Hansen helps Canucks snap 9-game skid with 4-2 win vs Sharks
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Another home loss by San Jose means the Sharks will almost assuredly start the postseason on the road.
Jannik Hansen scored the tiebreaking goal with 5:03 remaining and the Vancouver Canucks snapped a nine-game losing streak by beating San Jose 4-2 on Thursday night.
''We should be playing like we're fighting for our lives, and we didn't tonight,'' Sharks forward Logan Couture said. ''We made some mistakes that don't work in the playoffs. We need to be better.''
Couture and Patrick Marleau scored and Martin Jones made 22 saves for the Sharks, who lost for the 22nd time at home to fall five points behind Los Angeles and four back of Anaheim in the Pacific Division.
With San Jose having just four games left, while the Kings have five and the Ducks will play six, it is becoming increasingly harder for the Sharks to move up in the standings. With their seed in the playoffs almost settled, the Sharks lacked the energy they had when clinching a postseason spot Monday against Los Angeles.
''It's tough to manufacture,'' coach Peter DeBoer said. ''Let's be honest. Everybody knows kind of where we're at. So that's the reality of the situation, too. You can talk about it all you want, and of course everyone wants to win 10 in a row going into the playoffs. But I'm confident our group will have its game in the right place when that starts.''
Daniel Sedin and Bo Horvat scored in the first period and the Canucks rebounded after blowing another late lead to avoid matching the longest losing streak in franchise history.
Markus Granlund added an empty-net goal and Ryan Miller made 32 saves to help Vancouver earn its second win in San Jose in March.
''Nine games is a lot of games to go between wins,'' Hansen said. ''It was kind of starting to weigh on the team a lot different ways. You don't want to get into where it's OK losing in any way.''
The Canucks appeared on their way to losing their 13th game this season when leading after two when Couture tied the game midway through the third. He took a pass from Brent Burns at the side of the net and beat Miller for his fourth goal in two games this week against Vancouver.
But shortly after that, Burns couldn't handle a pass from Joe Thornton in the offensive zone. The puck deflected off the boards right to Hansen, who skated in on a 2-on-1 and beat Jones for his 20th goal of the season.
''We talked about it. Doesn't matter what happens, if they get one, we're still there, we can still come back,'' coach Willie Desjardins said. ''It was a good effort. The guys wanted to win. This losing's been bad. It's hard to lose these games. It was good to see a good effort.''
The Canucks took advantage of a pair of giveaways from Joonas Donskoi to score twice in the first period. After the first in the neutral zone, Jannik Hansen fired a shot on net that Jones kicked out right to Daniel Sedin for the goal into the open net just 1:09 into the game.
Then with the Sharks controlling play, Donskoi lost the puck in the offensive zone and gave it right to Horvat, who skated in and beat Jones on a breakaway to make it 2-0.
''Everybody can see it was two big mistakes personally and we lost the game tonight with those,'' Donskoi said. ''That's gone now. You can't take those back.''
The Sharks got one goal back in the second on the power play when Marleau one-timed a pass in the slot from Thornton to make it 2-1.
NOTES: The Canucks lost 10 straight games from Oct. 23-Nov. 11, 1997. ... Thornton's assist on Marleau's goal gave him 1,335 career points, tied with Mike Gartner for 30th place on the career list. ... Canucks F Jake Virtanen served the first game of his two-game suspension for a blindside check on Sharks D Roman Polak on Tuesday. ... Vancouver F Sven Baertschi did not return after the first period with a lower-body injury.