The San Jose Sharks have had two completely different types of games in their series against the Vancouver Canucks. Games 1 and 2 saw the Sharks offense not really be able to generate much of anything, scoring five goals in two games. Game 3 saw the Sharks on the man advantage for a total of 15:51 in the game and convert three of 10 power plays and scoring four goals in the game.
If the Sharks are going to even this series, they need to continue to keep drawing penalties on the Canucks. The Sharks even strength scoring is still very much non existent in this series with a total of three even strength goals in three games while their power play has gone 6 for 13 in the series and converted on each of their first five opportunities in the series.
The Canucks are going to be without two of their defensemen for this game as Christian Ehrhoff and Aaron Rome are not expected to play. Both were injured in Game 3 on two separate hits by Jamie McGinn. McGinn's hit on Aaron Rome seemed to draw some ire as he was given a five minute boarding call and thrown out of the game for it. McGinn will still be in the lineup for Game 4 though as he was not suspended by the league for the hit. McGinn did have something to say about the hit after the game:
"It's too bad that he got hurt," said McGinn, who also received a game misconduct in the first-round series against Los Angeles. "I think I've looked at it 100 times. I tried to slow. I was finishing my check, and he hit his head on the glass."
McGinn added: "I'm not a dirty player. I don't try to take guys' heads off. I just try to play as hard as possible."
This means that Keith Ballard and Andrew Alberts will slot in as the third defensive pairing for the Canucks, which really shouldn't be an issue for the Canucks. Keith Ballard is not Christian Ehrhoff but he is a serviceable defenseman. Ehrhoff is second in the league in defenseman scoring, four points behind San Jose's Dan Boyle for the league lead, while Ballard has played in a total of seven playoff games for the Canucks. In those seven games, Ballard hasn't registered a point and is a -1 with four penalty minutes. Ballard hasn't been the player that the Canucks would have hoped he would have been this season and he knows as much:
"Fair or unfair, that's the reality I'm faced with on mistakes," he says. "Some guys like Hank and Danny can turn the puck over but because they're putting up 100 points they're obviously going to get more room and mistakes may not affect them as much. There's not a lot of room for error for me, that's the bottom line."
Game time is 3:00 pm Eastern and can be seen on NBC in the United States and on CBC in Canada.