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NHL: Sharks strike in 3rd to topple Canucks

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo scored in a 3:20 span early in the third period to break open a tie game and lift the San Jose Sharks to a 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night.

Evgeni Nabokov finished with 24 saves, keeping the Sharks in the game early with a handful of highlight stops before the struggling San Jose offense got untracked. Nabokov, who has started all six games for San Jose, was credited with an assist on Bernier's goal.

After averaging just two goals through their first five games, an offense that finished third in the Western Conference last season finally broke loose.

ELSEWHERE -- Ales Kotalik scored a power-play goal with four seconds left in overtime to give host Buffalo a 5-4 come-from-behind win over Toronto. ... Samuel Pahlsson scored a tiebreaking short-handed goal with 10:58 left in the third period to lead defending champion Anaheim to a 6-3 victory over visiting Detroit.

SLAP SHOTS -- The NHL Players' Association officially nominated former assistant U.S. attorney Paul Kelly on Monday for its executive director position. The nomination was made during a conference call Monday night with the union's 30 player representatives, who will conduct a secret ballot vote during the next week. A majority vote is required for Kelly to be elected. ... Jesse Boulerice, who last week was given the longest single-season suspension in NHL history for hitting a player in the face with his stick, was placed on waivers by the Flyers.

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