2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs - Western Conference Finals
Game 5: San Jose Sharks vs. Vancouver Canucks @ Rogers Arena
2-3 Final 2OT; Vancouver wins the series 4-1
After powering through Game 4 on a string of power-play goals, the Canucks are just one win away from the Stanley Cup finals. But the hardest games are the series-winning games. Will all of the Canucks step up? Will the reffing step up? And what do the San Jose Sharks have to say about this?
If the Sharks had a say, they would try to summon up the best hockey they can play and force a Game 6. How big will the big sharks be tonight? Tonight, we find out which sea mammal has the bigger bite: the shark or the killer whale.
Right away, the swing of the first period looked to be full of energy! The most energy we've seen in the last three games! Henrik Sedin even had an early scoring chance (not a brilliant one, but a chance) not even a minute in! At least we know both of theses teams have winning in mind. And the Canucks didn't get penalised in the first moments of the game! Did the refs get the message? Did Bettman get my message about getting better refs?
Not needing a penalty or a 5-on-3 to score, Alex Burrows got the game's first goal 8 minutes in! The puck was dumped in and it allowed for a battle low in the corner. Like many plays in the regular season, Henrik Sedin fed the puck to the front of the net where he knew Burrows was, and of course, Burrows just has to tap that puppy into the back of Antti Niemi's net.
To prove how ready they were tonight, the Canucks showed the Sharks just who the boss was. Placed on a 5-on-3 14:39 into the period, the Canucks' penalty-kill and Roberto Luongo stopped eight straight shots from the Sharks' power-play and kept the goose egg up on the board under the San Jose name. Yea, that's right; Canucks can kill your 5-on-3's.
They may not have scored on the two-man advantage, but they did score on their second power-play. Patrick Marleau let a wrister go from the blue-line, and because the shooter was slightly hidden, Luongo couldn't get his glove on it and he was forced to see it go past him and into the back of his net. Worse news is, Ryan Kesler (Mr Beast if you will) headed to the locker room right after.
Leaving his net to play the puck, Roberto Luongo left an open net for Devin Setoguchi to score on the diving pass from Joe Pavelski. The goal just twenty-four seconds into the final period gave the Sharks their first lead of the game, but who said the sharks would stay down?
Behind for the majority of third-period play, Kesler got the tip on Henrik Sedin's shot and you don't know how excited everyone in Vancouver and everyone cheering for the Canucks around the world got! Overtime has never sounded so good.
The first OT period went by with some crazy San Jose playtime! But of course the Canucks were beasting and Luongo was rocketeering off into another hockey dimension! Over the course of the four hockey periods, Luongo faced 48 shots to Niemi's 29. Yea, it's safe to say Luongo be beasting but he's doing more than that. And even if the majority of play was in the Vancouver end, there's still a second OT period to be played!
And finally at 10:18 of the second OT perio, after a lot of beasting, and following Luongo's 56-save performance, THE VANCOUVER CANUCKS ARE ONTO THE STANLEY CUP FINALS!!! One big cannon from Kevin Bieksa and one BIEKSALLENT play later - WE'RE IN THE STANLEY CUP FINALS AND WE'RE WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS!! Niemi had not a chance at stopping that for he didn't even see it coming.
(1) Roberto Luongo
(2) Kevin Bieksa
(3) Joe Thornton