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Sharks pound Canucks to take 3-0 series lead
San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - A change in the Vancouver net didn't produce a different outcome for the Canucks.
Antti Niemi made 28 saves, and the San Jose Sharks erupted for three third- period goals in a 5-2 win at HP Pavilion that gave them a 3-0 stranglehold over Vancouver in this Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Logan Couture registered two power-play goals in the final frame to go with two assists for the Sharks, who will look to complete the sweep on Tuesday.
Joe Pavelski netted the first two San Jose goals, with Patrick Marleau supplying the other tally during the third-period blitz.
The Canucks turned to Cory Schneider in hopes of reversing their fortunes, instead they find themselves in an 0-3 first-round hole for a second straight year.
Schneider missed the final two games of the regular season and did not dress the first two playoff contests with what the team termed a "body" injury. He was replaced in the third by Roberto Luongo, who started both games in Vancouver.
"Down 3-0, our lifelines are gone. We can't mess up anymore," said Canucks forward Jannik Hansen.
Clinging to a 2-1 lead, the Sharks broke the game open earlier in the third period by lighting the lamp three times in a span of 2:27.
San Jose opened the frame on a power play after Joe Thornton drew a cross- checking penalty on a breakaway with 15 seconds left in the second period.
Couture skated down the left wing and beat Schneider to the far side at the 1:40 mark. Marleau scored nine seconds later, cutting to the middle and firing a shot while falling down.
Couture converted on another man advantage at 4:07 to make it 5-1 and end Schneider's outing.
"It's nice to get the quick (goals), mine on the power play and (Marleau)," Couture said. "Big goals. Got the crowd back into it, got us going in the third. It was a lot of fun."
Dan Hamhuis scored for Vancouver at 13:12.
The Sharks grabbed a 1-0 lead at 14:08 of the first period on a two-man advantage. San Jose moved the puck around the Vancouver zone and Pavelski elevated a feed from Couture over Schneider at the left post.
Pavelski made it 2-0 when he flashed deft hand-eye coordination from the front of the net and redirected Tommy Wingels' shot 7:20 into the second period.
Alexandre Burrows put the Canucks on the board, hammering a cross-ice pass from Henrik Sedin at 11:07 of the middle stanza.
The Canucks have lost nine of their last 10 playoff games since taking a 3-2 lead over the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals two years ago ... Marleau has recorded at least one point in all eight career playoff games against Vancouver (7 goals, 3 assists) .. Schneider stopped 23 shots.
05/06 02:03:13 ET