The talented Canucks failed to live up to expectations this season.
Naslund scored three goals in less than seven minutes of the
second period as Vancouver beat the reeling San Jose Sharks 5-2
Brendan Morrison had a goal and two assists during the Canucks'
five-goal outburst in the first 7:14 of the second. Naslund started
his eighth career hat trick 31 seconds into the period, and
finished it with an unassisted score after stealing Mike Rathje's
pass behind the net.
"I knew that a game like this would come eventually,'' said
Naslund, who had just two goals in his first six games after
scoring 40 last season. ''(A rally) makes a big difference. It kind
of takes the edge off of a lot of problems. There is a different
atmosphere when you win.''
It was a dramatic turnaround for the Canucks, who scored just
nine goals while going 0-2-2 in their previous four games.
Vancouver's offense didn't do much before or after that rally, but
it was enough to beat the Sharks.
Trent Klatt also scored for the Canucks. Their second-period
roll was so emphatic that even coach Marc Crawford was impressed.
"We got a little bit fortunate with the goal explosion in the
second,'' he said. "Obviously, they want their goaltending to be a
little sharper, but we did some good things tonight. We went to the
net really well and got some goals because of it.''
Ed Jovanovski had two assists as the Canucks launched 35 shots
and won for the first time since beating the Sharks 5-3 nine days
earlier. Vancouver lost all four meetings with San Jose last
Teemu Selanne scored in the first period for the Sharks, who are
1-4-0-0 in a season when many expected them to contend for the
Stanley Cup. The defending Pacific Division champions collapsed
with a series of defensive blunders in their worst defensive period
in more than six years.
"I think it's been really consistent with every game other than
the one (victory),'' Sharks coach Darryl Sutter said. "Our
defensive commitment just isn't there on a shift-to-shift basis.
It's not a deep thing. You want to be successful, play defense.''
The Sharks still don't have goalie Evgeni Nabokov or defenseman
Brad Stuart. Both players are holding out, and their replacements
were inadequate against the Canucks.
"We hope they get signed, but as players, you can't worry about
guys who aren't in this room,'' San Jose's Mike Ricci said.
"They're not going to help us.''
The Sharks have allowed 22 goals -- worst in the Western
Conference, even though more than half of the West teams have
played more games than San Jose.
Rookie Vesa Toskala, making his third straight start in goal,
was pulled by Sutter after Morrison's shorthanded goal two minutes
into the second gave Vancouver a 2-1 lead. Miikka Kiprusoff didn't
fare any better, allowing two goals in 30 seconds before Naslund
completed his hat trick as Sharks fans booed.
San Jose hadn't allowed five goals in a period since Oct. 8,
1996, at Colorado. To top it all off, Sharks captain Owen Nolan
left in the first period with a strained groin and didn't return.
Ricci added a power-play goal for San Jose midway through the
third period, but the lower bowl of the Shark Tank was half-empty
by the time he did it.
"There's a thousand theories, but theories are for
scientists,'' Ricci said. "We're too stupid for that. We've just
got to get back to the X's and O's.''
Dan Cloutier, playing for the sixth time in Vancouver's seven
games, stopped 30 shots in an easy night of work.
The Sharks went up 1-0 on Selanne's power-play goal just 3:56
in, but they committed three penalties in 64 seconds a few moments
later. San Jose killed off Vancouver's entire power play, but
failed to score during 49 seconds of two-man advantage later in the
San Jose played its final home game before a six-game road
trip, while the Canucks finished a three-game road trip before a
four-game homestand. ... The Sharks wore their nondescript third
jerseys, falling to 10-7-0-1 while wearing the black sweaters. ...
Canucks center Trevor Linden is expected to return from a sprained
knee ligament later in the week. ... D Lynn Loyns made his NHL
debut, playing nearly four minutes in the third period.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: SAP Center Location: San Jose, California
Referees: Paul Devorski, Kevin Pollock Linesmen: Lonnie Cameron, Don Henderson
Attendance: 16,983 (97.1% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Teemu Selanne (3)
(Power Play) Assists: Patrick Marleau, Marco Sturm
Markus Naslund (3)
Assists: Brendan Morrison, Mattias Ohlund
Brendan Morrison (3)
(Shorthanded) Assists: Matt Cooke, Ed Jovanovski
Markus Naslund (4)
Assists: Brendan Morrison, Todd Bertuzzi
Trent Klatt (3)
Assists: Daniel Sedin, Ed Jovanovski
Markus Naslund (5)
Mike Ricci (2)
(Power Play) Assist: Vincent Damphousse