Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Saturday, October 12th
Game 2: Monday, October 21st
Game 3: Saturday, January 11th
Game 4: Thursday, February 27th

Canucks 5

(3-2-0, 8 pts)

Sharks 2

(1-4-0, 2 pts)

10:30 PM ET, October 21, 2002

SAP Center, San Jose, California

1 2 3 T
VAN 0 5 05
SJ 1 0 12

M. Naslund (Canucks - LW): Goals: 3, Assists: 0

B. Morrison (Canucks - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

T. Klatt (Canucks - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Naslund scores all three goals in second period

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Once Markus Naslund got things started, the Vancouver Canucks followed their captain into a scoring frenzy.

Markus Naslund

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 Monday night.

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 season.

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 period.

Game notes

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