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Season ends on fluke goal
Unreal way to lose
5/24/11 - By Mike Lee -

Some things just aren't meant to be. The Sharks should be preparing for a Game 6, but some shoddy officiating with seconds left in regulation and a deflection that can only be described as horrific handed the Vancouver Canucks a victory in Game 5 and the Western Conference Championship on Tuesday night in British Columbia. The Sharks held a 2-1 lead with 13.2 second left in regulation but Vancouver tied the game, then stole the win at 10:18 of the 2nd overtime with a goal off what will forever be remembered as "the deflection." Vancouver was the benefactor of a missed call on what turned into a Sharks icing with 28.2 seconds left in regulation. A clearing attempt hit Daniel Sedin in the shoulder as it exited the Sharks zone, forcing it to change direction. The icing should have been waved off, but instead it gave Vancouver a draw in the Sharks zone with an extra attacker.

The Canucks converted seconds later, allowing Vancouver to tie the game and extend things to overtime.

The game was then decided when Alex Edler tried dumping a puck along the right wing glass, but the puck hit a stanchion and kicked back out to the blueline. Every skater on the ice was looking behind the Sharks goal, with the exception of Kevin Bieksa who pumped the rebound past Antti Niemi.

Niemi never saw the shot that sailed past his left skate and the game was over. The Sharks will call it the luckiest goal they never saw.

It was a painful ending to what was otherwise a performance worthy of one more crack at extending the series. The Sharks fall short again, but undeservedly so on this night.

Both teams traded scoring chances right off the bat. A gimpy Joe Thornton almost scored 2 minutes into the game on a put-back chance that slipped under Luongo, but bounced off a skate that was bent behind him.

It was revealed after the game that Thornton was playing with a separated shoulder, sustained by the ht from Raffi Torres in Game 3.

The Sedin twins continued to terrorize the Sharks defense, setting up an Alex Burrows goal at 8:02 of the opening period. Daniel Sedin started the scoring sequence by sliding a pass between his legs while facing the Sharks end boards to brother Henrik. The Canucks captain then tapped a pass to Burrows who had slipped past the Sharks defense in the slot for the one-timer past Antti Niemi.

Henrik Sedin tok a hooking penalty at 14:03 in the Sharks zone. Devin Setoguchi put a shot through Luongo that floated along the goal line, followed by a put-back chance by Thornton that hit Luongo in the chest.

Ryan Kesler took a slashing penalty to give the Sharks a 5-on-3, but they missed the free clinic that the Canucks gave on Sunday and squandered a great chance to tie things up.

San Jose out-shot the Canucks 15-6 in the period, but Vancouver held the 1-0 lead heading into the 1st intermission.

The Sharks 4th line of Jamal Mayers, Jamie McGinn and Andrew Desjardins created the best chances for San Jose early in the 2nd period.

Victor Oreskovich put a puck off the right post 7 minutes into the period, just missing a chance to extend the Canucks lead to two goals.

Kevin Bieksa was sent off for clipping Logan Couture with a high stick at 9:07. San Jose converted when Dan Boyle sent a shot from the left point that Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard tried to glove. Patrick Marleau got a stick on the shot as he was cruising through the slot, deflecting it past Luongo for his 8th goal of the playoffs.

Kesler was injured on the play moments before Boyle got his shot away, as the two chased a puck down in the Sharks zone. Kesler appeared to come up lame, favoring his left leg before heading strait to the locker room.

Torrey Mitchell put the Canucks on the power play after tripping up Henrik Sedin on the ensuing faceoff. San Jose killed off the penalty, then got their own chance with the man advantage after Vancouver was called for too many men.

San Jose got caught in their own end on an extended shift that ended when Thornton iced the puck with 1:43 left in the period. Sharks head coach Todd McLellan was forced to use his timeout to give his skaters a breather.

The Sharks got the start they needed early in the 3rd period. A Kent Huskins dump in jumped over Henrik Sedins stick as Setoguchi and Joe Pavelski drove into the Canucks zone. Pavelski swung at the puck in the slot with one hand on his stick, sliding a pass to his right as Luongo came out of his net. Setoguchi gathered Pavelski's pass and walked the puck into the empty net for the 2-1 Sharks lead.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic was hit with a high stick in the slot, at 3:50 but the on-ice officials missed what should have been a 4-minute penalty to the Canucks. It was the 3rd such infraction that went un-penalized in the series.

Vancouver pulled Luongo with 1:30 to play. The icing that never should have been was then called. It would give the Canucks the shot they needed to keep the game going.

Henrick Sedin threw a puck on net from the right circle, where Kesler deflected it past Niemi with 13.8 seconds left in regulation.

The Canucks came out of the gate with guns blazing early in the 1st overtime, but San Jose regained the advantage and put a series of shots on Luongo.

Former Canuck Kyle Wellwood almost ended things with a shot from the inside of the left circle 6 minutes into the 1st overtime.

Ian White made the save of the game when Burrows deflected a puck on net with what should have been called a high stick. White was parked in front of the right post, and he saw the shot and stepped up to absorb the shot with his chest.

San Jose out-shot Vancouver 16-9 in the 1st extra session.

Logan Couture put a shot into Luongo's pads 4:40 into the 2nd overtime that could have ended things had it been a hair to the right.

Douglas Murray caught Kesler with his head down moments later, blowing the Canucks forward off his skates with a bone jarring hit.

Chris Higgins found himself with a breakaway chance 8:30 in, but Niemi made the save to extend the game. Higgins tried to deek to his right, but Niemi kept his composure and snuffed out the chance.

He wouldn't be so lucky as a gremlin at Rogers Arena bit San Jose and the season was over.



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Scoring
1 2 3 1OT 2OT T
SJ 0 1 1 0 0 2
VAN 1 0 1 0 1 3
1st period - 1, VAN, Burrows 7 (H. Sedin, D. Sedin), 8:02.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Marleau 8 (Boyle, Pavelski), 9:57, (pp).
3rd period - 3, SJ, Setoguchi 7 (Pavelski, Huskins), 0:24. 4, VAN, Kesler 7 (H. Sedin, Edler), 19:46.
1st Overtime - None.
2nd Overtime - 5, VAN, Bieksa 5 (Edler, Burrows), 10:18.
Penalties
1st period - H. Sedin, VAN (hooking), 14:03. Kesler, VAN (slashing), 14:39.
2nd period - Bieksa, VAN (high sticking), 9:07; Mitchell, SJ (tripping), 10:39; Bench, VAN (too many men), 13:38.
3rd period - None.
1st Overtime - None.
2nd Overtime - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 34 31
VAN - Luongo 56 54
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 1OT 2OT T
SJ 15 10 11 16 4 56
VAN 6 6 8 9 5 34
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 4
VAN 0 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Roberto Luongo
Kevin Bieksa
Joe Thornton
Attendence
18,860
Officials
Referees: Walkom, Kozari. Linesmen: Sharrers, Devorski.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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