San Jose, CA– With a 2-0 series lead, the Sharks welcomed back Scott Gomez as he was out of commission nursing an undisclosed injury. For the visiting Canucks they made a goaltending swap as they elected to start Cory Schneider over Roberto Luongo.
A Very Physical First: Right before the opening face-off, San Jose’s Joe Pavelski and Vancouver’s Yanick Hansen exchanged some physical push and shove that included some stick chopping to get game three kicked off on a good note. In the first three minutes of game, each team would press the physicality issue, thus exciting the crowd at HP Pavilion. At the 4:33 mark of the first period, Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi saw his first piece of rubber as he made the save look easy. 13:16 of the first period, the games first scrum ensued at the Sharks net as both teams played some push and shove action. As a result of the scrum, Adam Burish of San Jose and Tom Sestito of Vancouver each got a unsportmanlike penalties for their efforts and putting their respective squads at four aside. Shortly into the four on four action Ryan Kesler of Vancouver skated over to the boards where Patrick Marleau was playing the puck on a clearing attempt in the Sharks end, when his stick went up and made contact with Kesler’s jaw. In light of that, Patrick Marleau received a high sticking minor at 7:22 of the first putting San Jose down a man. On both situations, the San Jose Sharks penalty killers came up huge as they killed off the 4 on 3 and 5 on 4, by doing that, the HP Pavilion crowd applauded their Sharks for their efforts. At 10:31 the Sharks nearly scored the games first goal when TJ Galiardi was denied by Schneider to keep the score at 0-0.
Another scrum came to be again at the Sharks net when Dale Wiese of Vancouver went at Antti Niemi. As a result, this put San Jose on the man advantage of the game at the 12:40 mark. Not long into the the 5 on 4 situation, Sharks Joe Thornton ended up drawing another penalty when Dan Hamhuis was caught slashing Thornton from behind. On the five on three, San Jose converted when Thornton fed the puck to Logan Couture in the slot and then Couture found Pavelski at the right of Vancouver’s net as Pav’s put the rubber over Schneider’s shoulder, thus putting the Sharks up to a 1-0 lead. Moments later after the Sharks took the early lead, San Jose’s Tommy Wingels was called with a roughing minor. Thus making the penalty killers for San Jose very busy. Again the special teams unit for the Sharks came up big to deny the Canucks from knotting the game up at 1 apiece. The Sharks managed to keep the Canucks off the scoresheet in the first 20 minutes to keep it 1-0 San Jose lead. As for the hit department, Vancouver edged out San Jose 14 to 12 of the first.
The Big Pavelski: Moments following the opening face off of the game’s middle frame, the Sharks Joe Pavelski nearly put San Jose up by two goals when his shot hit the far post. Scott Gomez at the 3:39 mark drew a cross checking penalty from Max Lapierre of Vancouver giving the Sharks another man advantage opportunity. On the power play, San Jose was denied by Cory Schneider twice as he turned away both shot’s by Marleau and Pavelski. 7:20 in the second, Tommy Wingels at the high circle area on the right side into Vancouver’s end fired the puck in on Schneider when Pavelski intercepted the puck on a sweet deflection to put the rubber under the Canucks net minder to put San Jose up 2-0. Later in the second, the Canucks would answer with a goal of their own when the Sedin twins found Alex Burrows on the left side in the Sharks zone and put a weak wrist shot over Niemi to make it a 2-1 San Jose lead. In the late stages of the second period San Jose’s TJ Galiardi found Joe Thornton in the neutral zone as he sent an up ice feed as Jumbo went into Vancouver’s end on breakaway, as a result he ended up drawing a penalty when Janick Hansen received a cross checking minor. As the second stanza died down, the feistiness returned once again as Burrows hit Boyle connected with one another. As for the hit department, Vancouver edged out San Jose again 16 to 14 in the middle frame. The Sharks would take the rest of the power play time into the dressing room.
Logan’s Way: The Sharks entered the final period on the man advantage and they came up big as Logan Couture scored on a long wrist shot to give San Jose some much needed insurance at the 1:40 mark making it a 3-1 lead. Immediately following the Couture goal, Patrick Marleau scored a goal of his own when he fired the puck under Schneider to give the Sharks a 3 goal lead as the score would be 4-1. Less than three minutes later, Couture struck again with another wrist shot past the Vancouver net minder. By doing that, he sent Schneider packing, forcing AV to make a goaltending change putting in Roberto Loungo in his place. Later in the final period, the penalty parade continued for the Canucks as Max Lapierre was called with an undisciplined slashing minor at 11:54 marker. While on the man advantage TJ Galiardi of San Jose was called with a slashing minor, while Alex Burrows of Vancouver crossed checked Galiardi. This ended up putting both teams at four aside for the second time of the night. Vancouver managed to score during the 4 on 4 session to cut into the Sharks lead as Derek Roy set up Dan Hamhuis to make it 5-2 San Jose. The score would hold as the Sharks took game three over the Vancouver Canucks, thus sending the electric crowd at HP Pavilion home extremely happy.
SJ – 14:08 –PP – 8 J.Pavelski(1) – assists – 39 L.Couture(2), 19 J.Thornton(1)
SJ – 7:20 –EV – 8 J.Pavelski(2) – assists 57 T.Wingels(2), 27 S.Hannan(1)
VAN – 11:07 –EV – 14 A.Burrows(1) – assists – 33 H.Sedin(2), 22 D.Sedin(2)
SJ – 1:40 –PP – 39 L.Couture(2) – assist – 52 M.Irwin(1)
SJ – 1:49 –EV – 12 P.Marleau(3) – assist – 39 L.Couture(3)
SJ – 4:07 –PP – 39 L.Couture(3) – assists – 19 J.Thornton(2), 8 J.Pavelski(4)
VAN – 13:12 –EV – 2 D.Hamhuis(1) – assist – 15 D.Roy(1)
Coach McLellan Post-Game Presser- Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan spoke to the press after San Jose’s 5-2 over the Vancouver Canucks.
“We tried to keep everything even keel,” McLellan said. “We prepared before the series for both goaltenders, and just refreshed our shooter’s minds of what they might see.”
“The back-to-back goals were a bit of a backbreaker, I would think. It worked in our favor,” McLellan said.
“We feel good when we play in the building,” coach Todd McLellan said. “Pavs said something after the game about the fans that they almost become his legs at times because they are so energizing.”
Shark Bytes- The three stars of the game were 3) Patrick Marleau; 2) Joe Pavelski; 1) Logan Couture. All three Sharks players earned their star rating tonight. San Jose went 3 for 8 on the power play, recorded 33 hits, out of the 71 total faceoffs, the Sharks won 41 of them. In addition to that, the Sharks blocked a total of 22 and San Jose beat the Canucks on the shot clock 38 to 30. Antti Niemi was steller in net tonight as he stopped 28 of 30 shots he faced and recorded a .933 save percentage for his effort. Couture, Pavelski, and Thornton combined recorded 9 points on the night.
Next Sharks Game- Tuesday Night at 7:00pm local time the Sharks are back in action against the Canucks for game four of the Western Conference Quaterfinals. The game will be televised on CSNCA-HD for local viewers, it will also be broadcasted in the United States on CNBC. As for the Canadian viewers, they can pick up the game on both the TSN Network and RDS (French Speaking Audience).
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