The San Jose Sharks
finally rewarded their fans with a home victory in the Western Conference Finals, but not before giving them some nervous moments.
For most of Game 3 on Friday night, the Sharks looked nothing like the team that lost Games 1 and 2 in Vancouver. Patrick Marleau
scored two of San Jose's three goals in the first period, and the Sharks led 4-1 with time starting to wind down in the third period.
But Vancouver didn't win the Presidents' Trophy for nothing, and a five-minute major to Jamie McGinn
led to a pair of power-play goals that made the 17,562 fans nervous. In the end, though, the Sharks held on for a 4-3 win – their first ever in six conference final games at the Shark Tank.
The Tampa Bay Lightning
hopes for a similar boost from its home crowd in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday afternoon against Boston (1:30 p.m. ET, NBC, TSN, RDS). The Bolts trail 2-1 after Thursday night's 2-0 home loss.
As you get ready for that one, here's your daily NHL.com Reading List, a set of quick links to some of the stories you won't want to miss:
Marleau on a roll
Former teammate Jeremy Roenick
, now a Versus analyst, ripped Patrick Marleau
after Game 5 of the conference semifinals against Detroit. Since then, as Eric Gilmore reports
, Marleau has been on a roll -- he extended his goal-scoring streak to four games with a pair in Game 3.
Fast start produces a win
It's always easier playing from ahead, especially at playoff time. San Jose couldn't build on early leads in Games 1 and 2, but Dan Rosen reports
that they were able to do so in Game 3 -- turning an early 1-0 lead into a 3-0 bulge after one period on the way to a 4-3 win.
Canucks not very special
The scoresheet shows Vancouver scored twice on the power play in Game 3. What it doesn't indicate, says Dan Rosen
, is the chance the Canucks missed to change the game with a pair of 5-on-3 opportunities in the second period -- and Vancouver's continuing struggles to kill penalties.
Hall finds his niche
Not every kid who grows up as a big scorer makes the NHL because of his ability to put the puck in the net. Corey Masisak talks with Tampa Bay's Adam Hall
, who's had to work hard to make the transition from a big scorer as a kid to a hard-working role player with the Lightning.
The real Lucic stands up
There have been nights during the playoffs when Milan Lucic
hasn't recognized himself -- he wasn't producing offensively, winning puck battles or helping the Boston Bruins
win. Shawn P. Roarke reports
that Lucic put all those problems aside in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, making a difference physically and on the scoresheet in Boston's 2-0 win at Tampa Bay.
Huberdeau turning heads
Justin Huberdeau had a goal Friday night in Saint John's 4-3 win against Mississauga at the Memorial Cup. Bill Hoppe has more about
one of the players likely to go very early in the NHL Entry Draft next month.