Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Canucks try to build off improved PK

Categories: San Jose Sharks, VAN vs. SJS, Vancouver Canucks

Story Tools

Vancouver's Dan Hamhuis, centre, battles against San Jose's Joe Thornton, right, and Patrick Marleau. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press) Vancouver's Dan Hamhuis, centre, battles against San Jose's Joe Thornton, right, and Patrick Marleau. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)
By Tim Wharnsby, CBC Sports

The Vancouver Canucks exited HP Pavilion feeling decent about two aspects of their game following their disappointing 4-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Friday.

Whether they can build off a strong third period or better penalty killing later in Game 3 after a horrible start will have to wait until they clash with the Sharks in the next chapter of the Western Conference final on Sunday afternoon.

When San Jose forwards Patrick Marleau and Ryane Clowe scored on the power play before the first period was nine minutes old, the two goals kept the Sharks perfect power-play record for the series intact at 5-for-5.

The final outcome may have been a more lopsided if Ryan Kesler and the rest of the penalty-killing unit didn't get their act together. Sure they surrendered a 5-on-3 goal to Sharks defenceman Dan Boyle in the third period, but at least the Canucks stemmed San Jose's run in 5-on-4 situations.

"I think we solved them," Kesler said. "I think we did a good job after that start."

The Canucks also enjoyed another strong third period with three goals. They now have outscored the Sharks 9-2 in the third period in three games.

Does this concern San Jose captain Joe Thornton, who chipped in three assists in his team's win?

"No, we're just after wins," he said.

So are the Canucks. But there is a less of a chance for Vancouver if both Christian Ehrhoff and Aaron Rome are unable to play in Game 4 after leaving the game with injuries on Friday. Keith Ballard and Andrew Alberts will be the likely replacements. But Ballard hasn't played since Game 2 of the second round and Alberts hasn't suited up since Game 3 of the same round.

It's also imperative that goalie Roberto Luongo come up with his best effort of the series. The Canucks goalie hasn't won in San Jose since the 2006-07 regular-season finale.

On the Sharks side, they will wait and see if fourth-liner Jamie McGinn will be suspended for his hit on Rome in the third period. McGinn incurred a similar five-minute major and game misconduct late in the first round against the Los Angeles Kings.

"I'm a player who finishes my checks," McGinn said. "I'm not trying to hurt anyone out there. It's unfortunate he got hurt. I tried to cut him off and hit him on the shoulder. That's all it was."

Does McGinn believe he will be suspended?

"It's tough," he replied. "I got in the lineup finally and I thought I did a good job. To go right back upstairs [in the press box] sucks."