Thu May 19 02:30am EDT
The defenseman tallied a Gordie Howe hat trick, even though reader "The Riot Is Tonight" stated that it "doesn't count as a Gordie Howe Hat Trick if you fight Patrick Marleau(notes)." That said, Bieksa's breakaway goal off a perfect feed from Chris Higgins(notes) gave the Canucks a 3-2 lead in the second period that was expanded to a 7-3 win in the third period. He also picked up an assist on Chris Higgins' goal in the third. Vancouver is now up 2-0 in the Western Conference finals.
No. 2 Star: Chris Higgins, Vancouver Canucks
The aforementioned Mr. Higgins set up the tie-breaking goal by Bieksa and then scored a back-breaker in the third period on the power play, a rocket one-timer from the slot that made it 4-2. He also helped set up the Canucks' final goal with a quick pass to Mason Raymond(notes) in the slot to make it 7-2.
You can count on one hand the number of Sharks that didn't embarrass themselves in Game 2, but we'll give the rookie a nod here for his first-period goal on the power play and overall play in 17:37 of ice time.
Honorable mention: The twins were brilliant for the Canucks. No, not those twins; Daniel Sedin(notes), who had two power-play goals and now has eight for the playoffs, and Henrik Sedin(notes), who had three assists. They dominated on the power play. … Raffi Torres(notes) and Aaron Rome(notes) had the other goals. Dan Hamhuis(notes) had three assists. … Patrick Marleau's power-play goal, confirmed by video review, and Ben Eager's(notes) third-period tally were the other Sharks goals. … Roberto Luongo(notes) had 28 saves. … Ryan Kesler(notes) was 16-7 on draws while Joe Pavelski(notes) was 15-9 for San Jose.
Did you know? NBA star and Canadian hoops icon Steve Nash was at the game, spilling his beer after the Bieksa goal.
Dishonorable mention: The officiating didn't favor the Sharks, as the refs missed a couple of clear high sticks, including one that cut Joe Thornton(notes). … Now, where to start with the Sharks? The defense was terrible, giving up two goals in 39 seconds in the first period and with Douglas Murray(notes) finishing at a minus-3. Antti Niemi(notes) was bad at times, giving up seven goals on 38 shots. They allowed three power-play goals. They allowed four goals during the third period. Ryane Clowe(notes), Dany Heatley(notes) and Devin Setoguchi(notes) (minus-3) didn't register a point. Finally, there was the Ben Eager show: Taking a boarding penalty on a cheap hit against Daniel Sedin; a tripping penalty that led to a Canucks goal; scoring a goal of his own late in the third, followed by his chirping Roberto Luongo in a 7-3 game, before taking another minor penalty; then a cross-checking penalty and a misconduct for 20 minutes in penalties in total. Here's the hit on Sedin:
Conn Smythe Watch: 1. Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks; 2. Martin St. Louis(notes), Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. Tim Thomas(notes), Boston Bruins; 4. Sean Bergenheim(notes), Tampa Bay Lightning; 5. Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks; 6. Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks; 7. Dwayne Roloson(notes), Tampa Bay Lightning; 8. Ryane Clowe, San Jose Sharks; 9. Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks; 10. Nathan Horton(notes), Boston Bruins.