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 Vancouver Canucks, who routed the visiting San Jose Sharks, 7-3, last night to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.
Defenseman Aaron Rome also 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 6 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 8 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 then when he pushed Luongo into the net after the puck. Logan Couture and Patrick 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 - 3 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.
* Atlanta Thrashers fans are planning to take advantage of possibly their last opportunity to demonstrate support for the NHL to remain in Atlanta.
Thrashers fans are planning a rally before the team's annual select-a-seat event for season-ticket holders at Philips Arena on Saturday.
Lisa Lewis, the fan club president, said yesterday she expects a "pretty big turnout" in the rally she said is being organized by fan Jimmy Parks.
According to reports in Atlanta and Winnipeg, Thrashers owners are in negotiations with True North Sports and Entertainment, which would relocate the team to Winnipeg.
Former Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine is a high-profile Thrashers fan and former season-ticket holder who last month said he would like to be part of an ownership group which keeps the team in Atlanta.
Glavine said yesterday he feared time is running out on the effort to save the team, especially after the troubled Phoenix Coyotes last week won a 1-year reprieve to remain in Arizona. That development shifted Winnipeg's focus to Atlanta.