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Canucks Skate Over Sharks

Todd Bertuzzi didn't waste any time making an impact for the Vancouver Canucks.

Bertuzzi scored the winning goal and picked up an assist on his first shift with Vancouver as the Canucks beat the San Jose Sharks 6-3 Saturday night.

"I just came in here with an open mind and just wanted to show them how I could play," said Bertuzzi, who was traded from the New York Islanders to the Canucks on Friday. "Right off the bat, our line scored a goal and from there we started building."

Bertuzzi's linemate Dave Scatchard got his eighth and ninth goals of the season as the Canucks won their second straight on the heels of a three-day trading blitz.

The Canucks head into the Olympic break having won four of their last five. Their 16-33-8 record puts them nine points behind San Jose (21-28-7) in the battle for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Bertuzzi, who arrived in Vancouver earlier Saturday, said he had a tough time believing the Canucks are last in the Western Conference.

"They've got so much talent in this room, from offense to defense to goaltending. They're just solid all around," said Bertuzzi, a 23-year-old former first-round pick who had just seven goals and 11 assists in 52 games with the Islanders this season.

"I think it's just a matter of putting the whole package together and this could be a dominant team."

For the second straight night, a Canucks' trade paid off in the first minute of play. On Friday night, Peter Zezel scored 53 seconds into a 5-4 win over Edmonton.

Both teams struggled on the power play, the Sharks going 0-for-5 and the Canucks 0-for-4.

The Canucks scored the first of three straight goals at the 57-second mark when Scatchard banged home a rebound after Bertuzzi's wraparound attempt was stopped by Sharks' goaltender Mike Vernon.

"Every guy in this room wants to make the playoffs and that's basically what were concentrating on," Scatchard said.

Marco Sturm opened the scoring for the Sharks later in the first period and Bertuzzi struck again at 13:34 of second with a 15-foot wrist shot over Vernon's left shoulder.

It was Bertuzzi's first goal since arriving with defenseman Bryan McCabe in the trade that sent center Trevor Linden to the New York Islanders.

The Sharks cut it to 4-3 late in the third, but goals by Pavel Bure and Scatchard gave the Canucks the 6-3 victory.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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