San Jose Sharks Beat Vancouver Canucks in Game 3, 4-3
If you’re a San Jose Sharks fan, Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals never felt really safe, and Game 2 was just plain hard to watch. The Vancouver Canucks secured a 3-2 comeback win in the first one, and then laid a 7-3 smackdown on the Sharks in the second that had plenty of fans abandoning the bandwagon while they still could.
Thankfully, the faithful Sharks fans who stayed behind were rewarded with a 4-3 win in Game 3 at HP Pavilion. The Canucks now lead the series 2-1.
With the bad taste of Game 2 still in their mouths, the Sharks desperately needed to get off to a good start on their home ice. And they did just that, grabbing a quick 3-0 lead in the first period. Patrick Marleau and Ryane Clowe got the scoring started with power play goals, and Marleau added another just before the end of the period.
Naturally, it wasn’t going to be that easy.
MUST READ: The 25 Greatest Playoff Performances in Stanley Cup History
After a scoreless second period, the Canucks finally got on the board on a goal by Alex Burrows with barely a minute gone past in the third. At that point, it already felt like the Sharks were losing their grip.
Luckily, Dan Boyle stretched the lead to 4-1 a few minutes later with a power play goal, and the Sharks were able to hold the line for a little while longer.
But not quite long enough. Dan Hamhuis scored with a little over six minutes to go, and Kevin Bieksa cut the lead to 4-3 a little while later.
Somehow, the Sharks managed to hold on. No doubt they can chalk that up to Antti Niemi and his 27 saves. Needless to say, he was much better in Game 3 than he was in Game 2.
Like that, the Sharks’ eight-game losing streak in the conference finals is over. Here’s hoping they don’t start another one in Game 4 on Sunday.