The San Jose Sharks remained one of the league’s few unbeaten teams Thursday evening with a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.
The Sharks had a very balanced attack in the victory, getting goals from all four lines that skated. Patrick Marleau, Matt Pelech, Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic each scored for San Jose and Antti Niemi made 25 saves in net for the victory. Logan Couture and Joe Thornton each had a pair of assists in the game.
Captain Joe Thornton said, “We’re just deep — really, really deep — and we want to come at you every night, and we have been doing that early. That’s how our offense has been this year, all four lines have been going good, and I don’t think [coach Todd McLellan] is afraid to put anybody on the ice right now. It’s nice seeing everyone can score.”
Vlasic was the first to put the puck in the back of the net and San Jose on the scoreboard with a cross-ice pass from Brent Burns that he was able to slap past Roberto Luongo at 12:16 of the first period.
Pelech pushed the score to 2-0 in the final minute of the first period, taking a pass from James Sheppard behind the net and shooting it over Luongo’s glove from the top of the crease.
Mike Santorelli got the Canucks within a goal with his fourth goal in the past three games early in the second period, but that was that Niemi would allow to Vancouver.
Marleau cut off any momentum that Vancouver may have by answering back just 95 seconds after Santorelli’s goal with one of his own to push San Jose’s advantage to 3-1.
Burns capped the evenings scoring with an empty netter at 17:41 in the third period.
San Jose had a hot start last season as well, winning seven in a row before going on an equally long losing streak. Thornton does not believe that will be the case this season, stating that this team now “knows what to do with leads.”
Thornton notes the difference between last year and this year, “We relied on our power play a lot. This year, it is five-on-five, it is four lines, it is six D. We’re winning by community right now.”
As a side note to the game, it is the first time this season that 19-year old rookie Tomas Hertl has been kept off the scoring column of the stat sheet.
The Sharks will be back at the SAP Center in San Jose on Saturday to take on the Ottawa Senators at 7:00 PM.