The Vancouver Canucks played an inspired Game 2 Friday night at Rogers Arena, but the end result was the same as Game 1 with the San Jose Sharks stealing another win.
Raffi Torres scored the overtime game-winner 5:31 into the extra session to give the Sharks a 3-2 win and a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference Quarterfinal series.
The Sharks opened the scoring 13:22 into the first period and, despite many glorious scoring chances, the Canucks didn't reply until 59 seconds into the third period with Ryan Kesler scoring his first of the playoffs, on the power play.
Kesler put the team on his shoulders in the final frame elevating his game to a level known only as 'Beastmode' as he scored again midway through the third to give Vancouver a 2-1 lead.
That looked to be how the game would finish, but no, oh no, the Sharks poked a puck past Luongo with 56 seconds remaining to tie the game at 2-2 and force overtime. Moments before Patrick Marleau's goal, Jannik Hansen missed an empty net goal by inches that would have sealed the deal.
Post-game, Kesler said the Canucks had already moved on and have shifted their focus to Game 3 Sunday night in San Jose.
"We deserved better and it didn't fall that way," said Kesler. "You've got to win four and there are plenty of games left and we need to go on a winning streak here."
AND ANOTHER THING...
I'm not sure how it's possible, but press box popcorn is better in the playoffs.
Tweet of the Night - "Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don't make." - @torrancecoombs. What Torrance, and all Canucks fans for that matter, are trying to say is: LUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.
Tweet of the Night II - "Adding to his big night, winner of the #Canucks 50/50 draw: Ryan Kesler" - @patersonjeff. Beastmode was back and better than ever, clearly.
Let the bodies hit the floor - Daniel Sedin is now one point shy of tying Pavel Bure for third all-time in Canucks playoff scoring at 66 points; Ryan Kesler now has three two-goal performances in the playoffs and has never recorded a post-season hat trick; Vancouver outhit San Jose 45-27 and won 52 per cent of the draws on the night.
Juice for the win - It was pretty, but it counted. Kevin Bieksa's goal in Game 1 was the 10th of his playoff career, moving him into first place on the Canucks all-time goals list among defenceman. Bieksa past Lumme, Ohlund, Babych, Salo and Jovanovski, who are all tied for second with nine goals.