After their big second period, Vancouver spent much of the third period of Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals on its heels. It was more than enough to give the Canucks a 4-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks and a 3-1 series lead.
Vancouver scored first in the fourth period, on a tap-in from Alex Burrows set up by Henrik Sedin's beautiful assist through the legs of San Jose goalie Antti Niemi. It was Sedin's fourth assist of the game, and gave the Canucks a 4-0 lead with under 15 minutes to go.
But San Jose rallied back valiantly, with goals from Andrew Desjardins and Ryane Clowe, and gave itself a chance to make a desperation charge late with an empty net. In keeping with the Sharks' high-volume, low-efficiency attack on the day, though, San Jose produced 17 shots in the third period, and just those two goals, ultimately falling short.
By contrast, Vancouver's four goals came on just 13 shots total.
San Jose's rally was hampered by an injury to its captain, Joe Thornton, who headed to the locker room midway through the third after taking a big hit from Vancouver's Raffi Torres. He did not return to the game, and his status is unclear for Game 5 of the series in Vancouver.
That game will take place on Tuesday at 9 p.m. With a win, the Canucks would return to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1994.
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.