Final

Series (Game 1 of 4)

Vancouver leads 3-1

Game 1: Friday, October 13th
Sharks6Final
Canucks4
Game 2: Sunday, January 28th
Sharks1Final
Canucks3
Game 3: Friday, March 9th
Canucks2Final
OT
Sharks1
Game 4: Saturday, April 7th
Canucks4Final
OT
Sharks3

Sharks 6

(4-1-0, 8 pts)

Canucks 4

(2-2-1, 5 pts)

10:00 PM ET, October 13, 2006

Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

1 2 3 T
SJ 2 2 26
VAN 1 2 14

M. Michalek (Sharks - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

K. Bieksa (Canucks - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

C. Brown (Sharks - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Brown, Grier score on breakaways as Sharks pull away

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Sitting in the penalty box with his team down two men, Curtis Brown was thinking only about killing penalties. His mind-set quickly changed when his penalty ended.

Brown stepped back on the ice and into a breakaway, scoring the go-ahead goal with a backhand over Roberto Luongo's glove. Mike Grier converted another breakaway with a backhand 10 minutes later to lift the San Jose Sharks to a 6-4 victory over Vancouver on Friday night, spoiling the Canucks' home opener.

"Coming out of the penalty box the number one thing was to help Grier because he was about ready to pass out after being out there on the penalty kill," Brown said. "And I hopped out and was yelling `I'm out, I'm out' and as I was yelling the puck was coming towards me so I had to turn and head back the other way."

Patrick Marleau, Christian Ehrhoff, Patrick Rissmiller and Ville Nieminen also scored for San Jose, which rebounded quickly from its first loss of the season, a 6-4 setback in Edmonton on Thursday night in which it blew a three-goal lead.

Just as they did in Edmonton, the Sharks found themselves down two men early in the third period. But unlike the previous night, when the Oilers scored twice to tie the game, San Jose killed off both penalties while Brown added to their lead.

"It snuck away from us in Edmonton and we certainly didn't want that to happen," Brown said. "The biggest thing was we wanted to kill the penalty off. You never dream of something like that happening, especially down two men."

Vesa Toskala played a big role in the penalty kill and Brown's goal. After robbing Markus Naslund when the 5-on-3 started late in the second period, he was credited with an assist after Henrik Sedin's centering pass from behind the net deflected off Toskala's stick right to Brown at center ice.

"Did I get an assist?" Toskala asked after making 21 saves to improve to 3-0. "I was just trying to keep my stick in the passing lane. I didn't obviously try to make a breakaway pass but I got a good bounce."

Naslund scored his 300th goal as a Canuck, tying teammate Trevor Linden for the franchise record, and Kevin Bieksa netted his first NHL goal for Vancouver. Daniel Sedin and Mattias Ohlund also scored for the Canucks, who have lost three straight after winning their first two.

Ohlund's goal cut the lead to one goal midway through the third, but Grier tucked a rolling puck under Luongo's arm 2 minutes later to seal the win.

It was a rough home debut for Luongo, acquired in a trade that sent Todd Bertuzzi to Florida. He came into the game with a 1.73 goals-against average and 94.1 save percentage in his first four games, but Marleau scored on the first shot after getting behind rookie Luc Bourdon to tap in Milan Michalek's backdoor pass.

"Not great at all," Luongo said of his 31-save effort. "Obviously I'm disappointed in my performance and disappointed for the fans. First home game and I didn't play very well. In the third I obviously didn't make the big save."

Luongo also got caught leaning on Michalek's sharp-angle shot late in the first, allowing Ehrhoff to slam in the rebound for a 2-1 lead. He wouldn't blame it on nerves over his first game in front of home fans, but said new equipment might have played a role in Ehrhoff's goal.

Luongo started with new pads, glove, blocker and mask to match the blue-and-green color scheme of the team's retro third jerseys, but switched to his original pads to start the second period.

"I wasn't feeling too comfortable with the new pads to be honest with you," Luongo said. "I felt good in practice with them, but in the first it was not going great and I don't know if that had anything to do with that goal or not, but I switched back to the other ones."

Game notes


Canucks D Sami Salo is listed as day to day after aggravating a groin injury in Tuesday's loss in Minnesota. ... C Marc Chouinard played his first regular-season game for the Canucks after injuring his shoulder in the preseason finale. ... San Jose begins a three-game homestand Tuesday against Dallas.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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