5.22.2011

Playoff Game of the Night


2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs - Western Conference Finals
Game 4: Vancouver Canucks vs. San Jose Sharks @ HP Pavilion
4-2 Final; Vancouver leads the series 3-1

After showing who had the home-ice advantage, the San Jose Sharks showed the Canucks just how they played at home and displayed the better part of the special teams. But the Vancouver Canucks came within one goal and nearly tied up the game to force an OT period, but was stopped by the goaltending of Antti Niemi.

In Game 4, will the Sharks continue with their momentum or will they head back to Vancouver down two games in the series?

Similar to Game 3, the Canucks took penalties/were heavily penalised. Yes, I was the one saying that the calls were getting a little biased, but that's just my opinion. In the opening twenty minutes, the Canucks were penalised thrice, taking the only penalties of the period. But unlike the previous game, the first period ended with a 0-0 score and shots relatively close (6-10 for San Jose). But in the dying seconds of the period, none other than Raffi Torres delivered a big hit on a Shark and received a minor penalty for charging. It got a reaction from the crowd and Torres did his job handing out the big hits that most people don't do.

Getting repaid for killing five San Jose PPs, the Canucks got their first power-play - and then a 5-on-3 - 9 minutes into the second period. Nine seconds on the 2-man advantage, Vancouver makes the Sharks in the Shark Tank pay. Seeing the ice before him, Henrik Sedin passed the puck to Sami Salo for a one-timer. The Finnish defenceman thought against it and ended up feeding Ryan Kesler. Kesler released a one-timer for himself at the face-off circle to Niemi's right and beat the goalie for the first goal of the game!!

Placed right back on the 5-on-3 about 80 seconds later, Sami Salo was given his chance to make another one-timer. It looked to be about the same play as the last 2-man advantage, but Salo did not make that pass and took the shot for himself! Looks like it paid off and Henrik Sedin got his second assist of the night! And then another 5-on-3 for the away team just six seconds after Salo's goal, and they make the Sharks pay again. Salo released another bomb from his favourite spot on the ice and got his second goal, Henrik Sedin's third assist and Daniel Sedin's second assist! Three goals in under 2 minutes? YES PLEASE!

Not stepping off of that gas pedal, Alex Burrows got Vancouver's fourth goal of the night after Henrik Sedin went hard to the net with the puck. The puck flew through the ice, and with the nifty hands he has, Burrows banked in the puck into the open net! Henrik tallied his fourth assist of the night, getting in on every goal!

But Roberto Luongo's shutout would be broken with a goal from Andrew Desjardins. Jamie McGinn started the play from behind the net and passed the puck to the top of the blue where Kent Huskins was. Huskins let his shot goal, and Desjardins got the tip on it and got the puck to go by an already set Luongo for Huskins's shot. The goal gave new life to the San Jose fans in the Shark Tank and life to the San Jose bench.

Getting into the game, Ryane Clowe cut the Canucks' lead in half with a wrister around Salo's stick and past Luongo into the Vancouver net. It was a nice shot, I admit, but the final 10 minutes of the final period shouldn't be the judging point of the Sharks' play in Game 4.

3 stars:
(1) Henrik Sedin
(2) Sami Salo
(3) Daniel Sedin


























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