SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Miikka Kiprusoff knew a day in advance
that he'd be in goal for San Jose. That's all the time he needed.
Kiprusoff, getting his first start in 12 games, stopped 29 shots
for his third career shutout as the Sharks beat Vancouver 3-0 on
Saturday night to snap a four-game winless streak.
Kiprusoff, who also shut out Vancouver last March 9, improved to
3-2 in five career games against the Canucks. Vancouver goalie
Peter Skudra is 0-3-1 in four games against the Sharks.
"It's always fun to play when you know it's going to be a tough
game," Kiprusoff said. "I'm usually told a day ahead of time when
I'm going to start and that's enough time. The defense played a
great game in front of me."
Canucks coach Marc Crawford remains one victory away from tying
Harry Neale's franchise record of 142.
"He saw all the pucks and when that happens, goaltenders have
the best chance of stopping the puck," Vancouver's Matt Cooke said
of Kiprusoff. "With guys in the front of the net he can't come out
and get his angles quite as well as he did tonight."
"You can easily say tonight our penalty killing made the
difference," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "Kipper in goal didn't
make any mistakes and that helped."
The Canucks were 0-for-4 on the power play.
The Sharks last won on Dec. 30, while the Canucks, who beat San
Jose in their two previous meetings, lost their second straight
following a three-game winning streak.
"You could tell we weren't sharp," Crawford said. "We had a
lot of missed nets, bouncing pucks and those sorts of things. We
really didn't generate the number of chances we wanted."
Damphousse opened the scoring with his 12th goal on a power-play
with 54 seconds remaining in the first period.
"It was a pretty even game for both teams," Skudra said.
"They got the first goal on a broken play."
Marleau made it 2-0 with 3:44 left in the second, redirecting a
shot by Fahey past Skudra. Sundstrom added an empty-net goal in the
final minute for his 300th NHL point.
"We were solid all the way around and that's something to build
on," Marleau said. "Kip played great for us. He stopped a lot of
shots and the defense got their stocks in there."
Vancouver's Markus Naslund, the NHL leader with 31 goals, failed
to score for the first time in seven games.
"In my mind it could have gone either way," Naslund said. "We
didn't capitalize on our chances early and they did. Their goalie
played well, and when you're down two goals going into the third
it's tough to get it back.
Sharks captain Owen Nolan did not play because of a groin
injury. Mike Ricci wore the captain's ``C'' in place of Nolan. ...
Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov was on the bench after making 11
consecutive starts. ... San Jose's Teemu Selanne was selected to
start in the All-Star game. ... The Canucks outshot their opponents
for the seventh straight game.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: SAP Center Location: San Jose, California
Referees: Rob Martell Linesmen: Lonnie Cameron, Brian Mach
Attendance: 17,496 (100.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Vincent Damphousse (12)
(Power Play) Assists: Teemu Selanne, Jim Fahey
Patrick Marleau (14)
Assists: Jim Fahey, Todd Harvey
Niklas Sundstrom (2)
(Empty Net) Assists: Dan McGillis, Teemu Selanne