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Sharks 3, Canucks 1

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Defenseman Dan Boyle scored a tie-breaking goal at 9:17 of the third period to enable the San Jose Sharks to post a 3-1 comeback win over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series Wednesday night.

The first team in this Stanley Cup playoff season to win on the road, San Jose grabbed Game 1 against a Vancouver team that eliminated them from the West Finals two years ago.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is set for Vancouver on Friday night.

Boyle had crept down from his spot on the blue line and was unmarked to the right of the slot just 12 feet from the goal. Tommy Wingles won a puck battle behind the net to feed Joe Pavelski, who put a long backhand shot on goal that Wingles kept alive while battling Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo. Boyle slammed home for the go-ahead goal to make it 2-1.

Patrick Marleau scored at 14:37 of the third to make it 3-1, his 53rd career playoff goal, to give the Sharks insurance late.

Each team scored a second-period goal to remain tied 1-1 after a hard-hitting, tight-checking opening 40 minutes.

Vancouver struck first 12:26 into the middle period at even strength on a goal-mouth scramble that was initially credited to right wing Jannik Hansen but later changed to defenseman Kevin Bieksa. San Jose goalie Antti Niemi stopped an initial shot by Bieksa, but couldn't cover the rebound.

The Sharks got even on the power play as Logan Couture beat Luongo at 16:34 with a wrist shot just left of the slot.

Couture drew the minor, a roughing call on Vancouver forward Zack Kassian at 16:00. Boyle supplied a pass from the bottom of the right circle to pick up the primary assist on Couture's 13th career playoff goal.

San Jose had two first-period power plays, including a two-minute advantage just 2:36 after the opening faceoff that produced seven shots but no goals. The Canucks failed to convert on two second-period power plays, totaling three shots in four minutes.

The Sharks held a 15-9 advantage in shots in the first period while the Canucks dominated the second period in shots, 14-6.

NOTES: The Sharks lost the services of second-line right wing Martin Havlat early in the first period due to an undisclosed injury. Havlat was injured on his fifth shift of the game and did not return. ... Canucks forward Ryan Kesler played in Game 1 after not participating in the morning skate. Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault joked earlier in the day, "We've got him locked in the back. We're feeding him raw meat. The beast will be ready tonight." ... Of the decision to start long-time Canuck and current backup Roberto Luongo in goal over Cory Schneider, Vigneault said, "He's just not healthy enough right now." Schneider missed the last two games of the regular season and didn't even dress as the backup. ... The Sharks were without veteran center Scott Gomez and defenseman Jason Demers, both nursing undisclosed injuries. Gomez missed the final two games of the regular season after sustaining an open-ice hit by Eric Cole of Dallas. Demers missed the final four games. James Sheppard played in place of Gomez and nearby Richmond, British Columbia, native Scott Hannan instead of rookie Matt Tennyson subbed for Demers.
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