VANCOUVER // The Vancouver Canucks beat the San Jose Sharks for the first time in two years on Saturday, building on two first-period goals for a 3-1 victory. The win was the fourth in a row and the 12th in 14 games for the Canucks, who had lost to the Sharks on their previous seven consecutive encounters. San Jose, tied with the Detroit Red Wings for the Western Conference lead, suffered their fourth consecutive loss, while Vancouver moved to within five points of fourth-placed Chicago in the West.
Alex Edler and Mats Sundin scored in the first six minutes of the opening period to give Vancouver the cushion they needed. Ryan Kesler assisted on both scores and Sundin ended a 10-game goalless streak with the tally. Kevin Bieksa made it 3-1 off a powerplay midway the third period. Roberto Luongo had 28 saves for Vancouver, yielding only a powerplay goal to Joe Thornton with three seconds left in the second period. Brian Boucher, starting for the injured Evgeni Nabokov, made 26 stops for San Jose.