VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Daniel Sedin scored his second power-play goal of the game, and Chris Higgins and Mason Raymond added man-advantage goals in the third period for the Canucks, who routed the San Jose Sharks, 7-3, last night and took a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.
Defenseman Aaron Rome scored his first NHL playoff goal with 5:30 left as the Canucks poured it on late. The game turned when Kevin Bieksa scored the go-ahead goal on a breakaway with 7:55 left in the second period.
Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is tomorrow night at San Jose.
Bieksa, who scored the tying goal in the Canucks’ 3-2 comeback win in Game 1, beat four Sharks up the ice to take a cross-ice, blue line-to-blue line pass from Chris Higgins. He then beat goalie Antti Niemi with a quick shot between the legs.
The game got ugly after Bieksa pounded Sharks forward Patrick Marleau in a one-sided fight six minutes later. That angered San Jose tough guy Ben Eager, who was yelling at the Canucks bench after the fight. He then ran Daniel Sedin face-first into the boards late in the period. Eager took another penalty in the third, and Higgins made it 4-2 on the power play eight minutes in.
Raymond added another power-play goal — on a too-many-men penalty that negated Joe Thornton’s breakaway — with 3:18 left. The Canucks went 4 for 6 on the power play. Daniel Sedin and Raffi Torres scored 39 seconds apart in the first period, and Roberto Luongo finished with 28 saves.
Eager also scored with 2:33 left, but took a penalty when he pushed Luongo into the net after the puck. Logan Couture and Marleau scored power-play goals in the first period, and Niemi made 31 saves.
After San Jose coach Todd McLellan singled out that line after Game 1, Dany Heatley sent Couture in with a nice chip pass at the blue line, and Couture lifted his team-leading seventh goal past the outstretched blocker of Luongo 2:28 in.
Sedin tied it on a power play back-and-forth with brother Henrik midway through the period. Torres put Vancouver ahead 39 seconds later by getting position on Joe Pavelski atop the crease to tap in Christian Ehrhoff’s goal-line pass.
San Jose tied it again with its third power-play goal of the series — on just three chances — three minutes later. Dan Boyle’s shot went wide but came off the end boards to Thornton on the other side for a quick shot. Luongo stopped it, but as he dived to cover the puck Marleau knocked it under him. A short video review confirmed it went it, giving Marleau his third goal in three games.
San Jose never got another power play, however. The Sharks are 3 for 3 in the series against the Canucks, who had killed 28 of 29 chances in the second round against Nashville.
Daniel Sedin leads the NHL with five power-play goals in the playoffs, and it tied with Tampa Bay’s Sean Bergenheim for the overall lead with eight goals. Henrik Sedin had three assists.