SAN JOSE (AP) — Alex Edler and Chris Bonino scored second-period goals and Ryan Miller preserved the lead through the final second as the Vancouver Canucks beat the San Jose Sharks 3-2 on Thursday night.
Joe Thornton appeared to tie the score in the closing second for San Jose. But the goal was overturned when replay showed the puck crossed the line just after the clock hit zero.
Radim Vrbata also scored and Miller made 34 saves. The Canucks got off to a good start on their three-game California swing that finishes with games at Los Angeles and Anaheim during the weekend.
Vancouver won just two of 14 games last season against the three California teams, playing a big role in the Canucks missing the playoffs in their first season in the new Pacific Division.
James Sheppard and Logan Couture scored for the Sharks, who controlled the play but still lost in their final game before a grueling trip of seven road games in 11 days. Antti Niemi made 16 saves.
Miller withstood an early barrage that started with four prime scoring chances in the opening minute to keep Vancouver in the game and earn his 10th win in 11 starts this season.
Miller then stood tall in the closing seconds, making a good save on Couture shortly before Thornton’s final shot went in too late.
The Canucks fell behind 2-1 midway through the second when Couture capped a pretty passing sequence on the power play with his team-leading seventh goal.
Vancouver then scored twice in a span of less than 5 minutes to take the lead into the third. The equalizer came when Edler beat Niemi with a shot from the top of the circle for a power-play goal.
The Canucks then took advantage of a break that came when Tomas Hertl broke his stick attempting a one-timer. That turnover keyed a rush by Alexandre Burrows, who carried the puck into the offensive zone before finding Bonino.
Bonino skated around the stickless Hertl and beat Niemi for his team-leading seventh goal to give the Canucks a 3-2 lead.
The Sharks scored first for the 10th time in 14 games this season when the newly formed third line struck midway through the first period. Tyler Kennedy, making his season debut after being sidelined by an upper-body injury in training camp, kept the puck in near the blue line and fed Hertl down low.
Hertl then sent a pass that deflected off Sheppard and into the net to put San Jose up 1-0 with his second goal in as many games.
But the Sharks gave that lead back in the closing seconds of the period when Joe Thornton couldn’t keep a puck in the offensive zone along the boards. That led to a 2-on-1 break and Vrbata patiently waited for an opening before beating Niemi.
NOTES: Burrows returned from a three-game suspension for a hit to the head of Montreal D Alexei Emelin. ... Canucks F Zack Kassian was scratched with a lower-body injury. ... Rookie F Chris Tierney was sent back to the minors to make room for Kennedy.