• My Scores
  • NCAA FB
  • NHL
  • MLB
  • NFL
  • NBA
  • Golf

Vancouver at San Jose

Sharks get closer to clinching top spot in West, but will need help

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The biggest indication of how chippy the third period got between San Jose and Vancouver came when the referee screamed at Ryane Clowe to sit down in the Sharks penalty box.

When Clowe yelled back there was no space left because five of his teammates were also in the box, he was told: "Sit on the guy's lap."

Western Conference
SeedTeamGPPTSROW
1p-Chicago487730
2y-Anaheim486624
3y-Vancouver485921
4x-St. Louis486024
5x-Los Angeles485925
6x-San Jose485717
7x-Detroit485622
8x-Minnesota485522
Eliminated
9o-Columbus485519
10o-Phoenix485117
11o-Dallas484820
12o-Edmonton484517
13o-Calgary484219
14o-Nashville484114
15o-Colorado483914
Complete Playoff Race

The Sharks survived the penalty-filled third period to beat the Canucks 4-2 on Thursday and move a step closer to clinching the top spot in the Western Conference.

San Jose had a 4-0 lead after two periods and held on for the key victory after a third period that featured 76 penalty minutes, including 56 in a 38-second span.

That led to a comical situation where the Sharks had six players in a penalty box so crowded that Devin Setoguchi and Scott Nichol needed to stand. A seventh player, Niclas Wallin, was in the locker room after getting a fighting major, a roughing penalty and a 10-minute misconduct.

"We perhaps lost our composure a little bit," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. "What I liked about it was there was emotion. It's probably good for both teams heading into the playoffs. Both teams stood their ground. Instead of cruising through the night, we were still involved in the game."

Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Manny Malhotra and Logan Couture scored for the Sharks, who lead Chicago by two points heading into the final weekend of the regular season.

But the Blackhawks have two games remaining and the tiebreaker edge to just one game for San Jose, meaning the Sharks still need help to be assured of the No. 1 seed when the playoffs start next week.

"We still have something to play for," Pavelski said. "This is what you play all year for. You want to step up and play and be ready. It's an exciting time of year for us."

While the game was of big importance to the Sharks, the Northwest Division champion Canucks are locked in as the third seed for the playoffs and gave goalie Roberto Luongo and defenseman Sami Salo the night off. The only remaining drama for Vancouver is whether Henrik Sedin will be the first Canucks player to win the NHL scoring title.

Sedin had an assist, giving him 108 points on the season -- two more than Washington's Alexander Ovechkin. But Ovechkin has two games remaining, while Sedin finishes the season at home against Calgary on Saturday night.

The Sharks committed three minor penalties in a 57-second span early in the third period, starting the rush to the penalty box. Evgeni Nabokov responded with his best stretch of his 30-save night, helping kill off 2 full minutes of a two-man advantage.

He robbed Daniel Sedin with a pad save and made a glove save on Kevin Bieksa's shot from the point. Then with 57 seconds left in the final power play, Alex Burrows was called for interference on Thornton, setting off another stretch of penalties.

The Canucks finally got on the board with goals from Pavel Demitra and Andrew Alberts that cut San Jose's lead to 4-2 but couldn't get any closer.

"There was a lot of chirping back and forth, but that's fine," Henrik Sedin said. "The refs are doing everything they can. It's up to me and the team in here to take care of things. I have nothing to complain about."

The Sharks broke the game open with a three-goal second period against Andrew Raycroft. The Canucks were hurt by losing Shane O'Brien to an undisclosed injury in the first period.

Thornton had the prettiest of the goals off a perfect setup from Dany Heatley, a change from the usual script for two of San Jose's top players. Heatley fed Thornton from the boards and Thornton converted on an easy one-timer for his 20th goal of the season and first since March 23.

"The cards weren't completely aligned for us tonight," Raycroft said. "We're a little short on the back end and we were trying not to get hurt. We could have mailed it in but the guys kept battling."

Notes

  • One of Vancouver's best scoring chances came on a delayed penalty against the Canucks. A backpass by the Sharks trickled down the ice as Nabokov skated to the bench. Nabokov did not play the puck in case it would have been a penalty for too many men on the ice and the puck barely wet wide.
  • Vancouver has lost six straight games in San Jose.
  • The Sharks suited up seven defensemen, using Jason Demers as a forward at times.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Logan Couture (39) screens Andrew Raycroft as Joe Thornton (not pictured) scores a goal. (US Presswire)
Logan Couture (39) screens Andrew Raycroft as Joe Thornton (not pictured) scores a goal. (US Presswire)

Scoreboard
Vancouver (48-28-5)0022
San Jose  (50-20-11) «1304
Three Stars
T. Mitchell
SJ


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
J. Pavelski
SJ


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
E. Nabokov
SJ


Saves: 30
Save Pct.: .938
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
18:35Joe Pavelski (25), Wrist Shot. Assist: Clowe, Setoguchi
2ND PERIOD
01:57Logan Couture (5), Tip-In. Assist: Vlasic, Mitchell
05:16Joe Thornton (20), Slap Shot. Assist: Heatley, Marleau
16:41Manny Malhotra (14), Wrist Shot. Assist: Mitchell, Murray
3RD PERIOD
10:26Power Play - Pavol Demitra (3), Snap Shot. Assist: Sedin, Sedin
12:03Andrew Alberts (3), Tip-In. Assist: Raymond
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
10:40Pettinger, 2 min, Holding
19:21Edler, 2 min, Holding
2ND PERIOD
07:13Clowe, 5 min, Fighting
07:13Rome, 5 min, Fighting
09:00Edler, 2 min, Cross-Checking
11:34Murray, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
13:58Pettinger, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
06:24McGinn, 2 min, Interference
06:59Vlasic, 2 min, Holding the Stick
07:21Nichol, 2 min, Cross-Checking
08:28McGinn, 10 min, Misconduct
09:08Samuelsson, 2 min, Roughing
09:08Samuelsson, 2 min, Slashing
09:08Blake, 2 min, Cross-Checking
09:08Blake, 2 min, Roughing
09:28Burrows, 2 min, Interference
09:28Burrows, 2 min, Slashing
09:28Thornton, 2 min, Roughing
09:46Wallin, 5 min, Fighting
09:46Kesler, 5 min, Fighting
09:46Wallin, 2 min, Roughing
09:46Kesler, 10 min, Misconduct
09:46Clowe, 10 min, Misconduct
09:46Wallin, 10 min, Misconduct
18:29Burrows, 2 min, Roughing
19:42Demers, 2 min, Broken Stick
Shots On Goal
 123T
Vancouver1091332
San Jose1510631
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Andrew Raycroft59:20274
Evgeni Nabokov59:44302
Game Information
Attendance - 17562
Referees - Dennis LaRue, Frederick L'Ecuyer
Linesmen - Derek Nansen, Mark Shewchyk
 
Other Games
Mon 2 Final
Car 5
NJ 2 Final
Fla 3
Pho 3 Final
LA 2
Ana 2 Final
Dal 3
Buf 1 Final
Bos 3
Ott 3 Final
TB 4
Min 2 Final
Cal 1
NYI 3 Final
Pitt 7