Third period Power-play goal sinks Sharks

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Ed Jovanovski and Anson Carter figured
the best place to solve the Vancouver Canucks' road woes was right
in front of the San Jose Sharks' net.

Jovanovski scored the go-ahead, power-play goal with 9:45
remaining, and the Canucks snapped a four-game road losing streak
with a 3-1 victory over the slumping Sharks on Wednesday night.

Carter added another power-play goal with 6:07 left from a
similar spot directly in front of Evgeni Nabokov. The Canucks were
7-for-65 on the power play on the road this season before scoring
twice in a busy third period.

"In the new NHL, it's a little harder to move you once you get
in front of the net," Carter said. "We made a pretty conscious
effort to get in front and try to score from there. We were able to
match their intensity early, and we got some big chances late."

Just 14 seconds after Wayne Primeau went to the penalty box for
hooking, Jovanovski drove the net and deflected Brendan Morrison's
crossing pass underneath Nabokov for the defenseman's fifth goal of
the season -- the 300th point of his career.

On another power play 3:38 later, Carter was left unchecked
while he batted a rebound past Nabokov, who stopped 21 shots in his
second game back from a three-week absence with a shoulder injury.

Richard Park scored Vancouver's first short-handed goal of the
season in the first period. Dan Cloutier made 24 saves -- 12 in the
third period -- and the Canucks got a confidence-boosting win on the
first stop of a three-game California road trip.

"If we can bottle that third period and take it with us to L.A.
(Thursday night), we'll be all right," Vancouver coach Marc
Crawford said. "It's nice to come into this place, where it's very
difficult to play, and get a win. The second period was all Sharks,
and I liked the way we responded."

Marcel Goc scored for the Sharks, who lost their fourth straight
despite playing just once in the previous seven days. With six of
its next eight games on the road, San Jose is off to a
disappointing 8-8-2 start after making no significant offseason
additions to a young team that reached the conference finals in

"The special teams (woes) are what you see, but it's what's
leading up to it," said San Jose coach Ron Wilson, who
particularly criticized the passing of defenseman Brad Stuart.
"Why did we make the plays leading up to when we committed the
penalties? ... Then it's a downer to have a power play and turn
over the puck and make bad decisions."

Park got his fifth goal of the season when San Jose's power-play
unit got profoundly confused, turning over the puck and then
leaving Park alone to take an easy shot at Nabokov.

Goc tied it early in the second period with an expertly placed
shot on a 2-on-1 break with Josh Langfeld. Goc, a German rookie who
provided an unexpected boost to the Sharks' run to the conference
finals, has four goals in six games.

The Sharks pulled Nabokov and had a 6-on-3 advantage in the
final 41.8 seconds, but lost a faceoff and only got the puck on net
twice. Vancouver hadn't won on the road since Oct. 25.

"Special teams let us down," Sharks defenseman Kyle McLaren
said. "You have to thrive on special teams, and we didn't do it.
It's inexcusable to get off the way we're playing in the first
period, and it's costing us points."

Scott Thornton returned to the Sharks' lineup after missing five
games with a groin injury. The 15-year veteran fought Wade
Brookbank in the first period.

Game notes
The Sharks put backup G Vesa Toskala back on injured
reserve with a groin injury to make room for Thornton. Toskala has
played just once since getting hurt Oct. 26, giving up five goals
in a loss to Colorado last week. ... D Steve McCarthy didn't travel
to San Jose with the Canucks after aggravating his injured groin in
practice Tuesday. Brookbank took the lineup spot of McCarthy, who
missed his third straight game. ... Vancouver D Sami Salo thought
he scored yet another goal moments after Jovanovski's goal, but
officials waved it off, curiously claiming a Vancouver teammate was
in the crease. Crawford said the call was "a little bit puzzling,
but it's always a little bit puzzling when you're not the
benefactor of the call."