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Sharks try to even Western Finals

by Dave Lozo /

(Vancouver leads best-of-seven series, 2-1)


Big story:
The Canucks can still grab a stranglehold on this series despite dropping Game 3. The Sharks' power play has been virtually unstoppable in the series, scoring 6 times in 13 chances. The Canucks will likely be without two defensemen in Game 4 -- top blueliner Christian Ehrhoff and Aaron Rome.

Team scope:

: For the most part, Game 3 was a special teams disaster for the Canucks.
The Canucks gave the Sharks 10 chances on the power play and allowed three goals. The Canucks squandered a pair of 5-on-3 power-play chances during the second period, but they scored twice during a five-minute power play late in the third period to make things interesting.

Injuries could also be a problem going forward. Ehrhoff left the game in the first period after a hit from Jamie McGinn, who later injured Rome with a hit from behind in the third period. Coach Alain Vigneault wouldn’t tip his hand, but it's possible Andrew Alberts and Keith Ballard could take those spots in Game 4. Christopher Tanev is also a candidate to join the blue line.

Sharks: They said they wanted to treat Game 3 like a Game 7, because a 3-0 hole would've been too much to overcome. It worked, as the Sharks played with urgency from the start to pull themselves back into the series.

The great start was necessary, as McGinn's penalty late in the game turned a three-goal cakewalk into a one-goal nail-biter. It was the Sharks' eighth win of the postseason by just one goal – three in regulation and five in OT.

Despite the good feelings coming off the victory, players said Friday they need to be better at 5-on-5. The Sharks have just two even-strength goals in the series, and they had more power-play shots (19) than even-strength shots (18) in Game 4.

Who's hot: Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa has a goal in all three games in this series and also has an assist. … Joe Thornton and Dan Boyle haven't much of a lull in their games during the playoffs. Thornton is tied for the lead in points with 17 and has 1 goal and 5 assists against the Canucks. Boyle leads all defenseman with 15 points and has 1 goal and 3 assists in this series.

Injury report: Ehrhoff (shoulder) and Rome (upper-body) are more than likely out for Game 4. … Logan Couture collided with teammate Ryane Clowe during the third period and did not return to the ice. He passed all of his concussion tests and practiced Friday. He will be in the lineup Saturday. Defenseman Jason Demers remains day-to-day.

Stat pack: San Jose’s Patrick Marleau extended his goal-scoring streak to four games with his goal in Game 3. It's the third time in Marleau's career that he's scored goals in four or more consecutive games in one playoff year.

Puck drop: "Definitely have to be more disciplined.  I'm not saying we were undisciplined in the sense that we were punching guys in the face.  But when you put your stick somewhere it doesn't belong, it's a 50/50 call.  The referees want to call it tight, that's what going to happen.  It's up to us that that doesn't happen." -- Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa, on the team being shorthanded 10 times in Game 3

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