Boyle, Marleau Lead Sharks Over Canucks In Playoff Opener
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (CBS / AP) — Dan Boyle and Patrick Marleau scored in the third period for the San Jose Sharks, who rallied to beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 on Wednesday night in the first-round Western Conference series opener.
Boyle and Logan Couture both had a goal and an assist, and Marleau pushed San Jose’s lead to 3-1. Antti Niemi made 28 saves for the Sharks, who were outshot 30-28.
Kevin Bieksa scored for the Canucks before a disappointed white-towel-waving sellout crowd. The loss spoiled a strong effort from goalie Roberto Luongo, who earned the start after Cory Schneider didn’t recover in time from an undisclosed injury.
The Canucks were the first home team to lose in the first six games of this year’s playoffs.
Boyle put the Sharks ahead 2-1 at 9:17 as diminutive Derek Roy tried to push burly San Jose forward Tommy Wingels off the puck in front as two others pressured the net.
Wingels sent the puck out to the high slot, and Boyle came in from the point and scored.
San Jose converted one of four power-play chances. The Canucks were 0-for-2.
This is the second time the Canucks and Sharks have met in the playoffs. Vancouver ousted San Jose in five games in the Western Conference finals in 2011.
The Sharks won all three regular-season meetings between the teams. The Canucks didn’t win a playoff game at home last spring, and have now lost five straight postseason games at Rogers Arena, dating to Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals.
Luongo, the Canucks’ former No. 1 goalie, made a number of excellent saves early as the Sharks outshot Vancouver 6-1 in the first 4:06 of the game.
Luongo got the crowd roaring when he stopped Marleau’s one-timer from the slot during a power play. He also stretched across his crease to stop Martin Havlat’s shot off Marleau’s rebound.
Moments later, Luongo gloved Joe Thornton’s shot from the wing while the Sharks were still on their power play.
Vancouver’s best chance in the first came on Roy’s one-timer that Niemi appeared to get a piece of before it hit the crossbar.
Bieksa got credit for Vancouver’s first goal, at 12:26 of the second period, after former Canucks forward Raffi Torres inadvertently stuffed the puck into his own net during a scramble.
The goal ignited Vancouver’s offense. Soon after, Daniel Sedin put a shot off the crossbar from a sharp angle.
But Couture forged a 1-1 tie on a power play just over four minutes later when he put a shot from the point over Luongo’s blocker.
Couture reaped revenge after Vancouver winger Zack Kassian took a needless roughing penalty for slamming him into the boards and punching him in the head behind the play.
Marleau increased San Jose’s lead to 3-1 with 5:23 remaining when he put in Couture’s pass from behind the net. The shot went in off Bieksa’s stick as he slid to block the puck.
NOTES: Havlat left the game after the first period. … Canucks 20-year-old rookie D Frank Corrado played in his first NHL playoff game, nine days after playing his first regular-season game. … Rookie Joe Cannata, called up recently from Chicago of the AHL, dressed as Luongo’s backup. … Vancouver forward Ryan Kesler played after missing the morning pregame skate for unexplained reasons.
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