Evander Kane scored two goals as the visiting San Jose Sharks downed the Vancouver Canucks 7-2 on Monday night for their sixth consecutive victory. Kane now has five goals in his past three games and 15 goals in 16 games since January 1. The Canucks took their fourth loss in five games.
Tomas Hertl, Joe Pavelski and Melker Karlsson each provided a goal and an assist for San Jose, which led 3-1 and 6-1 after the opening two periods.
Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc also tallied for the Sharks. San Jose veteran center Joe Thornton recorded his 1,050th career assist, overtaking Gordie Howe for ninth place on the NHL’s all-time helper list. Logan Couture had two assists for the Sharks.
Bo Horvat and Derrick Pouliot scored for the Canucks. San Jose goaltender Martin Jones recorded 25 saves on 27 shots while playing in front of friends and family members in his hometown. Vancouver counterpart Mikey DiPietro, 19, stopped 17 of 24 in his NHL debut.
The Sharks gave DiPietro a rude welcome as they dominated early and scored on three of their first five shots.
Meier opened the scoring on San Jose’s first shot – 1:04 into the game – as he whipped Couture’s pass from behind the net.
Pavelski also earned an assist on the play, recording his 400th career helper. Kane put the Sharks up 2-0 on a fluke goal just over two minutes later. He lofted a high backhand shot from the blue line that bounced in off Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton’s glove and DiPietro’s blocker. Karlsson gave the Sharks a 3-0 lead at 8:48 of the first as he deflected in a Brent Burns wrist shot. Horvat put the Canucks on the scoreboard with 6.4 seconds left in the opening stanza as he one-timed Elias Pettersson’s cross-ice pass.
However, the Sharks secured the win with three unanswered goals, from Kane, Hertl and Labanc in the middle frame. Thornton reached his milestone by setting up Labanc on a two-on-one. Labanc’s goal was his fourth in two games. The Canucks trailed 6-1 despite outshooting the Sharks 22-15 in the first 40 minutes.
Pouliot reduced Vancouver’s deficit to 6-2 at 4:05 of the third period. He converted a pass from winger Zack MacEwen, who also made his NHL debut after being called up from Utica of the AHL.
Pavelski closed out the scoring on a deflection 59 seconds later.
DiPietro started after being promoted on an emergency basis earlier this month from Ottawa of the Ontario Hockey League.
He is filling in for injured backup Thatcher Demko (knee) as the Canucks organization deals with a spate of goaltender health woes.
Crosby, Penguins beat Flyers,
snap 4-game skid
Sidney Crosby had one goal and two assists while Nick Bjugstad, Jake Guentzel and Kris Letang each scored one goal to lift the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins past the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 on Monday.
Penguins goaltender Matt Murray was outstanding while stopping a career-high 50 shots as the Penguins snapped a four-game losing streak.
The Penguins also improved to 24-0-1 this season when leading after two periods. Jake Voracek scored for the Flyers, who had won nine of 10 games coming in with a 10-game streak of securing points.
Flyers goaltender Carter Hart made 24 saves and had a personal eight-game winning streak broken.
Crosby scored the initial goal of the game as the puck bounced directly in front and he easily tapped it in a 1-0 advantage as Hart was out of the net. Crosby’s 24th goal of the season came at 8:19.
Voracek nearly tied the game with 56 seconds left in the first but had his wrist shot stopped by Murray.
The Flyers were not able to capitalise on a power play, and the Penguins took advantage as Bjugstad scored at 7:04 of the second period for a 2-0 lead. Bjugstad’s goal came in his 400th career NHL game.
Nolan Patrick appeared to slice the lead in half with 7:07 left in the second, but the officials disallowed the goal because of an early whistle despite the fact that Murray never appeared to have control of the puck.
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