The Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks will be heading south to San Jose for tonight’s game at the HP Pavilion, also known as the Shark Tank. The Sharks could take a huge bite out of the Canucks tonight on home ice to take a commanding three to nothing lead in the series.
On Friday, game two, the two teams continued the rough and fast paced playoff hockey that everyone enjoys. The Sharks didn’t wait too long to pick up where they left off in game one. Jumbo Joe Thornton scored his first of the playoffs with a spectacular goal right outside the crease in the thirteenth minute. The rest of the first period and all of the second period didn’t result in any goals. The third period on the other hand made up for the lack of scoring in the second period.
It didn’t take Ryan Kesler long to get Canucks fans out of their seats and onto their feet to celebrate the Canucks first goal of the game just fifty-nine seconds into the third period. The Sedin twins worked their magic on the power play and Kesler finished the job with a amazing slap shot. Kesler, with the Canucks on his back, found himself adding his second of the game with another blistering slap shot. In the right place at the right time Kesler capitalized on a huge turnover, giving the Canucks a 2-1 lead.
The ending of the third period was nail biting to say the least. With just under a minute to go, and the net empty in the Sharks end, Patrick Marleau saw nothing standing in the way of taking the game into overtime when he put in the game tying goal. Roberto Luongo had made the initial save on Marleau, but the puck slowly trickled through Luongo’s pads and Marleau had an empty net tap in with only fifty-six seconds left on the clock.
Were going into ovvvveeerrrtimmmmmeeee (channeling my inner Rick Jeanneret). The Canucks had to be feeling the pressure of evening the series before traveling to San Jose especially because they couldn’t close the game out in sixty. The Sharks took advantage of the overwhelmed Canucks and ended the game in the first overtime just five and a half minutes in. Brent Burns found himself on a two on one with Raffi Torres and waited patiently for the right time to dish it over to Torres who buried the puck into the back of the net. Torres had been torturing his former team the last two games with huge hits and tons of energy, he added a shot to the jugular with the overtime goal for the Sharks.
The Sharks were 17-2-5 on home ice during the regular season and could end the series with two more victories at home. The Vancouver Canucks, 11-9-4 on the road are in a must win situation and need to pull one out in the Shark Tank to take it back to Vancouver.
I am predicting that the Sharks will only win one of their home games but close out the series in Vancouver in game five. The Sharks have been playing extremely good playoff hockey, a great mix of physical and energetic play along with scoring big goals and dominating play. The Canucks need to come into the Shark Tank with continuous energy, get into the dirty areas and get on the scoreboard fast if they want to continue this playoff series.