The San Jose Sharks withstood a furious Vancouver third period rally to claim a 4-3 win on Friday and take a bite out of the Canucks' lead in the Western Conference final.
The Sharks victory trimmed Vancouver's advantage in the best-of-seven series to 2-1 with Game Four set for Sunday also in San Jose.
Patrick Marleau led San Jose, scoring twice and setting up another while Ryane Clowe and Dan Boyle each scored once in a penalty filled contest that saw five of the seven goals come on the powerplay.
Well we gave that team (San Jose) 10 powerplays and I thought we were pretty disciplined, and unhappy Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault told reporters. So if I were to comment on what I think of the penalties, I'd get a pretty big fine so I think I am going to save my money.
As unhappy as Vancouver was about the calls, penalties were almost the Sharks undoing as well.
Leading 4-1 late in the third, San Jose's Jamie McGinn rammed Aaron Rome hard into the boards giving Vancouver a five-minute powerplay and the Canucks made the Sharks pay with goals from Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa.
The Canucks, however, could not complete the comeback and the Sharks hung on to end a run of eight consecutive losses in Western Conference final games dating back to 2004.
San Jose drew first blood on two powerplays, from Marleau and Clowe, both scored from goalmouth scrambles
Marleau also scored on breakaway to cap a dominating period by the Sharks, who outshot Vancouver 16-8.
When he (Marleau) is playing well you just turn him loose and let him go, said Sharks coach Todd McLellan. He competed hard, he was on loose pucks.
He skated, he blocked shots, he was good in the faceoff circle. He's got tons of ability and can play in any situation.
The Canucks had their chances to get back into the game in the second period when they were twice awarded two-man advantages but could not beat Sharks' goaltender Antti Niemi.
Vancouver finally beat the Finn 69 seconds into the third when Alex Burrows jumped on a loose puck in the slot and blasted it past him.
The Sharks however answered with their third powerplay goal of the game from Boyle to restore a three-goal cushion, all of which they needed to ensure victory.