SAN JOSE — Joe Pavelski knew the game was going to get intense. He didn't realize it would happen so early.
Pavelski had two goals, Patrick Marleau scored again — though only once — and the undefeated San Jose Sharks beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 on Sunday.
The game became feisty even before the puck dropped as Ryan Clowe and Alexandre Burrows got into it at center ice and it remained that way.
“We know there is a lot of stake when we play them,” Pavelski said.
“The intensity was set . . . I'd like to stay at the first puck drop but it was before that. That's the first time I've seen something like that.”
Joe Thornton also scored for the Sharks, who improved to 5-0-0. Antti Niemi made 23 saves as coach Todd McLellan earned his 200th career victory.
“We were ready to go. I think that Clowie getting us going early was huge for us,” Thornton said.
“Every game against these guys is just a really, super competitive game, and I think we saw that again. Both teams are engaged early.”
Marleau scored two goals in each of the first four games of the season, becoming the first NHL player to pull off that trick since 1917.
“It would have been nice to keep it going,” Marleau said. “But I got a lucky one tonight and I'll take it.”
Burrows scored for the Canucks, who had a three-game unbeaten streak end. Cory Schneider also stopped 23 shots.
“We obviously dislike each other,” Burrows said.
“We've seen them in the playoffs a couple of years ago. They're a Western Conference rival and they make for good games.”
Clowe tied a Sharks record with eight penalties, all in the first two periods, and a career-high 35 penalty minutes.
Fights between Clowe and Zack Kassian in the first period and Douglas Murray and Aaron Volpatti in the third were lengthy and bloody.