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Hansen helps Canucks beat Sharks 3-1

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Jannik Hansen scored in the second period, immediately after leaving the penalty box for an illegal hit to the head, and the Vancouver Canucks snapped a four-game road losing streak by beating the San Jose Sharks 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Bo Horvat and Radim Vrbata also scored for the Canucks, who have won their last three games in San Jose. Ryan Miller stopped one of two penalty shots he faced and made 31 saves in all to beat the Sharks for the seventh straight time.

Joe Thornton converted his penalty shot, and Joe Pavelski missed for the Sharks, who had two penalty shots for just the second time in franchise history. Alex Stalock made 18 saves as San Jose lost its third straight.

Hansen was sent to the penalty box when he knocked Tommy Wingels down with a hit to the head. Wingels was forced to leave the game to get checked out for a possible concussion. Hansen was penalized for two minutes but could be in for more punishment from the NHL.

As soon as Hansen’s penalty ended, he took a pass from Alex Edler and skated in alone on Stalock to score his ninth goal of the season. That made it 2-0 and added insult to injury, although Wingels returned to the game later in the period.

The Sharks answered after Thornton was pulled down on a breakaway by Chris Tanev. Thornton beat Miller on the penalty shot, ending a streak of seven straight misses for San Jose. Thornton scored the Sharks’ previous penalty shot goal on Dec. 30, 2009, against Washington. San Jose had two penalty shots in that game, as well, as Ryane Clowe also scored.

The Canucks added to their lead midway through the second when Vrbata’s wrist shot from the circle deflected off Stalock’s glove and into the net.

The Sharks failed to generate many chances in the third against Vancouver’s stingy defense and had their eight-game home winning streak snapped.

Vancouver struck first thanks to a fortunate bounce when Horvat’s centering pass deflected off defenseman Brenden Dillon’s skate and trickled past Stalock.

The Sharks had chances to tie it in the first period but Pavelski hit the crossbar on a penalty shot, and Miller made four saves to help kill three power plays in the period.

NOTES: The Canucks have killed 34 of 36 penalties in December, including all four this game. … The Sharks are 1-for-4 on penalty shots this season. … San Jose F Matt Nieto returned after missing nine games with an ankle injury. Chris Tierney was sent back to the minors.

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