Sharks try to stay hot against Canucks

( - The San Jose Sharks aim to extend a four-game point streak on Thursday night as they host the Vancouver Canucks in the first matchup of the season between the Pacific Division rivals.

The Sharks avoided a third straight loss on home ice with Saturday's 3-1 win over the New York Islanders. Logan Couture netted the game-winning goal with 8:10 to play and Antti Niemi came up with 19 saves.

On the winning goal, Marc-Edouard Vlasic sent a pass across the blue line to Justin Braun, who had his slap pass re-directed into the top of the net by Couture at the right side of the net.

"I knew I was trying to tip it and get it up. I was lucky it got in," said Couture. "Great look by Braun."

Tomas Hertl scored on the power play and James Sheppard tallied a late goal as San Jose moved to 3-0-1 over its last four games.

San Jose lost defenseman Scott Hannan to an undisclosed injury late in the first period and his status for this game is unknown.

Niemi, meanwhile, will make his fifth straight start and is 9-7-2 with a 2.64 goals against average and .913 save percentage in 18 prior starts against the Canucks.

The Sharks won three of four versus the Canucks last season and have claimed seven of the past nine meetings overall.

Vancouver did snap a three-game series road slide in its last trip to San Jose and comes in having won five of its last six overall. The Canucks rallied to beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 on Tuesday to open a four-game road trip.

The Canucks trailed 2-0 after the first period, but finally got on the board with four seconds left in the second frame and then scored four times in the final frame. Nick Bonino had two of those goals.

Vancouver failed to score on its first 26 shots before Henrik Sedin got his club on the board with a rebound goal in the final seconds of the middle period.

"I think in the second we just took the game over," said Vancouver forward Shawn Matthias, who scored unassisted with 6:50 to play to cap the scoring. "It just seemed like we were rolling the lines and cycling the puck well. All four lines were going."

Ryan Miller made 20 saves for Vancouver. He won his sixth straight start and is 9-1-0 on the season with a 2.22 GAA and .917 save percentage. Miller is 7-1-0 lifetime versus the Sharks in nine meetings with a 2.17 GAA and .932 save percentage.

Canucks forward Alex Burrows is eligible to return tonight from a three-game suspension earned for a high, late hit on Montreal's Alexei Emelin in last Thursday's win.