San Jose, CA – Joe Pavelski poured in a pair of goals on Sunday, as the San Jose Sharks continued their scorching start to the season with a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks at HP Pavilion.
Patrick Marleau, who had scored two goals in each of San Jose's first four games, and Joe Thornton each tallied a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who are off to their best start in franchise history at 5-0-0.
Antti Niemi turned away 23 shots in the triumph to earn his 100th career win.
Alexandre Burrows registered the lone Vancouver goal, while Cory Schneider surrendered all four goals on 27 shots for the Canucks, who had won two straight.
After a shoving match between Burrows and Ryan Clowe off the opening faceoff resulted in a 4-on-4, the Sharks took advantage of the open ice to notch the game's first goal less than a minute into the contest.
"Every time we play Vancouver it's like that. They don't like us, we don't like them," Sharks forward Logan Couture said. "We expect a battle, and sometimes games get out of hand a little bit. If they're going to put us on the power play, we'll take it."
Marc-Edouard Vlasic ripped a shot that was blocked by Schneider, but the rebound shot out into the slot and Thornton corralled the loose puck before burying it in the back of the net to make it 1-0 just 43 seconds in.
Pavelski then doubled the Sharks' advantage less than three minutes later when he intercepted an Alexander Edler pass deep in Vancouver's end and ripped a wrister from the slot high over the blocker side of Schneider for a 2-0 edge at the 3:26 mark.
Burrows trimmed the margin in half near the midpoint of the second period when he let fly with a slapper that Niemi padded away, but the rebound deflected off the skate of San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle and snuck past Niemi to make it 2-1 at the 11:05 mark.
The Sharks, though, restored their two goal lead just over three minutes later while on the power play. Couture threw a shot on net from the left circle that deflected off the skate of Vancouver defenseman Jason Garrison, then the pad of Schneider, and finally the skate of Marleau before trickling across the goal line for a 3-1 edge at the 14:27 mark.
With San Jose on the power play just over eight minutes into the third, Pavelski one-timed a shot from the right circle that sailed high over the shoulder of Schneider to account for the final margin.
"Power play wasn't as good," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "We were unable to score. A couple of unforced errors that ended up right on their tape and in the back of the net. What's important is how we responded, and I thought we responded very well."
San Jose finished 2-for-8 on the power play, while Vancouver failed on all seven of its attempts on the man advantage ... Marleau now has nine goals and 13 points this season ... Vancouver took three of the four matchups between these teams last season.