Vancouver scored three power play goals in the second period and went on to defeat San Jose 4-2 to take a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference finals Vancouver could advance to the Stanley Cup finals on Tuesday when they host San Jose at Rogers Arena in Vancouver in front of their home town crowd.
Vancouver came with a better start in Game 3 as they seemed more ready to play. Vancouver continued to take penalties in the first period and they were short handed four times, however, San Jose could not beat Luongo and the first period ended 0-0. The first period ended with Raffi Torres taking a questionable charging call against Douglas Murray, it was a good hard hit that was a hockey play. The ref’s appeared to be San Jose fans in the first period. Vancouver had to feel pretty good escaping the first period without being scored on.
Vancouver started the second period by killing two more penalties as they were whistled for five consecutive penalties, however, that was the last time they would have to kill a penalty the rest of the game. The second period was San Jose turn to take penalties and Vancouver made them pay big time. Vancouver scored three goals in the second period as this was the first time the Canucks scored the first goal of the game in the series, scoring all their goals on two-man advantages. Sammy Salo scored two goals and Henrik Sedin assisted on all three goals as Vancouver went into the second intermission leading 3-0 Salo scored his goals when Henrik Sedin passed him the puck at the point and he blasted it past Niemi and Salo got the primary assist on Ryan Kesler’s slap shot as the sold out HP Pavilion was in shock as to what had occurred.
San Jose trailing 3-0 began activating their defense in the third period in hopes of erasing the 3-0 deficit, but it was Vancouver who scored the first goal of the period. Henrik Sedin made a beautiful pass between Niemi’s legs to Alex Burrows who tapped the puck in the wide open net giving Vancouver an insurmountable 4-0 lead. San Jose made it interesting as they scored a couple of third period goals but the deficit was to great and Vancouver won the game 4-2 giving the Canucks a commanding 3-1 lead in the series .
Notes: Vancouver defensemen Aaron Rome and Christian Ehrhoff did not play after being injured in Game 3 on hits by San Jose’s Jaime McGinn. …Joe Thornton left the game in the third period on a hit by Raffi Torres and did not return.
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Written by Kevin Kelly