Canucks pepper Niemi, rout Sharks to take first two games in seriesMay 19, 2011 - 5:47 AM
Higgins' goal in the third period proved to be the game winner as Vancouver took a 2-0 lead in the series. The team captured Game 1 by a 3-2 final thanks to a pair of third period goals.
Henrik Sedin and Dan Hamhuis each had three assists for the Canucks, who got 28 saves from Roberto Luongo. Bieksa and Mason Raymond each had a goal and an assist while Raffi Torres and Aaron Rome added a goal each in the win.
"We played a real solid game tonight at both ends of the rink," said Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault. "We've talked about playing whistle to whistle and staying disciplined and we've done that throughout the playoffs."
Ben Eager, Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture each scored for the Sharks, who fell to 2-10 all-time in conference final games. Antti Niemi was lit up for all seven goals on 38 shots.
"They had more battle in their game then we did and at this time of the year if you have more battle you are going to win," said San Jose head coach Todd McLellan. "You can't chase this team cause they're too good. You either have to play with them or ahead of them."
Game 3 will take place in San Jose on Friday.
The game was tied in the second period at 2-2, but the Canucks took the lead when Bieksa was hit with a lead pass for a clear breakaway and slipped a nifty low shot through the pads of Niemi at the 12:05 mark of the second.
Skating on the power play in the third, the Canucks made it a 4-2 game as a pass from Raymond at the low left side to the front saw Higgins one-time it home at the 7:56 mark.
That opened the floodgates as the Canucks scored three more times over a five-minute span for a five-goal advantage.
At the 11:41 mark on another power play, a one-timer in the slot by Daniel Sedin found the back of the net. Three minutes later it was a 6-2 contest as Rome's first playoff goal came off a rebound of an Alexandre Burrows shot.
Raymond completed the burst with 3:18 to play while Eager scored 45 seconds later to cap the scoring in the contest.
The first goal of the game went to San Jose as a little pass from Dany Heatley found Couture behind the defense and he faked to the forehand before sliding the puck into the net on the power play at 2:28 of the first.
Vancouver scored on the power play near the midway mark of the first as a quick back and forth between the Sedin brothers saw Daniel finish the play with a shot from the slot.
The Canucks took a 2-1 lead just 39 seconds later when Christian Ehrhoff kept the puck in at the right point, skated down low and backhanded a pass to the front where Torres got it in.
The Sharks, though, tied the game on the power play three minutes later when Marleau jammed in a Joe Thornton rebound. It was initially not called a goal, but a replay overturned the call.
San Jose fell to 4-4 as the guests in the playoffs while the Canucks are now 6-3 as the hosts...San Jose was 2-for-2 on the power play while Vancouver went 3-for-6...Bieksa also had a fight in the second period with Marleau to complete the "Gordie Howe Hat Trick" of one goal, one assist and one fight in a game...Vancouver is in the conference finals for the first time since beating Calgary in 1994 while San Jose was swept by Chicago in the West Finals last season.
- SAN JOSE: 3
May 18 11:53 PM
- San Jose Goal - Ben Eager, at 17:27.
Sharks 3, Canucks 7 3rd - 2:33May 18 11:47 PM
- Vancouver Goal - Mason Raymond (2), from Chris Higgins and Dan Hamhuis at 16:42.
Sharks 2, Canucks 7 3rd - 3:18May 18 11:45 PM
- Christian Ehrhoff slap shot on Antti Niemi.
Sharks 2, Canucks 6 3rd - 5:12May 18 11:42 PM
- SAN JOSE: 2
3rd Period - 7:01
Sharks 2, Canucks 5 3rd - 7:01May 18 11:35 PM
- Vancouver Power-Play Goal - Chris Higgins (4), from Mason Raymond and Kevin Bieksa at 7:56.
Sharks 2, Canucks 4 3rd - 12:04May 18 11:24 PM
- SAN JOSE: 2
End of 2nd
May 18 10:53 PM
- Vancouver Goal - Kevin Bieksa (3), from Chris Higgins and Dan Hamhuis at 12:05.
Sharks 2, Canucks 3 2nd - 7:55May 18 10:39 PM
- SAN JOSE: 2
End of 1st
May 18 9:57 PM
- Devin Setoguchi deflected shot is wide.
Sharks 2, Canucks 2 1st - 4:20May 18 9:46 PM
- San Jose Goal - Patrick Marleau (5), from Joe Thornton and Dan Boyle at 14:02.
Sharks 3, Canucks 2 1st - 5:58May 18 9:44 PM
- San Jose Power-Play Goal - Joe Thornton (4), at 13:03.
Sharks 2, Canucks 2 1st - 6:57May 18 9:42 PM
- Vancouver Goal - Raffi Torres (2), at 10:18.
Sharks 1, Canucks 2 1st - 9:42May 18 9:34 PM
- Dan Hamhuis shot blocked by Logan Couture.
Sharks 1, Canucks 1 1st - 10:23May 18 9:32 PM
- San Jose Goal - Logan Couture, at 2:28.
Sharks 1, Canucks 0 1st - 17:32May 18 9:17 PM
- SAN JOSE: 0
1st Period - 20:00
May 18 9:12 PM
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