Sharks blank Canucks 4-0, extend Vancouver’s skid to 8 games

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Erik Karlsson had a goal and two assists, Joe Thornton surpassed a big milestone for the second time this month, and the San Jose Sharks beat the slumping Vancouver Canucks 4-0 on Friday night.

Thornton had two assists, moving him past Mario Lemieux for 11th place on the NHL list. The 39-year-old centre scored his 400th goal on Nov. 13.

The Sharks took the early lead on Logan Couture’s eighth goal midway through the first period.

Thornton passed Lemieux with his 1,034th assist late in the first period when Timo Meier redirected his shot with 10 seconds remaining near the end of a four-minute double-minor on Derrick Pouliot for high sticking.

Thornton had another assist in the third period on Karlsson’s second goal of the season. His 1,035 assists include 750 with the Sharks.

San Jose sent the Canucks to their eighth straight loss. Vancouver has been outscored 34-16 over that stretch.

Vancouver had three power plays. San Jose has given up just two power-play goals in its last 19 games. The Sharks have killed off 48 of 50 penalties (96 per cent) over that stretch.

The Sharks broke the game open midway through the third period on Melker Karlsson’s first goal of the season.

Sharks goalie Aaron Dell had 19 saves. Canucks goalie Anders Nilsson turned back 20 shots.

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