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Sharks 3, Canucks 2 (OT)

The SportsXchange

Raffi Torres capped a 2-on-1 break in overtime to score 5:31 into sudden death to give the San Jose Sharks a 3-2 win over the stunned Vancouver Canucks.

The victory enabled the sixth-seed Sharks to take a 2-0 lead over the Northwest Division champion Canucks in their best-of-seven series. Game 3 of the Western Conference quarterfinal is set for Sunday at San Jose.

San Jose's Patrick Marleau sent the game into sudden death with a tying goal with 55.1 seconds left in the third period. Marleau poked his second of the series past Vancouver's Roberto Luongo on a goal-mouth scramble as the Sharks skated with the extra attacker.

Ryan Kesler scored two third-period goals to rally the Canucks from a 1-0 deficit after two periods.

Kesler, who played Game 1 despite battling the flu, scored a tiebreaking goal following a Sharks' turnover at 7:06 of the final period. San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle couldn't connect with forward Joe Pavelski on an attempted breakout pass that Kesler picked off in the high slot before beating Antti Niemi over the San Jose goalie's right pad for his 12th career playoff goal.

The Canucks tied the game inside the first minute of the third period thanks to Kesler's first goal, a power-play strike following an undisciplined penalty taken by San Jose's Andrew Desjardins.

The guilty forward tripped Alexander Edler 180 feet from the San Jose net after the Vancouver defenseman had released the puck. Kesler's shot from the middle of the blue line slipped through an Alex Burrows screen in front Niemi at :59.

Desjardins tried to atone for the early-period miscue, but a drive in close hit the post with 6:53 remaining.

The Sharks had the only goal of the opening 40 minutes, which was marked by tight-checking and physical yet disciplined play on both sides much like Game 1.

The visitors broke on top at 13:22 of the first period when at even-strength Joe Thornton scored his 21th playoff goal in front to cap a goal-mouth scramble. The sequence started with a faceoff win in the Vancouver zone by the Sharks. Defenseman Brad Stuart put a hard shot on goal from the right point and forward Brent Burns sent the puck to Thornton in the slot after winning a battle for possession.

San Jose had a potential second goal waved off early in the second period when forward Tommy Wingels fell into Luongo just before a Pavelski shot found the back of the net. Mason Raymond's push on Wingels went unpenalized.

Both Luongo and Niemi were outstanding through the first two periods. Luongo shut down San Jose's four power plays in the opening two periods and Niemi was perfect during a second period in which the hosts outshot San Jose 14-8 after being held to only four shots in the opening 20 minutes.

Niemi stopped a pair of 2-on-1s in the middle period and held the Canucks off the scoreboard during two power plays in the second period.

NOTES: The victim of an unpenalized and undetected spear from Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa early in Game 1, Sharks right wing Martin Havlat didn't skate on Friday and remains out indefinitely. Veteran center Scott Gomez, injured late in the regular season, did not dress. Forward Tim Kennedy stepped into the San Jose lineup on the fourth line between James Sheppard and Adam Burish. ... Vancouver starting goalie Cory Schneider remains out with an undisclosed injury. Rookie Joe Cannata, with no NHL experience, again dressed as the backup in Game 2. ... Vancouver forward David Booth (left ankle) and defenseman Chris Tanev (leg) remain out. ... San Jose was 4-11 all-time in Game 2s on the road. ... The Canucks had lost five straight home playoff games before Game 2.
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