VANCOUVER, CANADA - MAY 18: Dan Hamhuis #2 of the Vancouver Canucks looks to teammate Mason Raymond #21 as Christopher Higgins #20, Ryan Kesler #17 and Kevin Bieksa #3 celebrate Bieksa's goal in the secon period against the San Jose Sharks in Game Two of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Arena on May 18, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Sharks Vs. Canucks, Game 2: Vancouver Scores Four Third Period Goals On Way To 7-3 Victory

Four Canucks goals in the third period gives Vancouver a decisive 7-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. The series now heads to San Jose for Game 3 on Friday night.

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VIDEO: Patrick Marleau, Kevin Bieksa Fight, Causing Ben Eager To Go Crazy

The difference in reaction to Patrick Marleau's fight with Kevin Bieksa during the second period of Game 2 is rather stunning, when you bring them in comparison with each other.

First, let's take a look at the fight and set the scene. The Sharks were clearly a bit frustrated, and Bieksa was pushing Marleau around along the boards a bit. Marleau stepped up, and as you can hear in the video, the San Jose bench definitely got a bit of extra energy when the realized it was Marleau throwing his fists.

Now, to that reaction. SB Nation's Sharks blog, Fear The Fin, loved what Marleau showed in stepping up and fighting Bieksa.

Patrick Marleau's fight with Kevin Bieksa was excellent to see. Although Bieksa won the fight handily (and displayed an anger face that Cal Lightman would have a field day with), that's a good bout for a variety of reasons. For starters, Marleau drops the gloves first against a bigger opponent who he has to figure is going to give him some good shots-- that's leadership. Secondly, although Marleau is clearly an important player for San Jose, I think I take the trade off of top pairing defenseman for top line forward. Bieksa was a man possessed tonight and getting him off the ice for five is a net gain for San Jose.    

Meanwhile, via the Vancouver Province:

The tactic backfired in just about every way possible -as Bieksa, an accomplished scrapper, pummelled Marleau thoroughly in the bout and the incident resulted in a chain reaction of attempted retribution that contributed to the lopsided 7-3 Vancouver victory and distracted the Sharks from any possibility of a comeback in the game.

Ah, local perspectives. For what it's worth from my I-don't-care-who-wins-this-series view, I tend to agree with the San Jose take here. Bieksa was an animal in Game 2, and his goal was the one that had made the score 3-2. By getting him off the ice for five minutes, they win the trade off and the Sharks even got a boost of energy.

Unfortunately for them, Ben Eager quickly stole that energy and tossed it in a dumpster out back. He was clearly livid after the fight between Bieksa and Marleau -- after the game, he called Bieksa a "coward" and "phony" for dropping the gloves with Marleau instead of him -- and he let that anger get the best of him just a minute and a half later.

The Province in Vancouver looked at the fight as a turning point that severely backfired. I'd say that Eager's hit, a dirty one on one of the Canucks' star players, backfired on San Jose more than anything else did. Vancouver scored four goals in the third period and rolled to a huge victory. 

For more on the NHL's Western Conference Final, check in with our Sharks vs. Canucks series hub, as well as our blogs: Fear The Fin covering the Sharks and Nucks Misconduct covering the Canucks. You can find more local coverage at SB Nation Bay Area and Battle of California.


Canucks Vs. Sharks: After Game 2 Blowout, Major Adjustments Needed For San Jose

They say a playoff series isn't a series until someone loses at home. After confidently defending Rogers Arena ice, the Vancouver Canucks are in complete control of the Western Conference Final. Will things change when they get to San Jose?


Sharks Vs. Canucks, Game 2: Four Third Period Goals Gives Vancouver 7-3 Rout

The Canucks offense found their scoring touch, scoring four goals in the third period on their way to a 7-3 rout of the San Jose Sharks in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. 

The Canucks started the period on the powerplay after Ben Eager took a boarding penalty on Daniel Sedin in the final minute of the second period. The Canucks could only muster one shot on the powerplay though which is the first powerplay of the game that wasn't converted by either team. 

Ben Eager took his third penalty of the game at the seven minute mark of the third period, second leading to a powerplay, as he tripped Mason Raymond along the boards near the benches. Chris Higgins converted for the Canucks second powerplay goal of the game to give the Canucks a 4-2 lead one minute later. Higgins shot the puck in front of the net through traffic and Niemi really didn't have much of a chance as he was screened on the shot. 

The Sharks took a too many men penalty at the 10:47 mark of the third period to give the Canucks their fourth powerplay of the game. The Canucks converted again this time from Daniel Sedin's second goal of the game. The Canucks effectively cycled the puck on the powerplay and the stick ended up on Sedin's stick in front of the net.

The Canucks sixth goal was scored by Aaron Rome, his first playoff goal in his career, as he cleaned up a rebound in front of the net as the Sharks defense just seemed to allow any Canucks player take control of the puck and try and score. 

