SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Sharks can't swim backwards -- expect in San Jose.
The Sharks' regression, however, didn't come until the final nine minutes of Game 3 of the Western Conference finals as a possibly suspension-worthy check by forward Jamie McGinn resulted in a major boarding penalty. The Vancouver Canucks scored twice on the power play that resulted before the Sharks paddled out a 4-3 victory at HP Pavilion on Friday night.
"We won he the first and second [periods]," said Sharks forward Devin Setoguchi, who got his first point of the series as he assisted on one of Patrick Marleau's two goals. "The penalty [hurt]. You can't put a power play on the ice which is that good for five minutes. They are going to score goals. It's only a matter of time. They got two, but he hunkered down over the last three minutes and got the win."
|Canucks-Sharks: Game 3|
The Sharks had 10 power plays in Game 3 en route to their first win of the best-of-7 series, seven more than the first two games. Marleau and Ryane Clowe scored on the Sharks' first two chances and a Marleau tally at even-strength made it 3-0 at the first intermission.
"I thought our intensity was much improved from where it was in Vancouver," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. "I thought we played harder, we won more battles -- all the things that we talked about, all of us as a group yesterday. We were much better in a lot of areas. Probably the difference at the end of the night was the five-on-three goal."
That was caused by tripping penalties by Ryan Kesler and Alexandre Burrows, the latter whistled after Burrows knocked down Sharks goalie Antti Niemi. That gave the Sharks a two-man advantage for a minute and 36 seconds and defenseman Dan Boyle scored what turned out to the game-winner on a slap shot that beat Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo. The Canucks failed on their two-man advantage later in the period, which lasted 31 seconds.
"Yeah, [Boyle's goal was] very important," said Sharks captain Joe Thornton, who had three assists. "They didn't capitalize on theirs. You never know. It's 3-1 up to that point. You really don't know at that point if that's going to be the game-winner."
McGinn took care of that has he checked defenseman Aaron Rome hard into the boards with 8:38 left in regulation. Rome lay on the ice for a couple minutes before he was helped to the locker room and McGinn was assessed a boarding major and was forced out of the game with a misconduct.
It was a McGinn's second misconduct this postseason, the first coming in Game 6 of the first round against the Los Angeles Kings. But since that was a charging penalty, it falls into a different classification and he won't face an automatic suspension.
"I had a chance to watch it on the video," McLellan said. "The referees probably made the right call on the ice, there's no doubt about it. I don't think there was any intent on Jamie's behalf. We hope that Rome is healthy. We don't want to see that happen to anybody. Could very easily be one of our players in that situation. We do wish him well."
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said his team could be without defensemen Christian Ehrhoff -- forced out with an upper-body injury after a collision with McGinn earlier in the contest -- and Rome, who are questionable for Game 4 on Sunday afternoon. Neither returned to the game.
"Well, if I was Aaron Rome, I'd be upset right now," Vigneault said. "But I know that they got the right call on the ice. We'll see what happens."
McGinn said after the game that he wasn't trying to hurt Rome and he thought he went shoulder-to-shoulder on the collision. This comes as the Sharks sat forward Ben Eager, who was not suspended after a hard check of Daniel Sedin in Game 2.
Hopes for a comeback were dashed when Kevin Bieksa was forced to hook Clowe to prevent an empty-net goal in the closing minute of play. He was the most penalized player on the night, taking three penalties although Rome and, Maxim Lapierre and Tanner Glass had two each.
That was caused by tripping penalties by Ryan Kesler and Alexandre Burrows, the latter whistled after Burrows knocked down Sharks goalie Niemi. That gave the Sharks a two-man advantage for a minute and 36 seconds as defenseman Dan Boyle scored what turned out to be the game-winner on a slap shot that beat Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo. The Canucks failed on their two, two-man advantages later in the period that spanned a 1:55.
"I hope we got some [momentum]," Canucks forward Henrik Sedin said. "We came out strong in third and put a lot of pressure on their defense. That's the way we need to play, but giving up those power plays is tough in this building."
Despite taking more penalties (11) in Game 3 as the two previous games put together, Vigneault didn't have a problem with is squad.
"I thought we were pretty disciplined," Vigneault said. "So if I were to comment on what I think of the penalties, I'd get a pretty big fine so I'm going to save my money."