for this game

Sharks survive to win Game 3 vs. Canucks

May 21, 2011 - 5:30 AM San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Patrick Marleau scored twice in the first period and assisted on the eventual game-winner in the third, as the San Jose Sharks survived to take a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.

Dan Boyle's goal in the third period proved to be the decider while Joe Thornton assisted on three goals for the Sharks, who pulled within 2-1 in the series after dropping the first two games in Vancouver.

Ryane Clowe also scored in the first period while Antti Niemi stopped 27 shots for the Sharks, who will look to even the series in Game 4 on Sunday.

"We were much better in all areas of the game than we were in Vancouver," said San Jose head coach Todd McLellan. "We skated hard and came out with an intensity I haven't seen in a while from this team. We'll see if we can replicate that on Sunday afternoon."

Dan Hamhuis, Kevin Bieksa and Alexandre Burrows all scored in the third period for the Canucks, who had won their past three road games in the playoffs. Roberto Luongo let in all four goals on 38 shots.

Boyle's goal came off a 5-on-3 advantage as him and Marleau played catch with the puck at the points before he blasted it in from the top of the left circle for a 4-1 lead at the 6:46 mark.

However, San Jose's Jamie McGinn took a major and misconduct for boarding with 8:38 left in the game when he slammed Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome into the boards in the deep right side of the Vancouver end.

"Well, if I was Aaron Rome, I'd be upset right now," said Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault. "But I know that they got the right call on the ice. We'll see what happens."

The Canucks went to work on the five-minute power play and made it a two-goal game with 6:21 to play as Henrik Sedin sent a cross-ice pass from the left circle over to the top of the right where Hamhuis one-timed a big blast into the back of the net.

Still on the power play, Vancouver made it a one-goal game with 3:56 to play as a shot from Bieksa at the left point hit off the skate of Ian White and slipped past Niemi.

That was as close as it got, though, as the Sharks were able to keep any threats from getting to Niemi and a late penalty by Bieksa killed any hope for the Canucks.

San Jose, which went 3-for-10 on the power play in the game, scored twice on the man advantage in the first period.

The first goal came with Maxim Lapierre in the box as Thornton skated behind the net and from the left side centered it for Marleau, who redirected it past Niemi at the 3:56 mark.

About 4 1/2 minutes later, it was a 2-0 contest after Christian Ehrhoff was given a double-minor for high sticking and Clowe was able to find his own rebound for his fifth goal of the playoffs.

"Well, we gave that team I think it was 10 power plays," said Vigneault. "I thought we were pretty disciplined. 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."

The Sharks then made it a 3-0 game with 2:35 left in the opening frame as Marleau skated in on a breakaway and beat Luongo to the glove side.

Niemi's best period of the game and possibly in the playoffs came in the second as he stopped all 13 shots he faced, including several nice stops on a pair of Vancouver 5-on-3's in the latter stages of the frame.

"Well, I think we had a really compact three guys there and we wanted to keep them outside, we did a pretty good job on that," said Niemi.

However, the Canucks finally solved Niemi thanks to a bad break that struck the goaltender. He attempted to clear the puck from the right side of his net, but it hit off one of his own players and eventually came out to the slot where Burrows buried it at the 1:09 mark.

Game Notes

Thornton leads the playoffs in points with three goals and 14 assists...Rome left the game after the hit and did not return...Vancouver went 2-for-7 on the power play...San Jose improved to 5-3 at home in the playoffs...Vancouver fell to 4-3 on the road in the playoffs...The Sharks have been outscored, 9-2, in the third period of this series...Ehrhoff left the game after the first period with an undisclosed injury.