VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Ryan Kesler and Alexander Edler each had a goal and an assist, Ryan Johnson scored his first goal of the season, and the Vancouver Canucks hung on to beat the San Jose Sharks 3-2 on Thursday night.
Roberto Luongo made 32 saves as Vancouver beat San Jose for just the second time in 10 games over the last three seasons to move five points up on Colorado in the Northwest Division and within five of the Sharks atop the Western Conference.
The Canucks have won three of four home games since coming back from a record 14-straight road games over six weeks while Vancouver hosted the Olympics.
Ryan Clowe and Joe Pavelski scored for the Sharks, who have lost four straight (0-3-1) and lead Phoenix by just three points atop the Pacific Division.
San Jose remains the best road team in the Western Conference, but has dropped the first three of a six-game trip that continues in Calgary on Friday night.
Both teams were coming off lopsided losses to non-playoff teams Tuesday night, and both starting goaltenders were pulled early in those games.
Luongo, who got the early hook for a seventh time Tuesday after giving up four goals on 12 shot against the Islanders, made his best saves midway through a third period in which the Sharks outshot Vancouver 12-4. He turned away Devin Setoguchi and Pavelski on great chances before Pavelski knocked a high shot out of the air and banged in the bouncing puck to make it 3-2 with 3:08 left.
But Luongo stopped Setoguchi again on an open drive with 35 seconds left and is 6-1-0 in his next start after being pulled in the previous game.
Nabokov, pulled after giving up four goals on 17 shots in an 8-2 loss in Dallas Tuesday, finished with 23 saves in his first loss to Vancouver in nine starts.
He didn't have much of a chance on either of the first two goals.
Vancouver scored on its first two power plays, with Edler's point shot appearing to change direction through Kyle Wellwood's leaping screen before beating Nabokov 8:31 into the first period. Kesler doubled the lead less than 3 minutes later, taking a pass from Edler and firing a low shot from the top of the faceoff circle through another screen by Wellwood and past Nabokov.
Clowe responded during 4-on-4 early in the second period, walking around former teammate Christian Ehrhoff down the right wing, cutting hard to the net and waiting out Luongo before tucking it into an empty net on the other side.
San Jose controlled the play for long stretches after that, but the Canucks got a goal from an unlikely source with 3:12 left in the period to take a 3-1 lead.
Johnson, who hadn't scored in 82 games since his last goal Jan. 28, 2009, cut in from the left faceoff circle and fed Rick Rypien for a weak shot from the slot, the went hard to the net and banged the ensuing rebound under Nabokov.
NOTES: Canucks RW Mikael Samuelsson, who has 30 goals, missed his first game of what is expected to be at least a two week absence after sustaining an upper-body injury Tuesday. He was replaced in the lineup by rookie callup Michael Grabner, but Alex Burrows took his spot on the top line with Daniel and Henrik Sedin. ... Vancouver hasn't won in San Jose since April 7, 2007, but plays there two more times over the final three weeks of the season. ... The Sharks split up their top line of Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau to start, but the gold-medal winning Canadian Olympians were back together in the second period.