SAN JOSE, Calif.
-- How difficult is it to win a game when you fail to score on not just one 5-on-3 power play, but two?
"It's impossible," Daniel Sedin
The Canucks came close Friday night -- but by not scoring on back-to-back 5-on-3s in the latter stages of the second period they wasted two golden chances to make a comeback.
Their power play finally did get going in the third, when they scored twice after Jamie McGinn
's five-minute boarding major, but Vancouver was already getting blitzed in the special-teams game, so those goals mattered only as window dressing on the scoreboard, which read 4-3 in favor of the Sharks at the final horn.
San Jose scored on three of its whopping 10 power plays, including the game-winner of Dan Boyle
's stick on, you guessed it, a 5-on-3 in the third period. The Canucks scored on two of their seven power plays, but it was their failures on the first four that did them in.
Usually in the playoffs when you lose the special-teams game, well, you lose the game.
"That was our chance to come back in the game, I thought," Daniel Sedin
said in regards to the failed 5-on-3s. "They blocked a lot shots. I thought we played it pretty good, but they blocked a lot of shots so we need to maybe hold on to the puck even more and move it around, but we got the shots we wanted. They just didn't make it to the net."
The Canucks had three shots during the 5-on-3s, but Alexandre Burrows
missed the net on a shot and Sami Salo
had three attempts from the point blocked -- two by Douglas Murray
and one by Joe Pavelski
When the Sharks got their 5-on-3 after Ryan Kesler
and Burrows were called for separate tripping minors 25 seconds apart, they worked the puck around the zone and eventually cashed in when Boyle's low shot from inside the left point went through Roberto Luongo
's five-hole 6:46 into the third.
"I just really saw Patty (Marleau) and Boiler just kind of work it back and forth," said Sharks captain Joe Thornton
, who had assists on three of the four goals. "Boiler had a good shot earlier. Hit the crossbar. Patty just laid a perfect pass over and Boiler got all of it."
The goal lifted San Jose to a 4-1 lead. It came roughly 5 ½ minutes after Burrows scored to make it 3-1.
"They were tough to take for sure because we were feeling good about ourselves and we were going good," Henrik Sedin
But they weren't going good on the power play or the penalty kill. That came later in the game -- too late.
"If you look at it 5-on-5 we were playing well, but if you give these guys the chances we gave them tonight they're going to score," Henrik Sedin
said. "Early on the momentum can shift either way if you kill the first one off, or the four-minute one, if we kill that off, we got all the momentum in the world. They scored twice and that usually doesn't happen with this PK group."
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl