San Jose Sharks and Antti Niemi Outlast Cory Schneider and Vancouver Canucks

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Monday night matchup between the Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks proved to be as good as advertised: fast paced, tons of scoring chances and good goaltending.

Cory Schneider turned away 32 of 35 shots by the Sharks, while his counterpart, Antti Niemi, successfully dealt with 23 of 25 Vancouver attempts. Schneider sandwiched a lackluster period between two brilliant ones as a swarm of Sharks’ goals put the Canucks in a deep hole quickly.

In a span of 2:13 in the 2nd period, Sharks’ center Andrew Desjardins seized the crease and netted a goal mouth rebound. Captain Joe Thornton slipped a sneaky wrister under the arm of Schneider (one he would admittedly want back), and a lucky carom off of the leg of a spinning Logan Couture slid by the unaware net-minder.

The Canucks offense finally solved Antti Niemi and the stingy Sharks defense with 2:34 to go in the 2nd period. An offensive zone turnover led to a Canucks foray in the San Jose defensive end. Winger Chris Higgins would eventually receive a pass in the slot from Jannik Hansen and let a quick wrist shot go that would find its way through Niemi’s five-hole and into the back of the net. The Canucks were able to muster another goal about halfway through the 3rd period when forward Alexander Burrows punched in a gift of a rebound from goaltender Antti Niemi.

In the end, Niemi and the Sharks team defended their tank and won a game they deserved to win. The Sharks looked stronger of the two teams for most of the contest, dominating along the boards at both ends of the ice and generating more opportunities. The Sharks came away with a big win at home and left the Canucks wondering how to generate more offense as the season nears its end.

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