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Big third period leads Sharks over Canucks 4-1

Vancouver Canucks' goalie Ryan Miller looks on after allowing a goal to San Jose Sharks' Tomas Hertl, of the Czech Republic, during third period NHL hockey action, in Vancouver on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016.


Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl scored 2:28 apart in the third period Sunday as the San Jose Sharks downed the Vancouver Canucks 4-1.

Patrick Marleau and Justin Braun, into an empty net, had the other goals for the Sharks (33-22-6), while Martin Jones made 23 saves. Marc-Edouard Vlasic added two assists, with Pavelski and Braun picking up one each for San Jose.

Daniel Sedin replied for the Canucks (24-25-12), who were looking to win three in a row for the first time this season. Ryan Miller made 24 saves.

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San Jose sits third in the Pacific Division, 12 points up on the fading Canucks, who are eight back of the Colorado Avalanche for the Western Conference's second wild-card spot.

Trailing 1-0 after 40 minutes, the Sharks tied things at 4:21 of the third when Pavelski stepped around Luca Sbisa before beating Miller for his 27th of the season.

San Jose then grabbed the lead at 6:49 when Hertl tipped Braun's point shot past a helpless Miller for his 15th.

Vancouver's Adam Cracknell rang a shot off the iron behind Jones a couple of minutes later, but San Jose sealed it when Marleau ripped a one-timer on a 5-on-3 power play with 5:51 left for his 18th.

Braun added one more into an empty net with just over a minute to go.

After a scoreless first period, Vancouver opened the scoring at 3:03 of the second moments after a Sharks penalty expired when Sedin jammed a puck past Jones from the side of the net for his 23rd.

In a scheduling quirk, Sunday's game was the first between the Sharks and Canucks this season. The clubs play again Thursday in Vancouver and Saturday in San Jose before another back-to-back on March 29 and March 31.

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With the NHL trade deadline set for Monday at 3 p.m. ET, veteran defenceman Dan Hamhuis suited up for Vancouver in what could have been his final game for the Canucks. The 33-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and has a no-movement clause in his contract, but has indicated he would consider a move if it was the right situation.

Vancouver had the best chance in Sunday's first period when Jones made a nice save on Derek Dorsett after he stepped around Roman Polak.

Miller then made a good stop on Hertl in the final minute at the other end on an odd-man rush to keep things scoreless.

Notes: The Canucks have won two games in a row seven times this season. ... Vancouver defenceman Matt Bartkowski sat out with the flu. ... Canucks forward Radim Vrbata, who is also set to become an unrestricted free agent, missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury. ... San Jose hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Monday, while Vancouver continues a five-game homestand on Tuesday against the New York Islanders.

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