SAN JOSE, Calif. —With the sharp-passing Sedin twins, plenty of players with big shots, and a gold-medal winning goalie, the Vancouver Canucks are tough enough to beat in normal situations. That task becomes nearly impossible when they have two extra skaters on the ice.
The Canucks converted three successive 5-on-3 power plays in a span of less than 2 minutes during the second period, with Sami Salo scoring twice and Ryan Kesler adding the third, to beat the San Jose Sharks 4-2 on Sunday in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals to take a 3-1 series lead.
"We kept marching to the box, they kept scoring," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said.
Henrik Sedin helped set up the three goals in a span of 1:55 as the Canucks became the first team in NHL history to score three goals with a two-man advantage in the playoffs. He added another assist in the third period to set a franchise record for assists in a game.
"When you give Henrik that much open time, he's going to find a way to make plays," teammate Alexandre Burrows said.
Vancouver had just 13 shots all game, scoring on four of their seven shots in the final two periods. The Sharks had no answer for the Sedins, who have combined for 15 points in four games this series after having just seven points and a minus-10 rating in six games against Nashville the previous round.
Andrew Desjardins and Ryane Clowe had third-period goals for the Sharks, who failed to capitalize on five early power-play chances and now must win Game 5 in Vancouver on Tuesday night to extend the series.
Vancouver0 3 1—4 San Jose 0 0 2—2
Second—1, Vancouver, Kesler 6 (Salo, H.Sedin), 9:16 (pp). 2, Vancouver, Salo 2 (H.Sedin, D.Sedin), 10:55 (pp). 3, Vancouver, Salo 3 (H.Sedin, D.Sedin), 11:11 (pp).
Third—4, Vancouver, Burrows 6 (H.Sedin, D.Sedin), 5:43. 5, San Jose, Desjardins 1 (Huskins, McGinn), 7:02. 6, San Jose, Clowe 6 (Couture, Marleau), 15:55.
Shots—Vancouver 6-4-3—13. San Jose 10-8-17—35. Power plays— Vancouver 3 of 5; San Jose 0 of 5. Goalies— Vancouver, Luongo 11-6-0 (35 shots-33 saves). San Jose, Niemi 8-8-0 (13-9). A— 17,562 (17,562). T—2:27.