Sharks clinch series with OT win over Canucks

Ross McKeon, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The first round was a sweeping success.
Patrick Marleau's tap-in power-play goal at 13:18 of overtime gave the Sharks a 4-3 win over the Canucks and a 4-0 series win on Tuesday night.
"We never wanted to go back to Vancouver, we wanted to win in front of our own crowd," Sharks forward Logan Couture said.
The victory sends San Jose into the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, which will likely start late next week when the Sharks could face Chicago, Anaheim, Los Angeles or St. Louis.
"Everybody is doing all the little things it takes to win," Marleau said. "There's still things we're going to work on and get better at, but we'll take what we have so far."
On the game- and series-deciding sequence, Vancouver's Daniel Sedin boarded Tommy Wingels at 13:03 into sudden death as the Sharks were coming hard at the Canucks.
Joe Thornton put a shot on goal from the slot that trickled to the side of Vancouver goalie Cory Schneider, who appeared to lose sight of the rebound. Marleau pounced on the loose puck for his third career game-winner in playoff overtime.
"I was just going to the net and found some garbage again," Marleau said.
"Good thing Patty has the wheels to finish that off," Thornton added.
San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle made a nice play in the neutral zone to enable the Sharks to gain entry, and Thornton decided his best option was to put the puck toward the net rather than dish to a teammate.
"Surprised he shot? No," Marleau said with a smile. "I was kind of yelling at him to shoot it. I don't know if he heard me, but he made a great play to do it."
The Sharks tied the game late in the third period with their second power-play goal of the night at 15:33 when Joe Pavelski backhanded a rebound of a Thornton shot past Schneider. Wingels drew a cross-checking penalty from Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa to set up the opportunity.
The goal answered a pair scored by Vancouver earlier in the period when the Canucks took advantage of a Sharks team content to sit on a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes.
"We were saying all the right things but weren't doing them," Pavelski said. "It took them scoring a nice power-play goal and them taking the lead for it to sink in. Once we did that, we worked."
Defenseman Alexander Edler gave the visitors a 3-2 lead at 11:02 of the third period with a slap shot from the middle of the blue line over the blocker of San Jose goalie Antti Niemi.
The goal came less than two minutes after the Canucks tied it on Alex Burrows' power-play goal at 9:12. San Jose's Andrew Desjardins went off for roughing to give the visitors their third power play of the night.
Vancouver, which pushed hard the first half of the final period, got rewarded when Daniel Sedin created a 2-on-1 low against San Jose defenseman Brad Stuart before feeding in front where Burrows chipped his second goal of the series past Niemi.
The Sharks were kicking themselves during the second intermission for failing to take advantage of three middle-session power plays, especially a mid-period four-minute advantage the result of Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamhuis opening a cut on the lip of Wingels during a double-minor high stick.
San Jose peppered Schneider with three shots during the first of consecutive power plays, and Thornton fanned from the weak side when facing an open net during a four-shot second power play.
If that wasn't enough, Schneider was called upon again to keep his team in the series when Edler tripped Adam Burish at 16:35. San Jose mustered two shots on the resulting power play, but failed to extend their one-goal lead.
The Sharks owned a 2-1 lead after the opening 20 minutes, marked by fast skating, plenty of offensive chances for both sides and a 13-11 edge in shots for Vancouver.
Pavelski scored a tiebreaking goal on the power play at 14:52 just eight seconds after Vancouver's Derek Roy boarded Stuart. Pavelski connected on a turn-around shot from the edge of the right circle after a Patrick Marleau drive from the left point ricocheted off teammate Logan Couture to the slot just over the stick of Burrows.
The Canucks tied the game 1-1 at 7:54 when Mason Raymond's drive from the center of the blue line caromed off of Stuart and past Niemi. Stuart was battling Burrows in front of the net.
San Jose scored the first goal of the game at 2:41 when Brent Burns redirected a point drive by Scott Hannan past Schneider on San Jose's third shot on goal.
"We have a lot of guys contributing in all kinds of ways," Pavelski said. "There are so many things that go into a series like this."
"It's one round," Couture added. "We'll get some rest and find out who we play next."

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