Sharks Chase Schneider, Take 3-0 Lead in Series


May 5, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) reacts after scoring a goal during the second period in game three of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Vancouver Canucks by the final score of 5-2 to take a commanding 3-0 lead in this best of seven series.

It was a dominating third period for San Jose who managed to score three goals in the third period, all of which came in a span of about two and a half minutes.  In fact, two of those came within nine seconds of each other.

Those goals by Logan Couture (who scored twice) and Patrick Marleau broke open what was a close 2-1 hockey game during the first two periods.

The key to this game for the Sharks was special teams, as they scored three out of eight times on the power play.  They also help the Canucks to no goals on just two chances.  The addition of Scott Gomez greatly improved San Jose’s power play, and although he did not get any points his presence was felt.

Working off of that, though, San Jose was also very good at staying disciplined all night by not taking bad penalties (which the Canucks did plenty of) and not being baited to take penalties by Vancouver who was taking shots.

However, the difference tonight was that the Sharks were about to make the Canucks pay for those penalties by scoring multiple goals with the man-advantage.  San Jose stayed within its game tonight and it payed off.  The best part of the night was Couture scoring on the power play immediately after he got butt-ended by Henrik Sedin.

To Vancouver’s credit, however, they fought hard until the very end of the game and even scored a goal after Cory Schneider was pulled after that flurry of San Jose goals in the third period.  Roberto Luongo, the starter in games one and two, played well stopping all 10 shots he faced in his abbreviated appearance.

The Sharks ended up getting big games from all of their stars tonight with two goals each from Couture and Joe Pavelski and another one from Patrick Marleau.

Pavelski now leads the team with four goals already in the playoffs, from the third line no less, and is showing why he has earned the nickname the “Big Pavelski”.  Also, don’t forget about Marleau who quietly has a goal in each game so far this series.

San Jose is now just one game away from its first ever NHL playoffs sweep, but it will not be easy.  Sharks fans may remember the last time their team was up 3-0 in a series, against the Detroit Red Wings, when Detroit ended up winning the next three games and forcing a game seven before the Sharks finally won the series.

Lesson here is that this series is still far from over.  Even fans of the Warriors saw just a few days ago how hard winning the last game of a series is.  We will just have to wait until Tuesday to find out both teams respond.

GGS 3 Stars
1. Logan Couture (2 goals, 2 assists)
2. Joe Pavelski (2 goals, 1 assist)
3. Patrick Marleau (1 goal)