NHL: San Jose 3, Vancouver 2

April 2, 2013 at 1:50 AM

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 2 (UPI) -- Joe Thornton provided a goal and an assist Monday, helping the surging San Jose Sharks build an early lead and then hang on to defeat Vancouver 3-2.

After Andrew Desjardins gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead with a goal 7:41 into the first period, Thornton struck only 41 seconds later to double the advantage.

The San Jose center then assisted on Logan Couture's goal for a 3-0 advantage before the initial period was halfway over.

Antti Niemi turned aside 23-of-25 shots for the Sharks, who racked up their fifth straight win and strengthened their grip on the sixth seed in the Western Conference.

Chris Higgins registered a goal and an assist and Alex Burrows drew the Canucks to within one with a third-period marker, but Vancouver could get no closer.

Cory Schneider made 32 saves for the fourth-seeded Canucks.

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