Things got chippy within the final six minutes as the Sharks frustration started to boil over which culminated in Ryan Clowe being thrown out of the game. The Canucks received their fifth powerplay of the game and scored their fourth powerplay goal of the game as Mason Raymond scored his second goal of the playoffs. The assists on the goal came from Chris Higgins, his third point of the game, and Dan Hamhuis

Ben Eager scored 45 seconds later as he found the puck and bowled over Roberto Luongo in the process. After he ran over Luongo, he started taunting him which caused a fury among the Canucks and sent Eager back to the box for a roughing penalty. Eager took a total of four minor penalties and gave the Canucks three powerplays in the game and after causing more issues than points, may be benched in Game 3. 

The series now heads back to San Jose where the Sharks will be looking to pick up the pieces and try and win a game against the Canucks. 


Sharks Vs. Canucks, Game 2: Kevin Bieksa Scores To Give Vancouver 3-2 Lead After Second

After both teams found the back of the net twice in the first period, the Canucks scored the lone goal in the second period to give Vancouver a 3-2 lead through forty minutes. 

The Sharks got a scare within the first two minutes of the second period as defenseman Ian White took a puck to the face. White left the ice but stayed on the bench to get medical attention and returned back to the game without missing a shift. 

Both teams came out trying to limit the chances in the second period. After the first period showcased 26 total shots, through the first seven minutes of the second the Sharks and Canucks managed just two shots on net with both of them by Vancouver. The Canucks are limiting San Jose's opportunities early as they aren't allowing the Sharks much offensive zone time in the second period. It took 6:34 for the Sharks to get their first shot of the second period. 

The Canucks finally scored on one of their numerous chances as Kevin Bieksa gave Vancouver a 3-2 lead with 7:55 left in the second period. Bieksa took a pass from Christopher Higgins, found himself on a breakaway, froze Antti Niemi for a split second and shot the puck between his legs for the goal. The goal was Bieksa's third goal of the playoffs and Dan Hamhuis had the other assist on the play. 

The first fight of the series came with three minutes left in the second period as Kevin Bieksa and Patrick Marleau squared off in the Vancouver offensive zone. Marleau appeared to be trying to get a spark for his team but it didn't appear to pay immediate dividends as the Sharks took more undisciplined penalties from Ben Eager than finding scoring chances. 

The Canucks finished the period as they started it, continuing to seem like they were in control of the game. After keeping the Sharks shotless through the first six minutes of the game, San Jose finished the period with a respectable nine shots compared to the 14 that Vancouver got on net. The Canucks are now outshooting the Sharks 27-22 in the game and will start the third period on the powerplay. 


Sharks Vs. Canucks, Game 2: Wild First Period Sees Teams Tied At Two

Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals saw a total of five combined goals between San Jose and Vancouver. The first period of Game 2 saw a total of four goals as the Sharks and Canucks are tied 2-2 through the first twenty minutes. 

San Jose received the early powerplay after Aaron Rome took a tripping penalty. The Sharks capitalized as Logan Couture scored his first goal of the series on a forehand deke that got Roberto Luongo moving which gave Couture an open side of the net. Assists on the goal came from Dany Heatley and Ian White. Heatley and Couture were two players that coach Todd McLellan called out this morning that needed to step up. 

Ben Eager got the second good chance the Sharks had at the four minute mark of the period as he banged one off the post. Eager found room in the slot area in front of the net and got the puck off of a rebound and ripped a forehand shot past Luongo that luckily for the goaltender found the post instead of the back of the net. 

The Canucks started to gain some offensive momentum with thirteen minutes left in the period as Maxim Lapierre, Sami Salo, and Alex Burrows each got a quality shot on Antti Niemi within a minute of each other. Niemi made quality saves on each shot though and slowed the Canucks offense slightly as he gathered any possible rebound and forced whistles on each of the shots. 

The Canucks got their first powerplay opportunity of the game at the 7:47 mark of the period as Joe Pavelski tripped Daniel Sedin as Sedin was trying to move the puck along the boards near the Vancouver benches. Sedin then made the Sharks pay as he knuckled a shot under the arm of Antti Niemi to tie the game at one goal each. 

Raffi Torres quickly gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead 39 seconds after Sedin scored on the powerplay as Torres redirected a pass from Christian Ehrhoff to beat Niemi. Ehrhoff was skating behind the net and found an open Torres right in front of the crease. 

Daniel Sedin took his first penalty of the game at the 12:19 mark on a cross checking penalty as he and Joe Thornton came together in the corner as each was going for the puck. Patrick Marleau scored as Roberto Luongo made another miscue as he brought the puck toward himself to cover for a rebound and the puck went between his legs and crossed the line before Luongo could cover the puck. It's the second miscue Luongo has done in two games as he passed the puck to Joe Thornton in Game 1 to give the Sharks an early lead. 

The Sharks started the period with some better offensive chances and even had a 7-3 advantage in shots within the first seven minutes. The Canucks were able to counter those chances with some powerplays and the two teams finished the period with 13 shots each. 


Sharks Vs. Canucks, Game 2: Vancouver Looking To Dominate For 2-0 Series Lead

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.

For more information on this game, please visit our Sharks site, Fear The Fin, and our Canucks site, Nucks Misconduct

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