Labanc, Ward score early, Sharks beat Canucks 3-1

Labanc, Ward score early, Sharks beat Canucks 3-1

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Kevin Labanc figured it was a good idea to get the first goal out of the way so quickly. He just wished the Sharks would have played the same way the rest of the game.

Labanc and Joel Ward scored in the first 30 seconds for the quickest two goals in franchise history, and the San Jose Sharks beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 Tuesday night.

“That was nice, just kind of get it out of the way and play hockey from there,” Labanc said. “It was a good goal but we needed that same momentum from that shift throughout the whole game. I feel like we should have played a better 60. We just got to keep rolling.”

Chris Tierney also scored for the playoff-bound Sharks, who won for just the third time in 11 games.

“The start was spot on,” Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. “You can’t take your foot off the gas, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing right now. You’re trying to build your game. We have 10 shots in the first five, six, seven minutes, and then we’re sitting at 18 in the third.”

Martin Jones stopped 33 shots for his 35th win — ranked seventh in the NHL this season.

“It was a good start. We did a lot of good things but probably for only 20, 30 minutes of the game,” Jones said. “We need to find a way to not let off the gas and make sure we’re playing hard for a full 60 minutes. That’s the only way you’re going to win in the playoffs.”

Christopher Tanev scored for the Canucks, who lost their fifth straight and for the second straight time against the Sharks. Richard Bachman finished with 22 saves in his fourth start.

“We had some good looks,” Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. “We missed the net on probably our best looks. You just can’t do that. But you have to give the guys credit. They didn’t give up. They came at us hard and we found a way to turn it around.”

The Sharks completed a sweep of the teams’ five-game season series.

“I think we beat them six in a row in this building before that,” Desjardins said. “That’s how hockey goes sometimes.”

Following the Sharks’ lightning-quick strikes, with came 12 seconds apart, neither team found the net until Tanev scored early in the third. The Canucks won a face-off, with Brock Boeser sending a cross-ice pass to Tanev, who took advantage of traffic in front of the net to shoot past Jones.

“It was a bad start and I thought our guys battled back hard,” Desjardins said. “We had a pretty good second and third.”

The Sharks answered with their own goal off a faceoff. Joonas Donskoi alertly picked up the puck and delivered a pass to Brent Burns, whose shot was redirected by Tierney.

NOTES: Tierney celebrated his 200th NHL contest with a third-period goal. … Sharks F Joe Pavelski has points in four of his last five games. … Donskoi snapped a 16-game pointless streak with a pair of assists. … Canucks D Luca Sbisa ended a 28-game pointless streak. … Tanev scored his first goal in 15 games. … Boeser recorded his first career assist.


Canucks: At Arizona on Thursday.

Sharks: Host Edmonton on Thursday.

Rick Eymer, The Associated Press

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