Canucks end struggles against Sharks

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) -- The Vancouver Canucks

finally figured out the San Jose Sharks.

Roberto Luongo made 28 saves and Mats Sundin netted the

game-winner as the Canucks snapped a seven-game losing streak

against the Western Conference foe, skating to a 3-1 victory

over the Sharks on Saturday.

"I don't really take that much importance in that kind of

stuff," Luongo said. "The only thing we talk about is you want

to send a message just in case we face these guys in the

playoffs and let them know it's not going to be an easy series."

"He played well but that isn't a surprise," Sharks coach Todd

McLellan said of Luongo. "It's not alarming to anybody. He's

going to play that way every night. To beat him, you have to go

get him and you have to find some rebounds and second

opportunities. We did that later on in the game but not

consistently enough in the first half."

Alexander Edler and defenseman Kevin Bieksa also scored and Ryan

Kesler collected two assists for Vancouver, which has won four

straight contests.

"We're feeling pretty good as a team right now," Luongo said.

"We're confident that any time we go into a game that no matter

who we're playing that we can get the win. We played a really

solid game against a great team tonight and it was a big win for

us."

The Canucks, who sit in fifth place in the West, defeated the

Sharks for the first time since April 7, 2007.

Joe Thornton tallied and Brian Boucher turned aside 26 shots in

his fifth consecutive start for San Jose, which has lost four in

a row for the first time this season. Boucher was forced to

start in place of Evgeni Nabokov, who missed a second straight

game with a lower body injury.

The Sharks, however, are still tied with the Detroit Red Wings

atop the conference standings.

Edler opened the scoring at 3:15 of the first period and Sundin

forged a two-goal lead less than three minutes later. It was

Sundin's seventh goal of the campaign.

"We kept doing the things we've been doing the last few weeks

here," Sundin said. "It's nice to get a good start, especially

playing a good team like that, you want to make sure you don't

fall behind a few goals."

Thornton halved the deficit with three ticks left in the middle

session, but Bieksa scored a power-play goal with 8:12 remaining

in the third to restore the two-goal bulge.

"I think it was a statement game," Bieska said. "We've been

winning for the last little while but to beat a quality team

like San Jose, a team we haven't beaten all season, is huge for

us. It's definitely something we need going into the playoffs."

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