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Canucks Find No Luck Against Sharks

To say it was a night to forget would be an understatement for the Vancouver Canucks.

Slowly, and slowly falling out of playoff contention, the Canucks failed to play a full sixty minutes, and were simply worn out towards the end as the San Jose Sharks rallied late to score three unanswered goals to win 3-2.

The Canucks two goals game from Jake Virtanen, and Sven Baertschi who have 6 and 13 goals on the season respectively.

The Sharks charge back was led by Tomas Hertl, and Brent Burns, and was capped off in the third by Patrick Marleau.

The victory was also the Sharks’ second win against the Canucks in five days, each coming after trailing entering the third period.

Vancouver was outshooting San Jose 9-1 when Virtanen opened the scoring 7:14 into the first period. Jones stopped Virtanen’s high wrist shot off a rush down the left wing, but the rebound fell to the side of the net. Virtanen collected the puck at full speed and cut around the net before throwing it out front on the other side, where it bounced in off Sharks forward Joe Pavelski.

Virtanen, 19, has four goals and two assists in his past 10 games after he had one goal and two assists in his first 27 NHL games this season.

Baertschi made it 2-0 Canucks with a deflection through a sliding Martin Jones with 1:29 left in the first.

From the second period on, it was all Sharks.

Badly outshot prior 15-7, Hertl deflected their 13th shot of the period past Ryan Miller at 10:29 of the second period for his 16th on the year. Hertl’s stick appeared to be near his shoulder when he tipped Burns’ high point shot past Miller, but video review was inconclusive in determining whether it was at or below the level of the crossbar when he deflected the puck.

Burns, who had an assist, tied it 2-2 on the power play with his 22nd of the year  at 0:43 of the third period with a wrist shot through traffic that had everyone in the building saying “not again…”.

However at 5:29 of the period, the worst happened when Marleau put San Jose ahead on a 2-on-1 rush, one-touching a cross-ice pass from Joonas Donskoi past the outstretched blocker of goalie Ryan Miller.

Miller had 27 saves in the loss, while Martin Jones had 28 in the win.

Falling to 24-27-12, the Canucks now face an even steeper hill to enter the playoff picture.

Up next: The Canucks square off against those same Sharks in San Jose Saturday night.

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