Boeser scores twice to lead surging Canucks past Sharks 5-2
By JOSH DUBOW
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Brock Boeser scored twice and the Vancouver Canucks won their sixth straight game since coach Bruce Boudreau took over, beating the San Jose Sharks 5-2 on Thursday night.
Boeser opened the scoring in the first period and added an insurance goal late in the second to give him five goals during the win streak.
"Two great shots," Boudreau said. "You can see why he scores goals. He's been pretty fantastic."
Bo Horvat, J.T. Miller and Jason Dickinson also scored as the Canucks extended their resurgence since Boudreau replaced the fired Travis Green less than two weeks ago.
Thatcher Demko made 34 saves for Vancouver.
"It's been a blast," Boeser said of the recent streak. "Everyone's so excited to get to the rink."
Timo Meier got his 100th career goal and Andrew Cogliano also scored but it wasn't enough to prevent the Sharks from losing their second straight home game. San Jose is 2-3 on a seven-game homestand.
Adin Hill made 25 saves.
"It just seems like opportunities that they get are going in and we're not fighting hard enough to score our goals," Cogliano said. "We just have to be more desperate. I think we're in a situation now where we've given some games back in a race that there's a lot of teams in and our will to win needs to increase here because we're playing teams that are in the same spot as us. Right now it's just not good enough."
The Canucks got off to a strong start, with Boeser and Horvat scoring similar goals in the first period by beating Hill with high shots from the circle that hit the crossbar and went into the net.
Meier got one back when he beat Demko through a screen late in the first, but San Jose missed on several opportunities early in the second before falling behind 3-1 when Boeser converted after Hill misplayed a puck behind his own net.
"I thought that we probably needed a save earlier that we didn't get," Sharks coach Bob Boughner said. "Sometimes that's demoralizing, too, when you're sitting on the bench thinking you're carrying the play and you're chasing the game."
Cogliano scored midway through the third when a long clear bounced past defenseman Noah Juulsen. Cogliano got to the puck and beat Demoko.
The Sharks put some pressure on after that but Miller helped put it away with his goal with 2:28 remaining.
Dickinson added an empty-netter.
The Canucks have four players and assistant coach Jason King in COVID-19 protocol following positive tests.
Vancouver is missing defensemen Tucker Poolman, Luke Schenn and Brad Hunt, along with forward Juho Lammikko. With defenseman Travis Hamonic on long-term injured reserve, Vancouver called up Guillaume Brisebois from the AHL to play his 10th career NHL game.
Brisebois left with an undisclosed injury in the second period.
Jayden Halbgewachs made his NHL debut for the Sharks as a winger on the second line with Tomas Hertl and Alexander Barabanov.
Halbgewachs is the eighth San Jose player to make his NHL debut this season, most in the NHL. He nearly scored in his debut but was stopped on a breakaway in the second period by Demko.
Sharks forward Kevin Labanc is expected to miss three months after dislocating his shoulder during a win over Dallas on Saturday. Labanc got hurt on a hit from defenseman Jani Hakanpaa and is planning to undergo surgery next week.
Labanc has three goals and three assists in 21 games.
Canucks: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
Sharks: Host the Canucks again on Tuesday.
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Updated December 17, 2021