Sharks Take 3-0 Series Lead, Wild Grab OT Win from the Blackhawks
With two quick third period goals, the San Jose Sharks took a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks and now have a 3-0 lead in the series.
Sharks Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau each had scores in the final period that came nine seconds apart–one second off from the team’s record.
Couture said via ESPN, “When you score goals that quick, it’s tough on the bench, it’s tough on the goalie. It ruins his confidence a little bit. They were big goals. Patty’s goal was huge to get the three-goal lead. And then the fifth one was big as well.”
For the night, Couture had two goals and two assists while Joe Pavelski added two scores and goalie Antti Niemi had 28 saves.
Another victory on Tuesday by the Sharks would give them a sweep. This would be a first for the team in the playoffs and historically it can lead to good things: the last three teams that defeated the Canucks in the playoffs, then won the Stanley Cup.
This season, the Sharks have defeated Vancouver in all six of their meetings.
As for the Canucks, Alex Burrows and Dan Hamhuis scored for the team but this playoff series is starting to look like business as usual for this team. After taking a 3-2 series lead over the Boston Bruins during the Stanley Cup finals in 2011, the Canucks have only won one of their last last 10 playoff games.
For the Boston series, Vancouver lost the last two of its games and was then eliminated by the Los Angles Kings in five games during last year’s first round. Now with this year’s poor play, questions are swirling whether Canucks coach Alain Vigneault will return for next season.
The Sharks are +800 to win this year’s Stanley Cup.
In other action from Sunday, the Minnesota Wild shocked the Chicago Blackhawks and won 3-2 in OT.
Performing in front of the home crowd with its first playoff game in five years, the Wild’s OT score by Jason Zucker got the win and now they sit behind by one game in this 2-1 series.
It was an all-team effort as Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Zach Parise had goals for the Wild while Johnny Oduya and Duncan Keith scored for the Blackhawks. Patrick Kane had two assists for Chicago and goalie Corey Crawford had 34 saves.
The difference for the Wild may have been the energy from the crowd. It was electric and much needed after the team lost 5-2 to the Blackhawks on Friday.
Keith said of the venue via ESPN, “They’ve got some physical players, and I think the crowd was really into the game too. Loud building. They got that rave music going all game long. It gets the place rocking in there.”
Lucky for the Wild, they play Game 4 at home on Tuesday but don’t look for the Blackhawks to be rattled. They have been in a similar situation before.
Rewind to the 2010 playoffs and they were behind 2-1 against the Nashville Predators in the first round. They rallied to win the series in six games. Next up they also defeated Vancouver in six games, then swept the Sharks to go to the Stanley Cup finals.
We all know how that turned out for the team and now three years later, they still have 10 players from that same roster.
They currently sit at +325 to win this year’s Stanley Cup.
On Monday, the Anaheim Ducks, leading 2-1 in the series, will travel to play the Detroit Red Wings. The home team gets the win (-128, 5 o/u).
The St. Louis Blues, ahead 2-1 in their series, will play the Los Angeles Kings on the West coast. The Kings get the win to tie things up (-145, 4.5 o/u).