Who's Next? Sharks at Canucks

 

 
 
 
 
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton (60) is chased by San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) during the first period of an NHL preseason hockey game Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
 

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton (60) is chased by San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) during the first period of an NHL preseason hockey game Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Photograph by: Tony Avelar, AP

RECENT RUN

The Canucks are once again in position to accomplish something they have been unable to do all season: win three straight games. The Canucks won their second in a row Thursday, beating the Ottawa Senators 5-3 at Rogers Arena. Heading into Friday’s home game against the Buffalo Sabres, the Sharks had earned points in seven of their previous eight games and held down third place in the Pacific Division.

SCHEDULING QUIRK

These teams have not met all season but are about to get quite familiar with one another. The Canucks play three of their next four games — and five of their final 22 — against the Sharks. The Canucks won three of five meetings with the Sharks last season. All three of those wins came in California, while the Sharks won both games in Vancouver. Radim Vrbata, pictured, had five goals and an assist against San Jose last season.

WHO’S HOT, NOT?

The two Joes — Thornton and Pavelski — lead the Sharks with 56 points apiece. Thornton’s, pictured, 42 assists are fourth best in the NHL ... LW Daniel Sedin has seven assists in his last five games ... RW Jannik Hansen has four goals and two assists in his last seven games ... RW Derek Dorsett has gone 23 games without a goal ... C Bo Horvat has one point in his last five games.

NOTABLE

The Canucks will honour former defencemen Sami Salo, pictured, and Ed Jovanovski before Sunday’s 4 p.m. faceoff … At 21-9-3, the Sharks have the best road record in the NHL’s Western Conference … The Canucks’ practice today at Rogers Arena is open to the public. It begins at 11 a.m. … Injured winger Radim Vrbata skated on his own Friday with skills coach Glenn Carnegie, but is unlikely to play Sunday.

QUOTABLE

Newly acquired forward Markus Granlund, pictured, made a good impression with coach Willie Desjardins in his first game as a Canuck. Granlund was plus-3 and picked up an assist in 12:40 of ice time in Thursday’s win over Ottawa. He skated on a line with Linden Vey and Emerson Etem. “You always saw him on the right side of the puck, making good reads,” Desjardins said. “He’s pretty competitive.”

 
 
 
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Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton (60) is chased by San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) during the first period of an NHL preseason hockey game Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
 

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton (60) is chased by San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) during the first period of an NHL preseason hockey game Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Photograph by: Tony Avelar, AP

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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