Sharks Looking For First Road Win In A Month Against Canucks

(Sports Network) - The San Jose Sharks seek their first road victory in over a month tonight when they visit the Vancouver Canucks and Rogers Arena for the first time this season.

The Sharks snapped a three-game slide (0-2-1) on Wednesday with a 5-2 home victory over the Blackhawks in the first meeting between the clubs since last season's Western Conference finals. San Jose improved to 5-1-3 over its last nine games overall.

Patrick Marleau had a pair of goals, Joe Pavelski scored the game winner and Joe Thornton notched two assists to reach 950 career points. Dany Heatley and Jamal Mayers also scored and Antti Niemi, who led the Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup title last season, made 30 saves against his former club.

"It was definitely on our minds the way last season went," Pavelski said. "They still have their players, you can see their core is there, they play hard and they're a really good team over there. The game was about tonight, though, really about what we need to do to get back on track."

San Jose hasn't won on the road since Oct. 23 when it picked up its third straight road victory to begin the season. The club is 0-3-2 as the guest since and will play two straight and seven of its next eight on the road.

The Sharks' road-heavy run begins in Vancouver, where it has won four of its last six visits. San Jose took three of four from the Canucks last year and has won 10 of the last 12 meetings overall.

Niemi is 1-2-0 with a 2.59 goals-against average lifetime versus the Canucks, while Antero Niittymaki is 1-1-0 with a 1.70 GAA against them.

Vancouver netminder Roberto Luongo is 6-10-1 with a tie and 2.99 GAA in his career versus the Sharks. He made 21 saves in Wednesday's 4-2 triumph over the Avalanche that halted the Canucks' four-game slide (0-3-1).

Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa and Ryan Kesler all scored, with Kesler notching his 100th career goal, and Daniel Sedin finished with a goal and assist. Henrik Sedin added two helpers.

"We play well as a team and tonight we did a lot better job than we did the last few games," Burrows said. "So it's nice to score goals, but it's even nicer to get the win."

Vancouver began its current four-game homestand 6-0-1 as the host this year, but dropped the first two contests before Wednesday's victory.

The Canucks will be without forward Ryan Rypien after granting him an indefinite leave of absence for personal matters. Rypien, who has one assist in nine games this year, served a six-game suspension earlier in the year after grabbing a fan on the way to the dressing room in Minnesota on Oct. 19.

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