San Jose Sharks Move Closer to a First Round Sweep

By Greg Higgins

The San Jose Sharks moved one game closer to finishing off the Vancouver Canucks in game three of their first round playoff matchup. Joe Pavelski had two goals and an assist for the Sharks as they defeated the Canucks 5-3. It was three goals early in the third period that blew the game open, including two goals nine seconds apart by Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau.

With the win, the Sharks are up three games to none on the number three seed in the Western Conference. Although the Sharks are a six seed, the Canucks only had two more points in the regular season so the teams are more evenly matched than the seedings would dictate.

On the ice, though, the Sharks have been the more dominating team. The Sharks have outscored the Canucks 11-5 in the three games. The Canucks have to figure out how to fix this and have to do it in a hurry. The first thing they need to figure out is how to get the puck past Sharks goalie Antti Niemi. The Sharks net minder is facing right at 30 shots a game and has a save percentage of .945 for the series.

The Sharks have to maintain the attack and cannot afford to give the Canucks any life. No matter which goalie is in the game between Robert Luongo or Corey Schneider, you have to attack. The last thing the Sharks want to do is give any life to Vancouver. Hockey is a game in which one player can completely change the outcome of a game or a series. If the goaltender is on fire, it doesn’t matter how the rest of the team plays. That’s why it’s imperative that the Sharks play with the same passion and intensity in game four as they have in the first three games of the series. If they do that, then they should be waiting for a round two opponent at the end of game four.


Greg Higgins is an NHL contributor for Follow him on Twitter: @greghiggins457; “Like” him on Facebook; or add him to your network on Google.

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