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Sharks And Canucks Collide

(Sports Network) - The Canucks and Sharks could very well meet at some point during the postseason. Tonight, they'll battle for regular-season bragging rights.

Two of the top teams in the Western Conference square off for the final time this regular season as Vancouver visits San Jose at HP Pavilion.

The Canucks are tops in the NHL with 95 points, seven more than the Eastern Conference-leading Flyers and nine up on the West's second-seeded club, Detroit. San Jose sits third in the conference with 84 points, two back of the Red Wings.

Vancouver has won the first three contests of a five-game road trip, improving to 20-9-4 as the guest this season following Tuesday's 4-3 overtime victory at Phoenix. The Canucks have won four of five overall.

Defenseman Dan Hamhuis capped his first career two-goal game with the overtime-winner 2:13 into the frame, while Roberto Luongo ended with 31 saves.

"It doesn't happen too often for me but I'm happy for the team," said Hamhuis. "This was a well-fought game and to win in a comeback is great."

Henrik Sedin had a goal and two assists, Sami Salo scored and Daniel Sedin ended with three helpers.

Mason Raymond missed the game with a shoulder injury and the forward is a game-time decision for tonight, as is Chris Higgins due to a broken thumb. Higgins hasn't played since Feb. 25 and has yet to make his Canucks debut after being acquired at the trade deadline from Florida.

Cory Schneider is expected to get the call in net tonight for the Canucks and has split two career starts versus the Sharks with a 5.99 goals-against average. That win did come this year, on Jan. 3 in San Jose after he stopped 32-of-35 shots faced.

The Sharks are also on a roll as of late, winning a season-high eight straight before dropping a decision to Dallas on Saturday. They rebounded quickly with Tuesday's 3-2 overtime win over the Predators.

Patrick Marleau had the game-winner 96 seconds into OT to give San Jose a 3-1 mark on its six-game homestand and a victory in eight of its past nine at home.

"We were able to pick it up and it was sort of a 2-on-1," said Marleau. "I was able to get in, get some body position, used the quick shot and it went in."

Ryane Clowe had a goal and an assist while Justin Braun also scored for the Sharks. Antti Niemi stopped 23 shots in the win.

Defenseman Dan Boyle missed his fifth consecutive game with an upper-body injury and remains day-to-day.

Niemi is 2-4-0 with a 3.17 GAA versus the Canucks and made 36 saves in a 2-1 shootout win at Vancouver on Jan. 20 for San Jose's first victory in three games versus the Canucks this year.

The Sharks have won 11 of the past 15 meetings overall, including six of the past seven played at HP Pavilion.