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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