The San Jose Sharks have struggled on a more consistent basis this season than the Vancouver Canucks, finding themselves entering action with the 2nd fewest points in the National Hockey League.
That said, they’re also just two points above having the best odds at winning the NHL Draft Lottery in May, and the first selection of North Vancouver’s Connor Bedard, a member of the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats.
So there’s that, but in the meantime, Vancouver took care of business with goaltender Thatcher Demko at their end and James Reimer at the other.
The Sharks weren’t much of a foe.
Filip Hronek played his first game for Vancouver after being acquired before the trade deadline from the Detroit Red Wings and then waiting out an injury. He’d play 24:25, have three hits and finish a plus-2.
Canucks Goal Scorers
1-0 Canucks – Even Strength – J.T. Miller (29) Unassisted, 6:15
Miller picked off a Tomas Hertl pass in the San Jose zone, skated into the left wing circle and ripped one short side.
2-0 Canucks – Even Strength – Andrei Kuzmenko (35) from Elias Pettersson and Anthony Beauvillier, 8:17
‘Koozy’ deked through Shark traffic in the slot and backhanded a shot past a shuffling Reimer.
3-1 Canucks – Even Strength – Dakota Joshua (10) from Conor Garland and Nils Aman, 19:59
Joshua finished off a 3-on-2 by taking a pass and deking in front to the backhand, scoring with less than a second left.
4-1 Canucks – Even Strength – Conor Garland (13) from Tyler Myers and Andrei Kuzmenko, 12:24
Garland knocked down a puck and backhanded it home at the right post with Reimer out of position.
5-2 Canucks – Even Strength – Vasily Podkolzin (4) from Tyler Myers and Dakota Joshua, 10;10
“Pods” cruised into the slot and unleashed a shot that beat Reimer high glove.
6-2 Canucks – Even Strength – Phil Di Giuseppe (7) from Quinn Hughes and J.T. Miller, 11:28
Big Di deflected Hughes’s shot from the left point.
7-2 Canucks – Shorthanded – Sheldon Dries (11) from Phil Di Giuseppe, 19:46
Vancouver shares the league lead with 13 shorties; this time Dries goes backhand over Reimer cutting to the net.
— Vancouver outshot San Jose 21-19. Power play: Vancouver 0-for-5, San Jose 0-for-1
— Vancouver has defeated San Jose nine consecutive times.
Vancouver 3 Stars:
1) Andrei Kuzmenko – Bounced back from a benching to tally a goal and assist with 3 shots on goal.
2) Conor Garland – A pretty pass for an assist and in the right spot at the right time for a goal.
3) Tylers Myers – The big D-man finished with two assists.