The start of the 2013 NHL Playoffs for the San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks started physically and set the tone for the night and makes it one of the more interesting series this postseason.
It was scoreless through the first period with Roberto Luongo and Antti Niemi playing well. The Sharks did get a few scoring chance on the power player and came up empty. Then in the second period things got interesting as a mad scramble in front of the net allowed for the Canucks’ Kevin Bieska to sneak one in.
Mason Raymond did get away with goalie interference as he clearly made contact with Niemi. The Sharks took advantage on their third power play of the night as Logan Couture blasted one through to tie the game up at one. Dan Boyle and Joe Pavelski got assists on the goal.
For the third period it belonged to the Sharks and scored on a similar play to that of the Canucks, except for no interference with Luongo. Pavelski got the play started getting the puck on net, Wingels poked at it and as the puck went to the other side of the net, Boyle put the puck in. At least for a few minutes each teams used the boards to get the puck out of the zone and the pace slowed down.
Just like that Marc-Edouard Vlasic got the puck up the ice to Couture who found Patrick Marleau who beat Luongo with a beautiful shot, which sealed the game. The Canucks with did get a number of shots on Niemi in the closing minutes, yet he was up to the task including a huge save with just over three and a half minutes left in the game.
Couture, Boyle and Pavelski led the way with two points each and Niemi finished with 29 saves. The Sharks became the only Western Conference team to win game one on the road.
There’s also a concern as Martin Havlat left the game due to injury and did not return.