Pavelski scores SO winner as Sharks top Canucks
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — On the Canucks' team flight to Vancouver, Scott Gomez and Adam Burish were joking that one of them was due to break their goal-scoring drought.
It turns out they both did it on the same night.
Gomez and Burish notched their first goals of the season and Joe Pavelski scored the shootout winner as the San Jose Sharks held on to defeat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on Tuesday night.
"The win is the most important thing, but it does feel nice to score," said Gomez, who has a goal and two assists in 15 games this season. "Obviously, it was time. I know I can score. It's just you've got to shoot to score, and sometimes I have trouble with that. I'm always looking to pass."
Meanwhile, Burish scored his first goal in 45 games on a short-handed breakaway to make it 2-0 San Jose early in the second period.
"If I start going out there thinking that I've got to score, I'm doing my linemates and my teammates a disservice," Burish said. "I've got to focus on other things: I've got to be solid defensively, I've got to kill penalties, I've got to bring energy. But if you can score goals, it feels a little better, too."
Brad Stuart added two assists and Antti Niemi made 36 saves for the Sharks (11-6-4), who won their second straight game after a stretch that saw them go 2-6-4.
Henrik Sedin and Jannik Hansen scored for Vancouver, which dropped to 3-4-3 in its past 10 games after starting the season 8-2-2.
"Our record isn't as good of late, but we know we can play some better hockey," Canucks forward Mason Raymond said.
The Sharks started with seven straight victories, but their offense suddenly slowed. Heading into the game against Vancouver, they sat tied with Nashville for the fewest goals in the NHL with 47.
Although the Sharks didn't exactly overwhelm Vancouver with offense, they came on strong in the third period and took seven shots at Cory Schneider in overtime.
In the shootout, Logan Couture had to score in the third round or the Sharks would lose. Couture calmly deked to the backhand and beat Schneider between the legs.
After Niemi stopped Alex Burrows in the fourth round, Pavelski broke in and beat Schneider with a quick wrist shot to the blocker side to end it.
"You're always excited to win," Pavelski said. "It's not looking good there for a second, and then within a minute or two you've got a chance to win it. ... It's going to take more than two probably most nights, but if we can get two or three it's going to give us a good chance to win."
Chris Higgins had Vancouver's lone shootout tally, beating Niemi on the blocker side.
The Canucks fell behind 2-0 early in the second period, but it was their top line that got them back in it.
Daniel Sedin flipped the puck in front of the net and it took a fortuitous bounce to Henrik Sedin, who went to the backhand to beat Niemi at 13:23.