The Vancouver Canucks took advantage of a frustrated San Jose Sharks on Wednesday, pounding out a 7-3 win to take a 2-0 series lead in the NHL’s Western Conference Finals.
Daniel Sedin, who won the league’s regular season scoring title, but had struggled to find the net during the playoffs, linked up with twin brother Henrik for two goals, one in the first period and another in the third.
San Jose got on the scoreboard first, but soon lost their way and by the third period frustrations landed the visitors in the penalty box on a regular basis, giving Vancouver too many power-play opportunities.
“We made them pay and took over the game,” Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault told reporters.
The Sharks emotions ran over after the Canucks Kevin Bieksa got the better of Patrick Marleau in a fight late in the second period.
San Jose’s Ben Eager then made a run at Daniel Sedin that ended up in a boarding call just before the final intermission that is likely to be reviewed by the league.
The volatile Eager served six penalties in total worth 20 minutes.
Sharks coach Todd McLellan admitted his team had lost its composure.
“At this point, you’ve got to have your emotions in check,” he told reporters.
In the San Jose lockeroom, players described their performance as an embarrassment.
“When you lost seven to three, not many people played well. I didn’t play well,” said center Logan Couture, who had one goal on the night.
The highlight goal of the night for Vancouver came in the second period when, at 2-2, Bieksa took a tape-to-tape pass from Chris Higgins on a breakaway to fire a rocket that Sharks goalie Antti Niemi had little chance of stopping.
Higgins then notched the game-winning goal in the third, before Vancouver added three more strikes prior to a late consolation effort from the much-maligned Eager.
The teams meet for Game 3 of the best-of-seven series in San Jose, California, today.
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