(Sports Network) - The San Jose Sharks are hoping to better their playoff
chances by extending their longest winning streak since the opening month of
The Sharks take aim at a fifth straight victory on Monday night as they host
the Vancouver Canucks, who aim to rebound after having their season high-tying
winning streak halted.
San Jose has won consecutive games for just the second time since it set a
franchise record by winning its first seven games of the season. The Sharks
current four-game run began with a home-and-home sweep of the Pacific
Division-leading Anaheim Ducks and they took the home portion by a 4-0 margin.
That victory also opened a seven-game homestand and San Jose notched its
second straight shutout victory on Thursday with a 2-0 decision over the
Detroit Red Wings, two days before besting the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 in a
Antti Niemi, who was in net for the back-to-back blankings, saw his shutout
streak end at 136 minutes, 23 seconds when he gave up a first-period goal at
the 14:43 mark, but ended with 27 saves and stopped all three skaters faced in
the shootout to defeat the Coyotes.
Logan Couture had the lone tally of the tiebreaker, while Joe Pavelski scored
in a fourth straight game to match a career high and had an assist.
"When you're in a little stretch like this you're just trying to remind
yourself to shoot the puck, and that's been a big part," said Pavelski. "It's
been a simple game. We've gotten a lot of pucks in deep. We got some good
looks tonight. We got some really good looks."
Marc-Edouard Vlasic also lit the lamp for the Sharks, who stand sixth overall
in the Western Conference with 40 points, one ahead of Detroit and three back
of the Los Angeles Kings.
San Jose will try to extend its winning streak by sweeping its three-game
season series with Vancouver. That includes a 4-1 victory on Jan. 27 that
snapped a four-game series home losing streak.
The Canucks had a six-game winning streak halted on Saturday with a 4-0
setback to the Edmonton Oilers. That left them tied with the Minnesota Wild
atop the Northwest Division, though the Canucks have two fewer wins and one
more game played.
The Wild are hosting the St. Louis Blues on Monday.
Vancouver was tagged early and often versus Edmonton as Cory Schneider was
pulled after giving up two goals on the only two shots he faced, including one
just 16 seconds into the game.
Schneider had given up just six goals with two shutouts over Vancouver's six-
game winning streak.
"You know, two shots, two goals. It's a terrible start to put your team in a
hole like that," Schneider said. "We plan on being prepared and it starts with
me in net and talk about making a big save or two to get you team in it,
settle down a little bit and I didn't do that. It costs us, put us in a hole
and we were never able to recover from it."
Roberto Luongo finished the game in net and gave up two goals on 22 shots.
The Sports Network