After relinquishing their lead in the third period Tuesday night at HP Pavilion, the San Jose Sharks roared back in the final minutes to take Game 4, 4-3, and sweep the Vancouver Canucks.
The Sharks had a 2-1 lead after the first period via Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski goals, but allowed two goals in less than two minutes in the third period, courtesy of Alex Burrows and Alexander Edler.
Vancouver goaltender Cory Schneider bounced back after a rough beginning, holding the Sharks scoreless in the second period before Pavelski scored his second goal with 4:27 remaining in the third. Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi must have breathed a sigh of relief at that juncture after it had appeared the Sharks blew it in the third.
The Sharks constantly threatened against a questionable Canucks defense in overtime, but Schneider was spectacular, holding them at bay.
Canucks Game tweeted in overtime:
Canucks Game @canucksgame
#Canucks have dictated tempo, but Sharks have had the better scoring chances. Schneider in beast mode.5/8/2013, 4:56:33 AM
But the Sharks broke through, as Patrick Marleau scored the game-winning goal off a rebound at the 13:18 mark of OT.
Pavelski was outstanding on the night, giving the Sharks their first lead of the game before knotting it up and sending the game into overtime. He was able to get eight shots on goal, and also blocked two shots. Meanwhile, captain Joe Thornton had three assists in the series clincher.
Hockey writer Steve Lepore tweeted during the game:
Game 4 game was a thrilling, back-and-forth affair that San Jose fans will surely remember for a while. It had all the highs and lows that the playoffs is supposed to have, leaving the crowd on the edge of their seats throughout.
As a team, the Sharks notched 47 shots on goal (including a 13-5 edge in extra time), while the Canucks registered 35 shots on goal. San Jose won 45 faceoffs, versus Vancouver's 28.
After notching four shots on goal in the second period, the Canucks posted 13 shots on goal in the third, but the Sharks posted 11 shots on goal, including the critical tying goal inside five minutes to play.
Schneider notched 43 saves, while Niemi registered 32.
The Sharks have advanced to the second round of the NHL playoffs.
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