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Marleau's winner ends Canucks season
Sharks win thriller 4-3 in overtime
5/7/13 - By Mike Lee -

The San Jose Sharks have never won a Stanley Cup. They also never swept a playoff series heading into Tuesday night's Game 4 showdown with the Vancouver Canucks. You can strike the playoff sweep off the team goals list, after San Jose knocked off Vancouver in an exciting 4-3 overtime win at HP Pavilion. Patrick Marleau jammed home a loose puck 13:18 into the 1st overtime session, setting the arena into a frenzy, and pushing the Sharks into the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Twelve wins now stand between the Sharks and a date with the big shiny trophy that every professional hockey player covets.

Known for his lightning speed, it was Marleau's velocity that made the difference between a Sharks win and a Canucks loss in the series deciding game. Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider stopped a Joe Thornton shot, but couldn't locate the puck after it bounced off his chest. With the puck perched precariously to the right of Schneider in the crease, Marleau swooped in from the right side and jammed home the puck for his 3rd career overtime winner.

Canucks centerman Ryan Kesler and defenseman Kevin Bieksa were late in getting back to stop Marleau, and could only stare blankly at the cold reality that their season had ended.

It was Bieksa who tried diverting attention away from the fact that the Canucks were on the verge of elimination 24 hours earlier, when he told reporters that he thought that the Sharks were embellishing on the ice in an attempt to draw penalties.

Bieksa didn't do his teammates any favors by making the remarks, and did even less by taking a cross checking penalty with 5 minutes to play in regulation. The penalty was key to the game's outcome, because it setup a game tying goal after the Canucks had grabbed a 3-2 lead earlier in the period.

San Jose tied the game on that power play, when Joe Pavelski scored his 2nd goal of the game with a backhand chance after the Logan Couture's shot attempt from in tight deflected to him on the left side of the goal mouth.

The Sharks opened the game with a pair of goals in the opening period but headed to the 1st intermission leading 2-1.

Brent Burns staked the Sharks to the 1-0 lead by deflecting a Scott Hannan shot 2:41 into the game. Burns floated out of the left corner and tipped Hannan's shot by raising his stick to waist level. The puck changed directions on Schneider, slipping just inside the left post.

Mason Raymond tied the game with a long shot from the blueline that hit Antti Niemi in the left shoulder, then floated past the netminder, plopping into the Sharks goal at 7:54.

Things got ugly with 5 minutes to play in the period when Derek Roy hit Brad Stuart with an elbow to the head as the Sharks defenseman was trying to play a puck in front of the San Jose bench. Stuart was defenseless along the boards when he was hit, which knocked him to the ice. He would remain down on his knees for a couple minutes before being helped off the ice.

Roy received a boarding penalty on the play and the Sharks made the Canucks pay.

Vancouver forward Alex Burrows tried to grab a loose puck in the slot, but ended up deadening it and dishing it right to Joe Pavelski who had to spin 180 degrees before sweeping a shot that slipped past Schneider for the 2-1 lead. Pavelski's shot tucked inside the left post as the Canucks goaltender was late with the kick save.

Dan Hamhuis carved up Tommy Wingels 8:38 into the 2nd period, drawing a 4-minute high sticking penalty, but the Sharks failed to convert on the extended power play. The Sharks special teams unit seemed downright disinterested with the puck, putting little pressure on Schneider.

A slashing penalty to Alex Edler setup even more power play time for the Sharks, but the extra skater did little to generate much offense for the Sharks.

An undisciplined move was all it took for the Sharks to unravel. Andrew Desjardins decided that his desire to show up a Canucks player was more important than the team 8 minutes into the 3rd period. Desjardins tried to strong arm Dan Hamhuis after a whistle sounded, slamming the Canucks defenseman to the ice. Desjardins gave the Canucks the power play that would ignite their game.

Alex Burrows converted on the man advantage at 9:12 with a tap in on a feed across the top of the crease from Daniel Sedin. Sedin's brother Henrik earned the secondary assist on the play by sending a backhand pass to his twin from the right wing boards.

Edler gave the Canucks the lead 2 minutes later with a blast from the point that beat Niemi.

Vancouver's resident bulletin board material maker, Kevin Bieksa setup the opportunity the Sharks needed to get to overtime when he cross-checked Wingels into the end boards, allowing Pavelski's 2nd tally of the evening.

Niether team seemed content with sitting back in the overtime period, where the two sides combined for 18 shots in the period. In a sign of foreshadowing, 13 of those shots came off of Shark sticks. San Jose seemed poised to win the game 9 minutes in when the Sharks found themselves on a 3-on-1 break. Couture couldn't find a lane to make a pass, so he pumped a shot that rang off the right post.

Marleau waved his wand and 4 minutes later and Vancouver's season was over.

Game Notes:

Sedin also received a game misconduct for abusive language after the game. The Canucks forward undoubtedly didn't agree with the penalty that led to his team's demise, then let referee KElly Sutherland have it after Marleau's goal.

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Scoring
1 2 3 1OT T
VAN 1 0 2 0 3
SJ 2 0 1 1 4
1st period - 1, SJ, Burns 1 (Hannan, Thornton), 2:41. 2, VAN, Raymond 1 (Hanhuis), 7:54. 3, SJ, Pavelski 3 (unassisted), 14:52, (pp).
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 4, VAN, Burrows 2 (D. Sedin, H. Sedin), 9:12, (pp). 5, VAN, Edler 1 (Burrows, Raymond), 11:02. 6, SJ, Pavelski 4 (Couture, Thornton), 15:33, (pp).
1st Overtime - 7, SJ, Marleau 4 (Thornton, Boyle), 13:18, (pp).
Penalties
1st period - D. Sedin, VAN (hooking), 3:35; Irwin, SJ (hooking), 12:34; Roy, VAN (boarding), 14:44.
2nd period - Gomez, SJ (slashing), 3:22; Hamhuis, VAN (high sticking double minor), 8:38; Edler, VAN (slashing), 16:35.
3rd period - Desjardins, SJ (roughing), 8:00; Bieksa, VAN (cross checking), 14:59.
1st Overtime - D. Sedin, VAN (boarding), 13:03; D. Sedin, VAN (game misconduct - abusive language), 13:18.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
VAN - Schneider 47 43
SJ - Niemi 35 32
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
VAN 13 4 13 5 35
SJ 11 12 11 13 47
Power Play Conversion
VAN 1 of 3
SJ 3 of 7
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Joe Pavelski
Tommy Wingels
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Sutherland, Lee. Linesmen: Barton, Devorski.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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