Hockey: Boyle, Nabokov pace San Jose
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Dan Boyle scored the go-ahead goal on a power play 6:15 into the second period, and Evgeni Nabokov made 28 saves to lead the San Jose Sharks to a 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.
Manny Malhotra scored on a breakaway with 2:35 left and Jamie McGinn made it 4-1 on a scramble in front 13 seconds later for San Jose. Frazer McLaren also scored his first NHL goal for the Sharks, who have won four of their past five games and lead the league with 40 points.
Kyle Wellwood scored two minutes in and set up Jannik Hansen’s meaningless goal with 6.3 seconds left in the game, and Roberto Luongo made 26 saves as the Canucks, playing for a second straight night, lost for just the second time in six games.
Boyle gave the Sharks the lead on the second of three straight power plays to start a second period dominated by San Jose. Luongo stopped Joe Thornton’s high shot from the left circle, but the rebound went right to Boyle on the other side and he snapped it in before the goalie could recover.
The assist extended Thornton’s point streak to eight games, giving him three goals and 15 points in that stretch. San Jose outshot the Canucks 15-4 in the second period.
Nabokov was at his busiest in the third, stopping the first 12 shots, including a skate save on Ryan Kesler’s redirection in front with 7:16 left, before Hansen redirected Wellwood’s shot from the top of the crease.
Wellwood, whose only other goal this season was into an empty net two games ago, opened the scoring on a 2-on-1 with a low shot past Nabokov’s blocker.
McLaren, a tough guy playing his 10th NHL game, tied it 10 minutes later, going to the net to redirect Joe Pavelski’s pass out of the corner past Luongo. San Jose almost took the lead after Luongo gave the puck away behind his own net, but the first period ended just before Jed Ortmeyer tucked it into the vacated goal.
The Canucks went 4 for 5 on the power play against the Oilers the night before, moving up to second in the NHL. But they failed to register even a shot in four chances against San Jose’s top-ranked penalty kill unit. The Sharks’ third-ranked power play finished 1 for 5 against Vancouver s 22nd place penalty killing.
Already leading the NHL standings, the Sharks got captain Rob Blake back on defense after he missed 11 games with an upper-body injury, and speedy third-year forward Devon Setoguchi returned after missing five with a leg injury.