SAN JOSE, Calif. - Patrick Marleau scored twice in the first period and Antti Niemi made the early lead stand up with 27 saves to get the San Jose Sharks back into the Western Conference final with a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 3 Friday night.
Ryane Clowe and Dan Boyle also scored and Joe Thornton had three assists for the Sharks, who still trail the series, 2-1, after winning a conference final game on home ice for the first time in franchise history.
San Jose looked like a completely different team than the one that was outscored 10-5 in losing the first two games in Vancouver. The Sharks scored three times in the first period and had 15 of the first 16 shots on goal to snap an eight-game losing streak in the conference final, including a sweep last year to Chicago.
Alexandre Burrows, Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa scored for the Canucks.
Game 4 is Sunday in San Jose.
Lightning wary of Thomas
TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Lightning are looking to overcome a resurgent Tim Thomas and even up the Eastern Conference finals.
Tampa Bay trails Boston, two games to one, heading into Game 4 on Saturday, thanks in part to a strong rebound effort by Thomas. The Bruins' goalie stopped all 31 shots he faced in a 2-0 victory on Thursday night.
Thomas, the favorite to win the Vezina Trophy as the top regular-season goalie because of a 2.00 goals-against-average, had given up nine goals through the first two games against the Lightning.
Tampa Bay has the firepower to make a difference, again, in Game 4. The trio of Vincent Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis combined for 11 shots Thursday.
Boogaard death accidental
MINNEAPOLIS - The death of Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard was an accident, due to a toxic mix of alcohol and the powerful painkiller oxycodone.
The Hennepin County medical examiner announced Boogaard's cause of death Friday, saying it was unclear exactly when the 28-year-old died. The 6-foot-7 265-pound enforcer was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment last Friday, five months after he sustained a season-ending concussion with the New York Rangers.