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Mikael Granlund breaks tie early in 3rd period, Sharks beat Canucks 4-3

SAN JOSE, Calif.
San Jose Sharks goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen, left, celebrates with defenseman Matt Benning (5) after the Sharks defeated the Vancouver Canucks in an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Mikael Granlund broke a tie 22 seconds into the third period, Ty Emberson scored his first career NHL goal and the San Jose Sharks beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 on Saturday night for their fourth victory in the first 21 games.

Granlund scored for the first time since joining the Sharks in the Erik Karlsson trade this offseason. The veteran forward sped from his own end, deked Filip Hronek with an inside-out move and beat goalie Casey DeSmith.

“I just found a lane and obviously got around the D-man there and was able to put the puck in,” Granlund said. "Obviously, it feels good to get the goal and get on the scoreboard.”

Mike Hoffman scored on a 4-on-3 power play minutes later, his sixth goal in six games. Fabian Zetterlund rounded out the scoring and Kaapo Kahkonen made 33 saves. San Jose has earned points in consecutive games for the second time this season.

Sharks coach David Quinn was proud of his team for the progress it has made over the last three weeks since giving up 10 goals in back-to-back games at home, one of them against the Canucks on Nov. 2.

“No one’s probably faced more adversity than we have, and these guys have stuck together and all they’ve done is come here and get better every day," Quinn said. "I give them a ton of credit.”

The Sharks ended an 11-game losing streak against the Canucks, which had been the third longest active streak in the NHL.

Emberson, kicked off the scoring in the first period with a slap shot.

“It’s a dream come true, and obviously something that you work a long time for," Emberson said. "But it was nice to get it in a win.”

Canucks coach Rick Tocchet said he thought too many players were not ready. Both teams were playing the second of a back-to-back. The Canucks, who are off to a hot start this season, have lost four of their last six.

“You've got to respect your opponents,” Tocchet said. “This is a learning lesson. Playoff teams don’t do this sort of stuff.”

Brock Boeser had two goals for the Canucks, the second cutting the lead in half with 3:13 left. He had a power play goal in the second.

Canucks star defenseman Quinn Hughes extended his NHL-best points streak to 11 games, getting the second assist on Hronek’s power-play goal in the first period.

Vancouver forward Andrei Kuzmenko was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. He has struggled after scoring 39 goals last season. Tocchet declined to comment on the decision after the game, saying only that “we'll deal with that later.”

The Sharks and Canucks played each other three times in November, with San Jose finally notching a win.

“In my opinion, they’ve gotten better and better each game we’ve played,” Boeser said. “They were ready tonight and we got off to a slow start, so we got to be better.”


Canucks: Host Anaheim on Tuesday night.

Sharks: Host Washington on Monday night.



Eric He, The Associated Press