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Vancouver Canucks take bite out of San Jose Sharks with 4-2 comeback win


VANCOUER, B.C. — Tanner Pearson doesn't get too concerned when he puts a puck in the back of the net and officials have to review the play.

"It's how I scored my first NHL goal, under review. I've been there multiple times before," the Vancouver Canucks left-winger said Tuesday after yet another reviewed goal helped his team to a 4-2 comeback win over the San Jose Sharks.

Sharks goalie Martin Jones had just stopped a shot from Vancouver's Loui Eriksson midway through the third period when Pearson stepped in to fight for the rebound, knocking the puck free and poking it into the back of the net for his second marker of the night.

Officials on the ice initially ruled no goal but the call was quickly overturned.

San Jose coach Peter DeBoer then challenged the refs, citing goalie interference. Review in Toronto determined the goal was good, saying the puck was loose.

"I just tried to throw a stick there, whether it was covered or not. It was a good goal at the end of the day," Pearson said.

The play put the Canucks up 3-2 after they entered the third period down by one.

Defenceman Troy Stecher later added an empty netter to cement the Canucks victory.

"To be down a goal going into the third period and come back and take the victory was a big positive note," Pearson said.

"Especially playing these playoff teams, teams that are saddling up to go to the playoffs, they're playing their best hockey or want to anyway. And if we can withstand that and beat some teams, it could carry some momentum into next year."

The 26-year-old now has nine points since the Pittsburgh Penguins dealt him to the Canucks for defenceman Erik Gudbranson at the trade deadline. Five of those goals have come in the last seven games.

"He's a treat to have on my wing right now," said centre Bo Horvat. "He's fast, aggressive, he gets on the forecheck, he's smart, he can make plays. He's a great hockey player."

Markus Granlund also put away a goal for the Canucks (35-35-10) on Tuesday, while Horvat and Loui Eriksson each registered a pair of assists.

Kevin Labanc and Joe Pavelski scored for the Sharks (45-26-9).

Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko stopped 33-of-35 shots and Jones had 19 saves for San Jose.

Despite the loss, DeBoer said his team played good stretches of hockey.

"I thought we were in control of the game," the coach said. "Our failure was not extending the lead. We had four or five really good chances to extend the lead to 3-1 at different points and didn't do that, let them hang around and that's what happens."

The Sharks are now 1-8-1 in their last 10 contests and haven't posted a regulation win since March 12.

The team needs to figure out how to play a full 60-minute game before the playoffs begin, said veteran centre Joe Thornton.

"We got two kind of practice shots at this again and then the real season starts, so hopefully we can put it together in Edmonton and then put it together against Colorado and then get ready for Vegas," he said. "But I think we can get out of this no problem."

Thornton registered assists on both of San Jose's goals on Tuesday and now has 1,063 career helpers, tying him with Steve Yzerman for eighth place on the NHL's all-time assists list.

"I heard that," he said after the game. "(Yzerman's) the reason I wear number 19. It's pretty cool."

Vancouver is out of the playoff race but has strung together three wins in a row.

Having a group that continues to play hard no matter what is important, said coach Travis Green.

"You want a team that competes. You want a team that wants to win," he said. 

"People come to the game to watch your team play hard and try. And these are not easy games. We're playing good hockey teams. So that's what you want as a coach, you want your team to compete hard. And I thought tonight was a really good example of it."

The Canucks will battle the Predators in Nashville on Thursday before wrapping their season with a visit to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

The Sharks are headed to Edmonton where they'll face the Oilers on Thursday.

NOTES: Tomas Hertl extended his point streak to five games. He has three goals and four assists across that stretch. ... The Canucks handed out their team awards, giving goalie Jacob Markstrom MVP honours and star rookie Elias Pettersson the title of most exciting player. ... Linesman Lonnie Cameron worked his final NHL game. The Victoria native has been with the league for 23 seasons and officiated 1,554 games.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

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