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HomeSportsHockeyNHL News: Contrasting teams take ice as Canucks visit Sharks

NHL News: Contrasting teams take ice as Canucks visit Sharks


As the NHL’s highest-scoring team, the Vancouver Canucks have received plenty of production from their top-end players.

The Canucks head into Saturday’s road clash against the cellar-dwelling San Jose Sharks having received a major boost from the lesser-known players who contributed offensively in their most recent victory.

The Canucks are coming off Friday’s 5-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken in which Teddy Blueger, Dakota Joshua and Nils Hoglander scored.

Quinn Hughes extended his point streak to 10 games and with 32 points already this season, is tied for the sixth most points by a defenseman through the first 21 games of a season (Bobby Orr holds the record with 40) but having other skaters step forward offensively takes burden away from the top guns.

“You want everyone to contribute. It’s tough to just rely on a few guys throughout the year,” Blueger said.

“Hopefully we can build some confidence off of that and keep that going. Definitely a good feeling for myself and (Johnson) to put that one in.”

The Canucks will be playing their fourth game in six nights when they face the Sharks, and ending a heavy stretch with 10 games in 17 nights.

By breaking open the Seattle clash with a trio of third-period goals, the Canucks showed they are capable of executing a game plan amid a tough situation. That same style could come in handy against the Sharks in a potential trap game.

“I think everybody’s waiting for us to fall apart. These are nice wins,” coach Rick Tocchet said.

“We’ve got to learn how to play tired, and that third period, we held it together. If we play the right way and use everybody, we can win those games.”

The Sharks, who sit at the bottom of the league standings, are coming off Friday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens in which they surrendered a two-goal lead.

San Jose has dropped three consecutive games and managed only one victory in its past seven outings (1-5-1).

“Disappointed because (we were) up 2-0 and they found a way to tie it, which is unfortunate,” Sharks coach David Quinn said. “But you’re going to have bad nights in this league from time to time, and you want to make sure they don’t turn into two bad nights in a row.”

With how the season has gone, and a playoff push unlikely, the Sharks must take any moral victories they can find.

In this case, they can point to earning a lead and outshooting a team for the first time this season.

“We played a pretty good hockey game,” said Tomas Hertl, who assisted both of his team’s goals. “We didn’t give them much, but the chances we gave them they cashed in. It’s tough because we deserved two points.”

“The team effort was way better,” added William Eklund, who collected one goal and one assist in his first career multipoint game. “I think our compete level was way better. So if we play like this, we are going to have a chance to win more games.”

San Jose forward Filip Zadina left the game after the first period due to an upper-body injury but there was no update on his status for Saturday’s contest.

–Field Level Media

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