VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Tomas Hertl scored twice in the first period and Martin Jones made 29 saves as the San Jose Sharks beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 Sunday after losing Joe Thornton to an apparent injury to his left leg.
Patrick Marleau scored an empty-netter and Jannik Hansen picked up an assist in his return to Vancouver for the Sharks, who have won 11 straight regular-season games at Rogers Arena dating back to Jan. 21, 2012.
Sven Baertschi scored for the Canucks and Ryan Miller finished with 22 saves.
Already missing center Logan Couture because of a facial injury, Thornton crumpled to the ice with about three minutes left in the first when he ran into Vancouver forward Michael Chaput from behind. The 37-year-old managed to get to the San Jose bench under his own power, but couldn’t put any weight on his left leg and had to be helped to the locker room.
The Sharks entered play one point up on the Flames for third in Pacific Division after falling 5-2 in Calgary on Friday. San Jose clinched a playoff spot last week, but is just 2-8-0 over its last 10 after a 7-2-0 run and started Sunday four points back of Edmonton and Anaheim for first in the division. Calgary hosted Anaheim later Sunday.
Vancouver, 2-9-2 over its last 13, is set to miss the postseason for the third time in four years and has not won at home since Feb. 18, going 0-8-3 since. The Canucks’ last win in regulation at home came Jan. 20 against Florida.
Hertl opened the scoring with his first goal in 17 games nine minutes into the opening period on a weird sequence. Vancouver forward Drew Shore was stripped in his own zone, with the puck eventually finding its way to Mikkel Boedker. His initial backhand was stopped by Miller before Hertl popped home the rebound for his ninth of the season.
The Sharks’ forward then made it 2-0 just under two minutes later when Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s point shot hit Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler in front and bounced right to Hertl, who buried his second past a helpless Miller.
Jones, who came in just 1-5-0 over his last six decisions with an .856 save-percentage, wasn’t overly busy, but had the shutout bid broken with 3:53 left when Baertschi’s weak shot leaked under his arm for his 18th.
The Canucks pressed late, but Marleau sealed it into an empty net — his 27th goal of the year — with 2.6 seconds left.
NOTES: The Canucks paid tribute to Hansen, who played parts of 10 seasons in Vancouver before getting traded to the Sharks on Feb. 28, with a highlight package on the video board during the game’s first television timeout. ... Thornton has 1,391 career points, tied with Brett Hull for 22nd place all-time. ... The Canucks announced before the game that forward Jason Megna had signed a one-year, one-way contract extension worth $675,000.
Sharks: Host Vancouver on Tuesday night to complete the home-and-home set.
Canucks: At San Jose on Tuesday night to start a two-game trip before returning home for a home-and-home against Edmonton next weekend.