Ryan Kesler had one of the best games of his career, but in the end it wasn’t enough as Patrick Marleau scored with under a minute left and then Raffi Torres scored just over 5 minutes into overtime to give the Sharks a 3-2 win over the Canucks and take a 2-0 lead home to the Shark Tank.
The Sharks dominated the first period, and were rewarded with a Joe Thornton goal to break the ice just after the 13 minute mark as the Sharks outshot the Canucks 10-4 in the first 20 minutes.
The Canucks came out firing in the second, and Kesler was banging the body with a couple of huge hits as they put 14 shots on Antti Niemi but couldn’t solve the Sharks goalie, although they did gain momentum. The Sharks kept the slim 1 goal lead.
The third was the Kesler show, as he wired a slap shot past a screened Niemi from the mid-point on the power play. The score was tied just a minute into the frame. Kesler then gave his club the lead when he picked off a clearing attempt in the slot and fired another slap shot past Niemi, who wasn’t screened this time but still couldn’t stop the shot. Just when it looked like the Canucks would be able to salvage a win on home ice, the Sharks showed that they will not quit. With the goalie pulled for an extra attacker, Dan Boyle took a shot that was stopped by Roberto Luongo, but the puck trickled through his pads and Marleau was the first one to see it, and dove through the crease and tucked it home with 55 seconds left.
In overtime, Alex Edler had the first good chance to end it just over a minute in for the Canucks, but his shot rang off the crossbar. Four minutes later, Edler had his shot blocked by Sharks defenseman-turned-forward Brent Burns, who broke in on a 2 on 1 with Torres. Burns got the pass across and Torres guided it past Luongo to give the Sharks a road sweep of the opening two games of the series. This is bad news for the Canucks, since the Sharks were the worst road team to make the playoffs, and are the best team at home, where they are headed now.
SENSHOT’S 3 STARS
1. Ryan Kesler
2. Antti Niemi
3. Raffi Torres
Game 3 goes Sunday at 10PM eastern (7:00 pm local time)
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