SAN JOSE – The home team finally prevailed in a Sharks-Canucks game.
Logan Couture had a goal and an assist, and Aaron Dell recorded the win in net in his first start after keeping his job past the trade deadline in a 3-1 Sharks win at SAP Center on Thursday.
The road team had won the previous 15 games between the two clubs, an NHL record. Vancouver’s six-game winning streak in San Jose was snapped, while the Sharks still have a nine-game winning streak at Rogers Arena.
The Sharks were on their heels early and gave up a first period power play goal to Bo Horvat, but steadily improved in winning fairly handily.
Mikkel Boedker tied it at 15:45 of the first. After a nifty keep at the blue line by Paul Martin, Couture slid the puck to his linemate and Boedker found the top corner for his second score in three games.
Rookie Marcus Sorensen gave San Jose its first lead midway through the second, capping off a brilliant shift by taking a feed from Tomas Hertl and squeezing it through off of Ryan Miller’s blocker side at 9:28.
Sorensen, playing in his fourth career NHL game, was promoted to the third line to start the game after his strong performance against Toronto on Tuesday.
Couture’s 21st goal on a wrist shot from the circle at 13:49 put the Sharks up 3-1. Marleau managed to get his blade on a loose puck in pushing it over to Couture to earn the primary assist.
The Sharks improved to 5-0-3 in their last eight games, increasing their lead in the division to seven points over second place Edmonton, which was idle.
Vancouver is 1-5-1 in its last seven, and has lost all three games of the season series with San Jose in regulation.
Neither Jannik Hansen nor Nikolay Goldobin played in the game, after they were swapped for one another in a trade on Tuesday. Hansen may not be available to play until next week, when the Sharks host the Washington Capitals on March 9.
The Sharks and Canucks meet in a home-and-home on April 2-4 to conclude the five-game season series.
Chris Tierney failed on a shorthanded penalty shot at 18:02 of the first period, when it was still a 1-1 game. San Jose is just 1-for-6 on penalty shots this season.
Micheal Haley earned his 10th fighting major of the season, dropping the gloves with Joseph Cramarossa in the first period and sending his opponent to the dressing room with a hard left jab to the jaw.
San Jose was 0-for-2 on the power play, and 2-for-17 in its last seven games. Vancouver was 1-for-3.
Dell improved to 8-3-1 on the season, and has allowed two or fewer goals in eight of his 11 starts this season. He saw just 18 shots, stopping all but one.
Miller fell to 16-18-4, with three goals allowed on 32 shots. He has been in net for all three Vancouver losses to San Jose this season.
David Schlemko left the game after the first period and did not return, forcing the Sharks to play with five defenseman for the majority of the evening.
Joonas Donskoi did not play, although he’s getting close to a return from an upper body injury that has kept him out for more than a month.
The Sharks will visit the Western Conference’s top team, the Minnesota Wild, on Sunday in St. Paul. The Wild won the first meeting in San Jose on Jan. 5, 5-4.
San Jose visits Winnipeg in the second of a back-to-back on Monday.