifth in NHL scoring with 73
points, was clipped as Nabokov followed through on a clearing
"I tried to put the puck around the boards and, unfortunately,
I think I even felt it in my stick how it hit his face,'' Nabokov
said. "Obviously you never want to do that type of thing. I felt
Ohlund left after a collision along the boards with Matt Bradley
after the whistle, and the Canucks, trailing 3-0 at the time,
"It was a valiant comeback, but we let them for two periods
really have their way, and you can't do that, Crawford said.
San Jose tripled its lead on the power play in the second
First it was on a breakaway by Nolan. Then Marleau finished off
a pretty give-and-go with Teemu Selanne midway through the period.
"We just tried to jump on a team early that's been playing
really well,'' said Nolan, who has two goals and three assists in
the last three games.
Despite their recent streak, the Sharks remain eight points back
of eighth-place Edmonton in the Western Conference, making the next
two games on this trip -- in Calgary and Edmonton -- all the more
"We've got to be fired up and ready to go just like we were
tonight, Nolan added. "It's pretty much do or die. We can't win
three games, lose one, win two games, lose one. We've got to put a
string together here.''
For a while it looked like that string might not make it out of
Vancouver. The Canucks, on a 10-0-4 run coming in, came on after
Skudra made a couple of brilliant saves during a lengthy 5-on-3
late in the period, and Malik put Vancouver on the board 3:54 into
the third. Naslund, stopped on a breakaway late in the second, sent
wrist shot from the right wing and Malik snapped in the rebound on
the other side.
"There was lots of emotion in this game,'' said Nalsund, who
has 84 points, one more than Mario Lemieux. "It's just too bad we
didn't use it until the third."
Sedin pulled the Canucks within a goal on a wraparound at 8:07,
but they couldn't get the tying goal.
Nabokov, who was great early in the game, made a sprawling stop
on Trent Klatt during a 3-on-2 with eight minutes left.
The Sharks finished 2-for-6 with the man advantage and held the
Canucks scoreless on four-power play chances, extending their
perfect penalty-killing streak to eight games and 30 chances.
Things got a little ugly shortly after Ohlund's injury
as Darren Langdon took a two-minute instigator and 10-minute
misconduct trying to fight through the linesmen to get at Bryan
Marchment after he kneed Mats Lindgren. ... Vancouver also was
missing C Artem Chubarov because of an abdominal strain. Cloutier,
Ohlund and Chubarov will stay in Vancouver when the Canucks leave
Friday to start a five-game trip in Montreal on Saturday.