VANCOUVER -– Apparently, playing the full 60 minutes isn’t necessary when you’re going up against the Vancouver Canucks.
Patrick Marleau broke out of an even-strength scoring slump, while Tomas Hertl and Brent Burns each collected a goal and an assist as the Sharks came from behind to beat the Canucks on Thursday at Rogers Arena, 3-2.
Marleau’s first five-on-five goal in a manned net since Dec. 28 was the game-winner, breaking a 2-2 tie. He flipped in a dish from Joonas Donskoi at 5:29 of the third period for his 19th goal, equaling his output from last season.
San Jose improved its NHL-best mark to 23-9-3, including five wins in which it’s trailed after two periods, a franchise record (per Elias). It was the second time in a week they did it in Vancouver, scoring four times in the final frame on Sunday in a 4-1 win.
The Sharks gave up the only two goals of the first period to fall behind in a brutal opening frame.
Perhaps rusty after not practicing for two days, the Sharks came alive in the second. They outshot Vancouver 16-8 in the frame, including eight shots in the first 1:38.
None of those early attempts beat Ryan Miller, but Hertl’s tip of a Burns offering cut the Canucks’ lead in half at 10:29.
The goal was Hertl’s 12th in the last 25 games since moving to the top line on Jan. 9, and 16th overall.
Burns tied it in the opening minute of the third on power play time that carried over. His wrist shot wiggled inside the near post at the 43-second mark, after the Sharks looked dazed and confused in their first three advantages.
Vancouver recorded 10 of the first 11 shots, including the game’s first goal at 7:14 of the first period. Martin Jones couldn’t handle Jake Virtanen’s wrist shot, and the Canucks forward controlled his own rebound and wrapped it in.
San Jose improved 7-2-1 in its last 10, and has won three straight. The Canucks lost their seventh in the last nine (2-7-0), and are just 11-16-5 at home.
Late in the period, Sven Baertschi’s redirection of a Dan Hamhuis shot upped the home team’s lead to 2-0.
The Sharks host the Canucks on Saturday in the second of a back-to-back. There are still three head-to-head meetings left between the two clubs, two of which are at SAP Center.
The Sharks were 1-for-4 on the power play, generating just one shot on goal in the first five-plus minutes before Burns found the net.
Vancouver had just one power play, failing to convert in the first period.
Coach Pete DeBoer made a change to his top power play unit midway through the game, putting Hertl in place of Marleau.
Jones made his 10th straight start, and notched his 32nd win with 28 saves. His biggest stop came when he got a piece of a Derek Dorsett breakaway with his blocker with 15:54 to go, shortly before Marleau’s score.
Miller suffered his second loss to the Sharks this week, allowing three goals on 30 shots.
James Reimer finally joined the Sharks after last Saturday’s trade, serving as Jones’ backup.
Melker Karlsson missed the game with a minor, unspecified injury, although he could be back on Saturday. Micheal Haley was recalled from the Barracuda and slotted in on the fourth line.
After playing Vancouver on Saturday SAP Center, the Sharks are right back in Canada for a back-to-back on Monday in Calgary and Tuesday against Edmonton, their final visit to Rexall Place.