SAN JOSE – Rookie Tomas Hertl scored twice and Joe Thornton had a goal and two assists as the Sharks easily skated past an uninspired and sloppy Vancouver Canucks squad in preseason action at the SAP Center on Tuesday night, 5-0.
Hertl opened the scoring midway through the first when he deflected in a Scott Hannan attempt from the wall at 10:37. He made it a 5-0 lead early in the third, when his wrist shot from the circle got through Eddie Lack, who was having trouble getting back up on his skates as Hertl’s low shot trickled through at 2:25.
The 19-year-old, a lock to make the opening night roster, has three preseason goals to lead the team.
Dan Boyle made it 2-0 less than two minutes after Hertl’s first goal, when Tyler Kennedy set him up for a wrist shot in the circle. Kennedy hit the crossbar moments earlier after forcing a turnover in the Sharks’ defensive zone and racing the other way.
A pair of second period power play goals by Thornton at 11:21 and Logan Couture at the 19-minute mark extended San Jose’s lead to 4-0 after 40 minutes.
Couture, Boyle and Joe Pavelski all had two-point games.
The Sharks improved to 3-0-1 in the preseason, with two games remaining. They have beaten Vancouver twice.
The Sharks finished 2-for-3 on the power play, with both goals from their powerful top unit. Vancouver did not have a power play.
Antti Niemi went the distance for the Sharks, making 24 saves, few of which were difficult. It was Niemi’s second preseason game after he allowed three goals on 32 shots on Saturday against Phoenix in a 3-2 overtime loss.
Lack allowed all five goals on 33 shots.
The Sharks dressed their strongest lineup to date, as Thornton, Couture, Boyle, Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic were all active.
Hertl continued to skate on the Thornton line with Brent Burns, while Kennedy was on Couture’s line with Marleau. The third line was Pavelski, Tommy Wingels and Matt Nieto, while Bracken Kearns, Matt Pelech and John McCarthy was the fourth line.
Boyle was paired with Matt Irwin; Vlasic skated with Matt Tennyson, and Hannan and Jason Demers remained together. Alex Stalock backed up Niemi in net.
Notables suiting up for Vancouver were the Sedin twins, Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows, Alex Edler and Dan Hamhuis.
The Sharks close out their preseason schedule in Phoenix on Friday and Anaheim on Saturday. The Canucks return to the SAP Center for the regular season opener on Oct. 3.