– Vancouver needed 37 seconds of 5-on-3 power play time to score
three goals in the second period against the San Jose Sharks Sunday
afternoon on the way to a 4-2 victory at sold-out HP Pavilion.
SAN JOSE – Vancouver needed 37 seconds of 5-on-3 power play time to score three goals in the second period against the San Jose Sharks Sunday afternoon on the way to a 4-2 victory at sold-out HP Pavilion.
The Canucks can finish the best 4-of-7 Western Conference Finals Tuesday night on the Vancouver ice. San Jose trails 3-1, with a sixth game set for HP Pavilion Thursday at 6pm if necessary.
The Sharks earned the game’s first five power plays, but could not get the puck past Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo in the 10 minutes of extra-skater time.
“We weren’t very sharp,” San Jose coach Todd McLellan said of the Sharks’ failed five power plays. “We started to press a little and it got worse and worse. The passing was off, the receiving was off.”
Once the Canucks went on the power play in the second period, a series of Shark penalties allowed the visitors to skate 5-on-3 on three occasions. Vancouver needed 11 seconds for one goal, 16 for another and 10 for the clincher to turn the defense-dominated game into the Canucks’ 11th post-season victory.
Dany Heatley was already in the San Jose penalty box in the second period when penalty-killer Torrey Mitchell was whistled for hooking at 9:05. By the 9:16 mark, Vancouver took a 1-0 lead when Ryan Kesler’s one-timer from the left-wing dot flew past goaltender Antti Niemi.
When San Jose was called for a too many men on the ice penalty at 10:39, Vancouver needed only 16 seconds before Sami Salo’s hard shot from the high slot landed inside the left post for a 2-0 cushion at 10:55.
Within six seconds, San Jose’s Douglas Murray was escorted to the box for delay of game for sending the puck over the glass. Vancouver went right to work for a third 5-on-3 chance, making it 3-0 only 10 seconds into action when Salo skated into a shot from the slot and found the back of the net for his third post-season goal.
“Sami’s shot is a big weapon,” Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said of the right-shooting defenseman, who was on the first power play unit in place of an injured Christian Ehrhoff.
Vancouver’s 115 seconds from the first to the third goals of the game accounted for all but one of the team’s four shots on net for the decisive second period. The Canucks added three shots on net in the third period while protecting their lead, finishing the game down 35-13 in shots on net.
“Salo gave us a completely different look,” McLellan said of the Canuck power play line-up change.
The Canucks made it 4-0 on their first shot of the third period. Henrik Sedin controlled the puck on the right flank on a 2-on-1 rush into the San Jose zone. Sedin moved to the right post and sent the puck through the crease to Alexandre Burrows for the point-blank shot at 5:33. Henrik Sedin finished with four assists, Daniel Sedin three on the day.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s shot from the top of the slot was redirected by Andrew Desjardins past Luongo at 7:02 of the third period to avoid the shut-out. The goal was Desjardins’ first in two career post-season games. Jamie McGinn, in his 21st post-season game, earned his first point with the secondary assist.
San Jose followed with a second 5-on-5 goal at 15:55 of the third. Logan Couture controlled the puck through the right circle of the Vancouver zone before dropping the puck back to Ryane Clowe for the slapshot inside the right post.