VANCOUVER, British Columbia --Tomas Hertl was kept off the scoresheet for the first time this season, but it didn't matter.

The Sharks skated out of Rogers Arena on Thursday night as one of four NHL teams with a perfect record after a 4-1 victory that marked their ninth consecutive regular season and playoff win over their new Pacific Divison rivals.

Still, Sharks coach Todd McLellan did what he could to dampen any thought that San Jose had any kind of mastery over the Canucks.

"The league is even," McLellan said. "Sometimes it's a break or it's a bounce, and we've been getting them."

What the Sharks also continued to get was balanced scoring as their goals came from forwards on three lines -- Patrick Marleau, Matt Pelech and Brent Burns -- as well as the defense as Marc-Edouard Vlasic opened the scoring.

San Jose Sharks’ Tyler Kennedy, left, and Patrick Marleau celebrate Marleau’s goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period of an
San Jose Sharks' Tyler Kennedy, left, and Patrick Marleau celebrate Marleau's goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)

San Jose also got another strong performance from goalie Antti Niemi, who made 25 saves and had absolutely no chance on the deflection by Canucks forward Mike Santorelli that was the lone puck to get past him.

Niemi's biggest save was early in the second period on a wraparound attempt by Canucks forward Henrik Sedin that Niemi got his left skate on.

"It came off the boards, a quick play," Niemi said. "I just wanted to be almost inside the net so they couldn't shoot it off my skates or off my pads. A little bit of luck, actually."

The Sharks were holding a 2-0 lead at the time on Vlasic's second goal of the season -- a blast from the slot at 12:16 of the first period that gives him at least one point in each of San Jose's four games -- and Pelech's first NHL goal at 19:02.

Pelech, who was recalled from Worcester more for his physical play than his scoring touch, chipped a pass from James Sheppard into the Vancouver net under the watchful eye of his uncle, Canucks general manager Mike Gillis.

"Obviously they would have liked to have the win," Pelech, 26, said of his uncle's team, "but hopefully he's happy for me, too. Hopefully."

Marleau's goal at 11:55 of the second period was important because it came just 95 seconds after Santorelli had cut San Jose's lead to one goal.

The Canucks hemmed the Sharks in their own end for a long stretch of the third period, but Niemi said he did not feel under siege at that point.

"Even in the third, they really didn't get too much action close to the net," said Niemi, crediting the team defense in front of him.

Burns rounded out the scoring with an empty-net goal at 17:41.

Hertl, who was the talk of the hockey world for the previous 48 hours after his four-goal performance against the New York Rangers, did register three shots and came close to scoring when he sneaked in behind the Vancouver defense in the third period.

But his most visible moment on the ice came late in the second period when Vancouver defenseman Alex Edler's shoulder separated the rookie's helmet from his head.

"No doubt there's contact to the head. That's obvious," McLellan said when asked about the hit. "It's how it'll be interpreted."

  • Despite criticism elsewhere of his fancy fourth goal against the Rangers, Hertl had two defenders in the Vancouver locker room before the game, including the netminder he faced a few hours later.

    "It's part of the game," goalie Roberto Luongo said. "He didn't do anything illegal, so its all good."

    Sedin, a creative player himself, seemed puzzled by the concern.

    "He scored a beautiful goal. It was fun to watch. If I were a fan of the game -- which I am -- I loved it. Is hockey the only sport where if you do something nice, you talk about showboating?"

  • Scott Hannan filled the vacancy on the blue line created by the three-game suspension of Brad Stuart for an illegal hit to the head of Rangers forward Rick Nash.

    For more on the Sharks, see David Pollak's Working the Corners blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/sharks. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/PollakOnSharks.

    SATURDAY'S GAME

    Ottawa (1-0-2) at Sharks (4-0-0),
    7 p.m. CSNCA