The San Jose Sharks know they need to play a little bit better in Game 2 against the Vancouver Canucks or they will be in a world of hurt. The Sharks held a 2-1 lead going into the third period of Game 1 before the Canucks scored twice in the third period to take a 3-2 victory.
The Sharks looked like a gassed team heading into that game, as the Canucks seemed to be skating circles around the Sharks at times. Sharks coach Todd McLellan believes that his team needs to improve a little in all facets though to tie the series up:
"We have to be better all over the ice," he said. "Mental strength and physical strength. You have to put yourself in a position to be successful, then when you're there, you got to get the job done physically. It starts in the circle, ends up in the corners, net front. Even skating to open ice to me is a physical battle because you have to win that race."
The major story for Vancouver heading into this series was the fact that the Sedin twins hadn't factored much on the scoresheet in the last series against the Predators. Then, Henrik Sedin scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist on the game-tying goal. The Canucks are going to need the Sedin twins along with leading scorer Ryan Kesler to continue to score for the Canucks to win this series.
The Canucks had a power outage as well when it came to the powerplay in Game 1. The Canucks had four opportunities and scored the game-winner with their only powerplay goal. In stark contrast, the Sharks held the Canucks shotless on two powerplays. The Sharks have allowed 10 powerplay goals on 56 opportunities in these playoffs, which is good for seventh in the league, while the Canucks have a top-five powerplay this postseason.
The Canucks seem to have a reputation of diving, and San Jose is making sure that they are airing their grievances early and often. In Game 1, the Sharks had only one powerplay compared to the aforementioned four the Canucks had. San Jose's Dan Boyle had this to say about the situation after Game 1:
"We were aware of what Nashville was accusing them of the series before, and I saw it firsthand last night," Boyle said in response to a question during the off-day media scrum. "Even the penalty I got, I'm thankful Lapierre got a diving penalty for it because their heads are going back like they got shot with a gun."
Game time is at 9:00 pm Eastern and can be seen on CBC in Canada and Versus in the United States.